“I’m just hoping that we don’t always have to tear stuff down. We can fix up what we already have and make it a house that people want to be in.” – Michelle Taylor
The Prince Albert Historical Society is hosting its first ever Historic Homes Tour to fundraise for two reconstruction projects.
Last month, the Historical Society launched a campaign in hopes to raise the $200,000 it needs to reconstruct the city’s oldest buildings: the Nisbet Church and the Blockhouse. They used to sit in Kinsmen Park, but had to be torn down in 2018 because they were deteriorating.
To reach this goal, members are hosting a tour of five historic homes on Oct. 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. Guests will drive to each of the homes at their leisure, where a Historical Society member will be to answer questions.
Tickets cost $25 in advance or $30 the day of the event if they’re not sold out. The Historical Society only has 100 tickets available and about 40 have been purchased already.
“We’re hoping people just take away an appreciation for the buildings that are in Prince Albert,” said Michelle Taylor, the Historical Society’s manager and curator.
“There’s a huge amount of built history in the city and I’m just hoping that we don’t always have to tear stuff down. We can fix up what we already have and make it a house that people want to be in.”
One of the homes is located at 14 23rd St. E. Taylor said it was built around 1912.
James Cowherd, the manager of the CN Telegraph Office at the time, purchased the house in 1953 and lived in it until the 1970s. He also developed the house to have three units so he could use it as a rental space.
The house at 2116 6th Ave. W. is called Villa Bianca. It was built between 1912 and 1913.
It was home to John Sibbald, the father of Hugh Sibbald, who was the mayor of Prince Albert in the 1930s.
All ticket holders will be entered to win a one-night stay at Red Pine Bed and Breakfast, which is one of the houses on the tour. It’s located at 313 19th St. W.
Taylor said some of the houses on the tour have been renovated, while some remain the same as when they were built.
Photos, food and beverages are not permitted inside the homes. The Historical Society will provide refreshments and bathrooms at the museum on 10 River St. E. Children under 12 years old are also not allowed on the tour.
Taylor said the Historical Society has a long way to go before reaching their $200,000 goal to reconstruct the Nisbet Church and the Blockhouse.
However, some large donations have been rolling in, including $1,000 from community volunteer Gail Syverson and $800 from Ward 5 Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick.
“The residents of Prince Albert value what the Historical Society is trying to do within the city and to keep these historic buildings around,” said Taylor, thanking those who have donated.
“I’m really proud of the position that I’m in at the museum to bring that forward and that people acknowledge and see the benefit of what the Historical Society is doing.”
To donate to the reconstruction fundraiser, call (306) 764-2992 or visit their GoFundMe page called ‘Reconstruct the church and blockhouse.’
Donations over $20 will be issued a tax receipt.