Heritage Tourism

Heritage Tourism

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Hello everyone.  I'm Marvin Thomas, I’m a heritage  planning and policy advisor with the   Heritage Conservation Branch at the Ministry of  Parks, Culture and Sport. And welcome to all to   our first day of our Winter Webinar series. Before beginning, I knowledge that Regina,   where I'm located, is in Treaty Four territory,  traditional lands of the Cree, Nakoda, Dakota,   Lakota and Anishinaabe, and Homeland of the Métis. Wherever you are, I encourage you to reflect   on the deep connections Indigenous people  have to those lands. Thank you very much. 

So in these webinars, we’ll be hearing  about several Saskatchewan heritage projects   that involved different kinds of  historic places that were done for   different purposes and are located in  a variety of communities of all sizes   and collectively illustrate the  diversity of benefits they can come.  Give me one moment there. I was just saying that all of these projects   illustrate many of the benefits that can come  from conserving and engaging with historic places.  I’ll just ask people to maybe keep  their microphones muted until we   begin the webinar and some of the discussion.  But I was about to say, glad to hear about these  projects from people who have first hand knowledge   of them, and they can tell us what it took to make  them happen and what some other results have been. 

So today there will be 3  presentations that show how   heritage resources could be  valuable tourism resources.  Before I introduce the first project, I'll again  just a reminder guests to keep their microphones   and cameras turned off during the presentations. And also remind our presenters of our tight   schedules. If everyone stays on time, there should  be time for questions at the end of the hour.  

So I'll ask everyone to hold your questions  until then. But you can also put questions   into the chat as you think of them  as we go along if you would like to.  So our first presenters are going  to be to Theresa and Scott Reesor   owners and operators of the historic Reesor Ranch,   an award-winning guest ranch and provincial  heritage property in the Cypress Hills.  And Scott and Theresa, I'll just  set up your slide show here as I   get ready to turn things over to you and that  should be up on everybody screens momentarily.  So Scott and Theresa, the floor is yours.

Howdy. I guess our Mike is unmuted. Yeah, we hear you.  So thanks for joining us today as we  share a bit of our life journey with you,   we hope to encourage dialogue and  awareness to promote heritage tourism.  Before getting into details, we would like  to mention that there are numerous people   and organizations that have  been instrumental in guiding,   shaping and encouraging us on this journey. Our children, our families, our Cypress Hills   community, Tourism Saskatchewan,  Royce Pettyjohn, Marilyn Williams,   Saskatchewan Heritage Conservation Branch,  Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park and the   Cypress Hills Grasslands Tourism Destination Area. We're thankful to all those who have encouraged us  

and or challenged us because it has helped  us to grow and to become who we are today.  Heritage tourism is a catalyst for heritage  conservation. Every time a heritage building is   protected from demolition by being repurposed for  a new use, a chain of events happens and a domino   effect comes into play for the community  and the building that it's located in. 

There are economic, cultural and social  benefits for conserving buildings and   what we've done here at the ranch as a  historic heritage tourism destination.   We will discuss each of these points individually.  So the first one is the economic benefits.   Provides a source of employment for ourselves,  generates tourism dollars into Cypress County   in Alberta and RM 111 Maple Creek. Visitors spend  their tourism dollars at local tourism attractions   in the Cypress Hills area, which is more than  200 square miles in radius. Fuel, meals, entry to   activities and other accommodations keep visitors  in the area spending their tourism dollars.  We employ local residents and young people  from across the country as far as Quebec   have come and helped us out with programs,  work projects and work experience. 

Cultural benefits - we help share the story  with visitors that is integral to Saskatchewan   and Western Canadian history, that of hopeful  pioneers settling in the West to start a new and a   better life for themselves and their families. The  ranching and farming industry in Western Canada   is the backbone of our economy. The sustainable  practices that have been passed down through   our previous generations continue to  this day promising long term viability   for our future generations. By preserving and showcasing our history,   we demonstrate a sense of pride, a sense  of place for our Community and visitors,   showcasing where we have come from, where  we are today and where we are going.  So next social benefits - being a  multi-generational ranch operation,   the families roots are deep within the  community. The Reesor family has always  

participated as members of community boards  for social functions, educational boards,   stock associations, sports associations, and  even on history book committees. We have 15   bedrooms and are all log barn rental facility  that are named in dedicated to Pioneer Ranch.  Sorry. Oh, somebody. Oh, I'm muted. No we hear you. I think you're just getting  a little feedback or it should be fine.  Thomas, Marvin PCS There. Hi. Sorry Theresa   for the interruption. It took me awhile to find  the person who's speaking so I could mute them  

there. Please, everybody keep muted. Go ahead.  No worries. OK. So we have 15 bedrooms and are  all log barn rental facility that are named and   dedicated to pioneer ranch families from the  Cypress Hills area sharing their histories   with written stories, photos and keepsakes on the  walls helps keep their family names preserved. 

Involvement in social events such as dances, baby  showers, weddings, work-related activities such as   cattle roundups and brandings have always been key  to keeping a healthy connection between neighbors   and community. We always like to tell our visitors  that it's just not about the Reesors and that's   we've really enjoyed sharing the stories  of all the local ranchers in the area.  And we're proud to showcase the history  of the area 'cause that's what we do.  So Marvin, this is your cue for  showing starting our our photo slides.  Are you there? Oh, did we lose Marvin? Oh, there he is. OK, good job, Marvin. So one  

of the things that we do at the ranch here is we  allow people to participate in horse activities.   And there's a picture of our guest string going  out for some grass after a day of work, I guess.   And there's a, of course, the  ranch house in the background.  Next. So here we have our new photo merge.   Credits to photographer (indecipherable)  Nicole Rayner from Medicine Hat. Uh,  

she was up for the challenge of  doing this for us. It was a vision   that we'd had a number of years ago.  A tribute to the family, so we've got   actually, here a 1919, photo on the left of the  house. Scott’s Dad is actually the little guy on   his mum's knee on the front of the deck there,  and then there's friends from the Sarnia Ranch   that are visiting that day from down at Walsh.  And then of course to the right is called … 

Sorry to interrupt. We’re not seeing your photos.  Oh. Marvin, are you there?  Some people are. I was just putting  

a note in the chat too. If you're not seeing the  photos, try logging in with a different browser if   you're able to, or perhaps download the teams app,  I think it's a browser issue. because some people,   most people I think are seeing them. There could be another issue.  If you click on the ellipses and  

and Scroll down to focus on content. Uh,  you should be able to. Some folks might   be successful in finding the pictures that way.  Well, I hope they can see them. Uh, So what was I saying? Oh yes. The picture   on the right is our family our immediate  family, with the provincial heritage plaque   in 19 in 2019. So this this is about  100 year merge of this, of the house.  So next Marvin. You're supposed to.   I'm sorry. No back again. Back again. Sorry. 

So this um and I have to say we spoke to  Royce Pettyjohn about writing a tribute   for us for the family and he was very kind  in doing that. And so I'm going to share it:  A tribute to the Reesor family honoring our  forefathers and celebrating our Western Canadian   ranching industry. The native prairies sweeping  across the north slope of the Cypress Hills   owes its resilience to root systems that extend  deep into the earth where life giving moisture   sustains its grasses. These grasses have in  turn sustained the area’s ranching industry   for well over a century and attracted the  Reesor family to put down their roots in the   beautiful Cypress hills. For more than 120 years,  generation after generation of the Reesor family   have served as stewards of the grasslands,  stretching across the family ranch.   Today, the 6th generation invite guests  to share in their family’s connection   to these ranchlands with their own brand  of cowboy comfort and Western hospitality. 

In 2017, the historic WD and Alice Reesor Ranch  became the first ranch in the province to be   designated as a Provincial Heritage Historic site,  commemorating the role that the ranching industry   has played in the development of Saskatchewan.  This photo merge is a celebration of the deep   roots the Reesor family have in this special  place and the unbroken continuity of care the   family has given to the ranch and historic  ranch house. The family extends their deepest   thanks to their many friends, neighbors and  visitors for sharing in this journey with them.  Thanks again Royce. Next, Marvin.  For anybody that can see this, uh,  this is a picture of the original House   1906. There was another house or some kind  of a shack that they lived in prior to that.   Log structure. But this 1906 house was partially  encased in the house that was built in 1916. 

Next.  So here we have the 1916 house that is on  the very spot that the 1906 house was built   on. Built for two families. By A.B. Himmelman  and crew of 7 carpenters from Calgary, Alberta   using cordless tools. And they  didn't have batteries on them either. 

So, built for the two families, Scott’s  great grandparents on the left side and his   grandparents on the right, two living rooms,  2 kitchens and a den. Just beautiful home.   But the upstairs all open to the six bedrooms. So next Marvin.  So this picture is of the bunkhouse, which is  one of the buildings that we had designated. It   is the building on the left, the lower building. And there's a picture of my great grandmother and   a friend that was visiting. And back then  they had wolfhounds and that's one of them  

in the picture there and can't see all your  faces, but there's some turkeys in that picture   as well. Just like you. Rest of these turkeys, if  I could see all your faces on the screen. Uh-huh.   So that was 19 circa 1920.  And so next photo Marvin.  So this here is the bunkhouse today. Uh, the same position as we say on the old photo.   But of course it's been renovated as a rental  for guests, there's big log deck there for   sitting out on, and that was built by our son  and the folks there enjoying the campfire.  Next, Marvin. So that's this is the picture in front   of the old log barn. And there's a picture of some  Cowboys and or Cowgirls that are heading off to do  

something. That is my dad, who is the third from  the right, probably about 12 years old circa 1925.  Next, Marvin. OK. So front of the log barn today,   present-day. the Lots goes on in this building.  We have 15 bedrooms in this facility for guests.   It's great for family reunions and all kinds of  functions. Big kitchen, big games, room, fire pit   outback. It's a great place for gatherings. Next, Marvin. 

So that’s an aerial photo that was taken of the  old log barn and of course on the left on the   end of the barn is our ranch hall facility where  we serve guests meals. And that picture was taken   2020 when we were hosting the Children Wish  ride and all them Cowboys and Cowgirls got   their horses all lined up there and Next, Marvin. So I'm not sure how we're doing for time, Marvin,   but you better keep track with us here. This  is the last of the the 10 the plaque that sits   proudly out in front of the barn today of the our  Provincial heritage property and I won't read it,   but 'cause, I know we're short on time here, but  we're going to carry on now with a few photos that   with activities at the ranch that to be enjoyed  and you can go to ourwebsite@reesorranch.com   to get in a better idea of all that you can  do here and so as you scroll through these,   Marvin Scott's gonna do the Old Home Place. So one of the things that we do after meal times   is we share cowboy poetry, and this is the poem  that was written by my mother in appreciation to   her folks for her, for her childhood home,  which is located about 10 miles from here. 

There are memories of my childhood that time  will not erase of good times and of bad times too   back on the old home place. It lies hidden  in a valley in the dear old Cypress hills.   The Indians likely camped there to escape  the winter’s chill. The hills and the trees   surround it. They break the fury of the  wind. They must have camped there often  

while their Buffalo they skinned. There are many Indian cellars, tipi   rings and heads of arrows to be found along the  Six Mile Creek by the crossings and the Narrows   I've tramped along the Creek banks and I waded in  the summer. I've listened to the Flicker call or   sat and watched the Drummer. I love the old home  place down there where I spent my childhood years.   There one could feel so close to God  and tell him all their hopes and fears.  In those carefree days of childhood the folks  didn't have much money, and both of them worked   awfully hard. But you know, it's sort of funny.  We had more than lots of other kids. Love,   time and peace were ours. There was space to  grow in, and the birds and trees and flowers.  

We also had the home we loved. And there's  not one of the seven who doesn't feel way   down inside, that was pretty close to heaven. I could sit beside the rushing spring and warm   and sunny weather and watched the thirsty horses  drink with their smell of sweat and leather.  

I can close my eyes and see it all. The log  house in the coulee, the corrals, the barn,   the water trough. I will tell you folks quite  truly, so all may go our separate ways as we   compete in life’s long race, we may never find  the piece we had back on the old home place.  There are memories of my childhood that time will  not erase. Of good times and the bad times too  

back on the old home place. So I hope that made you go drifting back down   the trail to your childhood stamping grounds. And  that's the end of our presentation. And we went a   bit over. But you other people interrupted us.

I think you're doing just fine on time there.  We also hope these things will go smoothly   without technological glitches, but they do  happen. So thank you everyone for bearing with   us. And thanks Scott and Teresa or sharing the  story of your ranch and some various different   aspects of different types of heritage that it  represents there. We really appreciated that.  So I'll just introduce our next project  here. Which is going to answer the   question. What can you do with a surplus  engineering work? Jennifer Fitzpatrick,  

director of Cultural services for the City of  Humboldt, is going to tell us about a creative   repurposing of the Humboldt Water Tower. Jennifer… Alright, thank you very much. So I just want  to confirm that you can see those slides   and you can hear me. I can and I do and I hope everyone else does. 

Alright, so thank you very much for inviting me  to share the story of the Humboldt Water Tower.   I just want to begin by acknowledging  that I am on Treaty 6 territory   and the Homeland of the Métis. I pay my respects  to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of this   place and reaffirm my relationship with them  today and moving forward. So the Humboldt Water   Tower story is a story of passionate  volunteers. It's a story of community   perseverance and I just want to start by  recognizing all the wonderful work of the   many many volunteers that have worked on this  project and really turned this into a fantastic,   wonderful tourism attraction and similar to the  previous presentation, there's a lot of people to   thank so I won't have time to thank everybody, but  just know that this is a real community project. 

So just to give you some context, Humboldt  became a village in 1905, a town in 1907,   and by the time the building of the water tower  happened, the population was about 1500 people, so   they were having a tough time getting a an  adequate source of water. And so the town   council at the time decided to spend $300,000 to  build a water tower to ensure a stable supply.  So the engineering firm of Chipman and Power  out of Toronto was hired to construct the tower.  It's a standpipe reservoir water tower, so  obviously the height of the tank provides the   pressure for the the delivery system and there  are about 10 of these built in the province.  So it was the main source of water  for the community. Beginning in 1915,  

the water source changed between Burton Lake in  Stony Lake, North and South of the community.  So the tank capacity was about 156,000  gallons or you metric people 800,000 liters.  Uhm, there are seven tiers of concrete at the base  that increase in diameter as they go down into   the ground. The exterior of the structure is 25  feet in diameter and approximately 95 feet tall.   The interior tank itself is  about 20 feet in diameter.  And so the water tower really served  the community well until about 1977.  

Obviously, there's a new water treatment  system established and really the employee   at the time turned off the lights, closed  the door, and it was left to sit there.  And so it, well, although it was designated in  1985 as a municipal heritage property, there   really had not been a lot of work done to the  tower. And so by 1996, town council had decided,   due to some safety concerns,  vandalism, that type of thing   that the designation would be repealed and that  it would be torn down and actually burnt down.  And I think it's important to see the  type of shape that this thing was in,   you know, and then it really speaks  to the enthusiasm of the volunteers.  

So when that information was provided  publicly that this was the intent,   there was a Friends of the Water Tower committee  that came together and they got a six month   reprieve to kind of figure out, you know, from  Council to figure out what to do with the tower.  And when you read through the newspaper  articles of those community meetings,   I think it's really important its connection  to our topic today of heritage tourism   is it was one thing to consider. You  know what, how to conserve a tower   and how to keep it. But it's quite another to  consider. How are you going to use the tower,   what is going to be the use? What's the  new use that you can find for the tower.   And I think it was really those decisions  early on by this group of dedicated volunteers   that really have changed the tower into what  it is today and a fantastic tourism attraction.  So this group gets together and they do some tough  work. I mean, honestly, when you kind of look at  

these images, so as you can imagine this tower had  been sitting empty for 20 years. This is what they   lovingly called the Poop Patrol. You had years  and years of pigeons droppings to clean up.   And the photo on the left is the space between  the tank itself and the external wooden structure   and that at the top of the tank could  only be accessed by this series of ladders   and platforms in this small space. So a lot of  really hard work at the at the onset. But besides   from the actual physical work that they were  doing at the tower, they were also publicizing   the plight of the tower. They were looking for  donations and sponsorships. They were contacting,   you know, everybody they could to kind of, you  know, gather community support. They started doing  

fund raising events and really just a lot of work  to kind of establish that that core group and the   core funding to kind of move the project forward. They were also really doing a lot of work to plan   about the future of the tower. And I think this is  really part of the real success story of the water   tower. So by 2002, it was decided that it would  be redesignated as Municipal Heritage Property. 

And also they had got ? Engineering out of  Saskatoon. These are plans that were done in   about 2004 and 2006 and to really answer  that question of what is the tower going   to be used for and why are we going to why are  we going to save this and what is the new use.   So they got some plans together and they really  started to continue their work. So work included   around the foundation so this is the top level  of the concrete foundation being worked on.  They had to stabilize the roof was one  of the first things they did. They had  

to build a dormer to access the roof. And just a note, Michael Bell of Western   Restoration from Manitoba did a lot of the work  on the tower and really became a really good   friend and a supporter of the work. So work was also done on the annex.  And part of that part of that answer to the why  and what's a new use is part of the designs were   we're going to build an internal staircase. And  I think this is part of the brilliance of this   specific project is that that was determined to be  the new purpose and certainly something that was   really thoughtful and really far-reaching  for the committee. And so this is the  

staircase designed by Cochrane Engineering  to put in that to put in that staircase.  So engineered by Cochrane, they did hire  journeyman welder men welders when necessary   to do the work, but still a lot of work of very  skilled local volunteers. And as you can see,   you know, years and years of work. The last step  was installed in ‘11, but there was still a lot of  

work to be done. And so these volunteers really  committed their time to put in this staircase,   really make sure that it was well put in. And all of a sudden, and obviously,   water tanks don't normally have lights, so a  lot of electrical work needed to be done and   really a lot of work to repurpose this. So  just some fantastic work by the committee.  The other thing that needs to be done, the  observation deck up at the top was reworked.  And a lot of exterior work. So they did try to  keep as much of the original siding as they could.  

So they repaired and replaced where was  necessary. And I think one of the volunteers   described this exterior work  as a butterfly emerging from a   from a cocoon. And so I'll just kind of share  with you some of the slides that I believe   is that's a really apt description  of kind of this metamorphosis.  So you can see you know, the exterior has been  restored. This tower is looking fantastic. They're   moving forward. And one of the other really  important things they need to consider was   how does this, how does this water tower  now function as a tourist attraction?  And so the municipal insurance people got  involved. We needed to look at how tourists  

would work in this space, how they would tour  the building, how many people would be allowed   and that type of thing. And these these were not  easy projects to undertake that the committee had   already put a put a man-sized hole, obviously  for people to walk into the tank. But what are   the insurance requirements was that we put in a  second exit. And so the committee really worked   hard in those last few years to ensure that all  the safety things were ready for tourists, because   they were really driving toward the goal, which  was in 2015, the 100th anniversary celebration   of the Water tower. And so they were, they managed  to get everything done on time. And really,   we're really excited to open up the tower,  you know, more broadly to the community.   So at that event, you know, the volunteers  were thanked. Norman Duerr was instrumental  

in putting this community together and  really raising the awareness of the tower.  He spoke and you'll see a across the bottom. A lot  of those core volunteers who did that work on the   tower and, you know, this is for a lot of these  people this is over a 20 year commitment. And so   just the community was there  to thank the committee and the   Volunteers who had done so much work on the tower. So at that time the tower was turned back to the   Municipality to run through a kind of a tourist  operations out of there. My staff did a lot of   videos with those volunteers just so that we make  sure we have that knowledge about the tower and   can share that with the Community going forward. 2016 was the first summer of tours. 

So you can see that it's very comfortable.  This is one of my summer students   doing tours. You can see it's quite  comfortable up at the top. This talks   about similar to the previous presentation about  the cultural benefits, we share the stories,   whether that's the interpretation, these are  the arrows of the overflow tanks. We talk about   why there's windows in a in a water tower when  people come into the space, they tour through   the annex area. So we talk about the filtration  tanks and the software system that you see here.  The committee has installed  a stained glass window. 

People are coming to the top for the  best view of the city. So this is   one of those views that you can see.  Whether no matter if you're young or old,   people really enjoy spending a lot of time up at  the top. You can see a great image of the city. 

But how many steps does it take for you to  get to the top? Well, it takes about 143,   and this is one of the fascinating things that  the water tower community did as well, is they   they have sold $500 steps. So you can  purchase a step in the staircase of honour   and have your name on the steps. And as we tour  people up, these plaques are really easy to read.   We do stop at the landings along the way. I  always encourage my really young summer students   to pace themselves, you know, according  to the people who they’re touring with   to make sure you stop along the way and  people love to read these along the way.  For programming, we obviously work around the  theme of water, so whether it's a fish pond,   we have our local fire department will come over  a lot of times for our events. We give out free  

bubbles. This is the best place in the in the city  to blow bubbles from the top of the water tower.   We run tour programs. There's a beautiful green  space beside the tower so we can have, you know,   people can sit there and have picnic lunches  and then go up for their tour of the tower. 

This is really cool. One of our local  teachers has a has created Auroraman   and Auroraman actually lives in the tower, so  it's a great way to connect to local pop culture.  The water tower has become very, very sought after  for rentals for wedding photos, whether they're up   at the top or along that staircase, people love to  take wedding pictures. This is the actual internal  

staircase. This is one of the most photographed  things in our community as well, so you can   see the beauty of this internal staircase. So overall, I think you know it's similar to   you know when we talk about economic  benefits for the tower, for the Community   heritage benefits, we get to share the story about  this. And so it's really become a great tourist  

attraction for the city of Humboldt. So we charge  $5 for people to go for adults to go up the tower.  We are, we continue to fundraise, obviously  because we are working toward, we know that   we'll need to do a paint job again in the next few  years. So we're putting money away from that. So   this is one of only four towers that are  still remaining in Saskatchewan and certainly   the only one I would argue that has such a  beautiful and unique use in Saskatchewan. So   thank you very much.

Thank you, Jennifer. Thanks for  sharing the story of the amazing   job the community has done there,  creating a unique tourism resource.  So Jennifer will be staying till the end of  the hour as will Scott and Theresa for people   who have questions. So at this point, I will  just go ahead and introduce our third speaker.  Our next project has his blended, tangible and  intangible elements of Saskatchewan heritage   to create a very popular tourism experience.  So that tell us about the Southern Prairie   Railway. I'll introduce Carol Peterson, Mayor  of the town of Ogema and chairperson of the  

Ogema Heritage Railway Association.  And Carol, I will turn it over to you.  We are also   on Territory Four, the same as Regina is and  I just want to explain a little bit about the   Southern Prairie Railway as part of Obama Heritage  Railway Association. Our mission and vision   statement are to promote the history of the train  and its ties to settling Saskatchewan and also   to build a sustainable operating Railway Museum  that showcases southern Saskatchewan's diversity.   So basically what we do is people come to Ogema  and we show them how the people the settlers   came here to settle Saskatchewan. And then we  also tie in with the Deep South Pioneer Museum,   which is located in Ogema as well, which has over  33 buildings that are full of artifacts. We have  

over a million artifacts and so they can go on  the train and see how the settlers got here and   then they go to the museum and they see how they  work, played, went to school, that sort of thing.  So the inside of this school room is exactly the  same as it was back in the day. A lot of it set   in the early 1920s, the church is the church.  We've had a wedding in there, a small wedding.  

The farmhouse has all the farmhouse  stuff in it, so it gives you a feel   of the going back in time. We have a lot  of people that really enjoy it because it's   not cordoned off or anything like that.  It's all out for everybody to see.  We are one of the few places in Saskatchewan, or  maybe a lot of places in Canada even that have   two museums in our Town. We're about  383 as of our census last year. So   we're a small population, but we have two  charitable nonprofit museums in town here.   So the train idea started back in 1998. We have a  annual fair day. It's the second Saturday in July   and Sunday is a museum day.  So they kinda hinge together. 

And we decided we needed something else to do  and we had a train, a railway that went right   through Ogema, and we thought, Gee, we could use  that maybe for a train type theme and we could do   something different for Fair day, not realizing  how long it would take to get everything done.   Our train station was at the end of Main Street  but in the 1960s it was moved off and so we   wanted to make sure that we had the train station  where people could stop at, and so we found one in   Saskatchewan in Simpson that was exactly the same  as ours. And the fellow there had saved it and was   using it as grain storage. So we traded three  bins for it and we moved it to Ogema in 2003 in   two pieces. It took two days to move it, and that  cost over $6000 just for SaskPower to raise the   power line so we could get it down here. Simpson’s north of Regina about 125 kilometres.  

We're south of Regina about 125 kilometres  on Hwy. 13 between Weyburn and Assiniboia.  So we moved the train station there, we set it  down and we started renovating it. We cleaned   it all up. We painted it and scraped it. And  there's a small CPR park right beside it. So we  

landscaped that. For a fundraiser, we  sold trees there that were already there   and they were $1000 each. And then we  put plaques there for whoever wants to   put their family name on them. We also had  benches that we sold for $1000 each and the   family names were put on them as well, so it  was a good fundraiser to get some of that done.  So once we have the train station, we had it up  and running for 2005 and it was the Saskatchewan   Centennial and it was also Ogema’s homecoming.  So we had all that ready to for everyone to see.  

And so we got a lot of people and a lot of  interest on that. So once we have the train   station, we decided we needed the train. So we  looked around and we found a 1945 44-tonner in   North Conway, New Hampshire and I, oh thank  you, Marvin, there's a picture of our train. 

I'm just sharing a few things from   your website Carol, as you speak.  I appreciate it. And so we found the engine. It's  a 1945 44-tonner. It's a push-pull engine. It was   being used as a yard engine there and they were  no longer using it. And so we bought it. And the  

passenger car we found in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania  and it's uh Pullman, 1922 Pullman car. It has walk   over seats so that when we don't have any turn  around. So when the train unhooks off of one end   once we get out to Horizon it goes around on the  siding, goes on to the other end and hooks up, and   we just flip all the seats so nobody is riding  backwards 'cause nobody likes to write backwards. 

So you can see there, there's the elevator.  Some of our tours go out to Horizon   and some go to Pangman in the other direction.  So it's about 45 minutes either way.   We have the Heritage tour. We go out the  Horizon. We talk about how the elevator   functions and it's a 1922 elevator  that's there that’s still standing.   We have seven working elevators on our line,  so we're 117 kilometers here. It's a … It hauls   producer cars during the week, so we run on the  weekends and we go from June until September. 

We have a lot of different trains. We have the  kids fun train. That's very popular. We started   out with it and we started with one a month and  then it upped it to 10 in total because they sold   out quite quickly. We do food trains such as  a pitchfork fondue. We do the settler supper,   the Texas style barbecue, rum runner. And all this  is at Horizon at their Community Center there.   It's a decommissioned Roman Catholic church. And we pay to use the church so it helps them   with the fund-raising well. We pay for everybody  that goes into the elevator, so it helps with some  

of the expenses there. We pay for everybody  that rides on the rail line. We pay that to   Redcoat Road and Rail. It's a short line. It's  one of the 13 short lines in Saskatchewan.  And we have tried different trains.  It didn't work. The Starlight Tour,   the All-day train, the Sunday morning train, they  just didn't work, so we just switched them up.   The craft beer train was very popular. I  think we're going to try that again this year   and Christmas in September because  we only run from June until September   because we don't have any heat. We tried  Christmas in September and that was very good. 

So some of the positive outcomes are we had our  joint venture with the two neighboring villages.   So it helps Pangman. We do at farmers markets  there, they have the farmers market. So we go   out there and people can go to the  farmers market. It isn't very big,   but it does help the locals there. It  has increased tourism for our town.   It's nice to see a lot of people from  all over the world that are in our town.  And we have a lot of other things around town  that are heritage. We have a walking tour of Main  

Street and we have a firewall or had a firewall  and a fire hall. Last year our firewall went   down. It was 80 feet long. It was one of the  two remaining firewalls in Saskatchewan. That   was brick. It was over 100 years old and the wind  on January 19th last year and knocked it down. So   we're in the process of putting up a plaque there  wth a monument so that people can remember that   it was there and what it did for the town. It has increased the jobs around the  

for the summer jobs so that some of the younger  people can work there. It's nice to have something   different to do. It has increased the visitors  to the museum as well because each of our tickets   gets you into the museum for free. So it's a  joint venture with the museum. So again they   can come see how the settlers got there and then  go to the museum and see what they did there.  Ogema has won municipal, provincial, national and  international heritage conservation awards. We’re   quite proud of all these as we're not very big. We  went to Dongguan, China to present our community  

to the world. There was 50 communities there. We  were the smallest ones there. I was talking to the   representative from Ireland and she was talking  about all the different issues that they had.   And I said, well, you know, you have. The same issues as ask 'cause. We're   talking about water, sewer and heritage and all  that sort of thing housing. And I said you just  

have more houses than us and she says, well,  how big are you? And at that time we were 308,   and she says 380,000. And I said no, 308.  We’re now 382, so we're a lot bigger now, but   we were the smallest community there.  The 50 communities that were presenting   and we won the heritage conservation. So  basically we were less than 100 years old at   that time and we won heritage conservation.  Because what happens at the museum is when   a building on Main Street is basically  decommissioned and not being used anymore.  It's taken out to the museum and we  use it out there. That's how we got  

the 33 buildings out there. This year the  museum is celebrating its 45th anniversary,   so there's lots of heritage out there. Uh, we have a large Filipino community   in our community here. It's over  half of our school is Filipino now   and we have a lot of different jobs for them.  One of the things is the tourism, of course, and   we try and incorporate a lot of things.  We found that if long as you ask them   to the different events that they join  in with us, so it works out really good. 

We have a small governing board. We're  very fortunate that two of our Members are   in their 30s, so they're quite gung ho about all  this tech stuff. I should have let him do that   today. We also have on our board, with just the  six members, the two are the younger ones. We also   have one from each of the neighboring communities.  So we have a very diverse Board that really helps   a lot with all the things. The thing with our  project was we started in 1998 and of course   it's taken quite a few years to get it going.  In 2012 when it was Ogema’s 100th Anniversary's  

is when we had our grand opening and that's when  our train tours started. And so we've been going   every year since then and increasing visitors each  year, except for 2020, we didn't run at all, but   last year we cut back on some of our train runs.  We didn't do a lot of the specials, but we still   had 60% capacity. So we still did well. So basically, that's how Southern Prairie   Railway got started and how it affects  Ogema and the surrounding community.   I'd like to thank you Marvin for  all your help too. I appreciate it. 

Well, thank you all   for coming and telling us about it and for so  deftly adjusting on the fly like you were able   to do there, but hopefully we're able to show  enough photos to wet people’s appetites, so that   now they can go and see it for themselves so. Yes. If you go on to southernprairierailway.ca,   it's all on there and you can also book from  there. So it's quite easily to go on there and   use that website, so.  OK, great. Well, certainly invite questions from  anyone for Carol or for Jennifer or Scott. We do  

have a few minutes off still at this point, so  feel free to put something in the chat or to   raise your hands using the little icon there. I see a few things coming in here. I’ll   just look in the chat, there's a question.  Would we be able to get a copy of the webinar?  We hope to post recordings of them to our   ministry website. I'm not quite sure of the date  they will be available but I can circulate the   links out to you when those are available. And uh,  and I do you see somebody, Peggy, has a question? 

Go ahead Peggy, there you go.  OK, I think I'm unmuted. Yeah, you're good now. Thank you. It was really a question for, I think,  Jennifer from Humboldt, right? And I can't hear   you, by the way. Uh, it was a question about  I wasn't clear about the relationship between   the water tower and the city's administration. Is  it a separate organization that runs the tours or  

is it tourism or it it's that sort of thing? It's  that relationship OK, we had all these volunteers,   that wonderful work that Norm Duerr did  was incredible and all his volunteers.   But then we have this facility, which is all  done all ready for the public, beautifully done,   tremendous amount of work, but then it's the  operation of that and I don't I wasn't clear about   how that worked and how much the city was involved  in that because we have been involved with stuff   in Saskatoon. You repair something, you bring  it up. Wonderful. And then what happens, right?  Yeah, absolutely. And thank you   so much for the question, Peggy. So for sure the  water tower was saved by that group of volunteers.  

The city did provide funding throughout the years,  but really the bulk of the work for that, for that   restoration and rehabilitation was through  that volunteer committee. And then after the   anniversary, the committee decided that they would  like to give that back to the city to operate.   So then it became part of my department, which  is the Department of Cultural Services. So  

I run a museum, a gallery, the water tower,  Original Humboldt and public art. So my staff   and on the summer students actually provide the  tour programs. We run the tower as an operational   thing. Any donations for example, we're still  selling those steps. Any donations in that are   specifically put into a reserve specifically for  the water tower. So that that work can you know   be done. So the fund raising stays with them.  The city provides the staff. and that type of   thing to make sure that we have the the capacity  to run the tour program throughout the year. 

OK. Well, thank you. So   it's really a city run facility. It certainly is, but we do have we do have that  water Tower committee and we do have, you know,   we do still have people from those original  volunteers on our committee to help us. As you can   imagine, there are many idiosyncrasies of running  a water tower. And so we're really, yeah, we're  

really excited to still have those volunteers with  us that we can consult and and I and I, you know,   meet with them on a regular basis. OK, alright. So there's no funding or  anything for the Board or the committee?   There's not a formal relationship between  the committee and the city of Humboldt?.  Oh, for sure there is. So  

there's a terms of reference … Is it a formal sort of agreement or something? Yes, yes. So there's a there's a formal terms of  reference for the Humboldt Water Tower Committee,   which reports to the to the board that  I work for. So they report to the board   and then it's all done through municipal  administration and right up to City Council. 

OK.  OK, we still do have time to get   in a couple more quick ones here. I see one more  question in the chat, right on actually this could   be to any or all of you I guess and it's actually  a pretty big question, but maybe could just touch   on it very briefly. Someone is wondering what  your marketing strategies might be for any   local, provincial, national or international  tourists. Does anybody have a brief comment on   that they would like to make?  I can answer a little bit on that. What we  do is we join up with Tourism Saskatchewan  

and they have a bit of funding for it. So it helps  us to expand our tourism dollars. We go into the   South Saskatchewan guide every year and the odd  time will go into Prairies North. It covers a   lot of Saskatchewan and you see it in a lot of  doctors offices and that type of thing. And we've  

also go into the CAA Magazine in both Alberta and  Manitoba. So that's what we do as well as any time   we get to speak about our community, we do that.  OK. Thanks Carol. Ah, any of the  others wish to make a comment? I do   see another question coming. Bridget, Brigitte.  So if I can jump in here.

Yeah, sorry. Go ahead, Scott. So Tourism Saskatchewan. But then we buy  ads and or do other things that we think   might work for us. And if things don't work for  us, then they don't work for us and they go away.  

That's how it works, but for the international  market, definitely Tourism Saskatchewan has some   really good people there that really promote  us. And so we're very thankful for them that   they're the key international ones. But like  Scott says, we do … over the years we've   tried many different venues or you know different  publications and you just go with what’s the best,   the best results and of course the web, the  Internet is so amazing for opening the world to   us. So right we get lots of word of mouth.  That’s always that's always some of the best  promotion for sure. So Brigitte. We could squeeze   one more quick question in under the wire probably Leibel, Brigitte PCS  I just wanted to put a plug in that I work for the  Francophone Affairs Branch with Parks, Culture and   Sport, and we translate the Sask Tourism Guide  to French every year. So in case some of the   some of you presenters might not be aware of  that, the guide, as long as it's provided to   us from Sask Tourism, but they've been  really good at doing that every year. So  

just so just so you know, and I guess I'll just  say, I really want to get to that water tower and   the rail station. I've been to the Reesor Ranch  and it's just awesome. Just we loved it and we   booked ab evening dinner. We stayed overnight  and a ride, and yeah, it's great. So thank you.  Yeah. Thanks. So that pretty well brings us to  

the end of the webinar. There's one last comment  in the chat here that that I will second, it says   so many great things to see in Saskatchewan. Thank  you all for taking such pride in your projects,   for the work you do and sharing your wonderful  work today. And I'll second that with a big thank   you to all our presenters as well as to all the  all the attendees who joined us today. Some of  

you will be coming back for other webinars in  the series. On Thursday we’ll be hearing about   historic buildings redeveloped for business  occupancy. On Tuesday we’ll see some projects   that have broad community benefits and the final  webinar on March 10th has an archaeological theme,   including a presentation on ground penetrating  radar and there still are some late registrations   available. I’ve put the contact information for  that in the chat which I’ll leave open for a few  

minutes after we leave the meeting here, but I'll  just say again thank you and hope to see some of   you back, and enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you. Thank you. Now, it was our pleasure.  Well done guys. Thank you very much.  Thank you everyone.

2022-06-12 19:14

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