Western Development Museum Has a Lot Going on in 2018

 Waterous Steam Roller, built in 1914, is one of the newest additions to the WDM.

Waterous Steam Roller, built in 1914, is one of the newest additions to the WDM.

Nick Murray

 The Observatory was constructed in 1913 in the roof of Central Collegiate in Regina. 

The Observatory was constructed in 1913 in the roof of Central Collegiate in Regina. 

There is a lot of stuff going on at the Western Development Museum.

Karla Rasmussen, the Education/Public Programs Coordinator, told MJ Independent, as she guided us around the WDM "we've got Heritage Day coming up and the Model Train Show and the Atamiskakewak Gathering. That runs for a whole week at the end of April. It utilizes the outside picnic grounds. They set up a teepee. There will be a Powwow and a lacrosse tournament."

They really do have a lot planned for 2018 though; including the Thunder Creek Model Train Show (Mar 24-25), Atamiskakewak Gathering (April 22-28), Brickspo (July 28-29), Ghostly Games (Oct 27) all the way to A Christmas Long Ago (Dec 15-22). WDM can also be counted on for Easter Fun, Canada Day, Saskatchewan Day, Heritage Dey and both Mother's and Father's Day.

Among all the great things you can view at the WDM is the Canada 150, #SaskInspired exhibit that hosts some of the coolest things you might not realize were created or first used in Saskatchewan. The ATM machine, for one, which was first used at Sherwood Credit Union in Regina, in 1976, and Girl Guide cookies, which were also invented in Regina, in 1927.

 Fred Summach's "Moon Rocket"

Fred Summach's "Moon Rocket"

The WDM is also the home of the "Moon Rocket", one of the the first two super-stock tractor pulling tractors in the province. It was built by a farmer near Asquith named Fred Summach.

It's got a Snowbirds lounge, a de Havilland Hummingbird, a Ford Model T and a room full of classic cars, a Gipsy Moth Bi-plane, an H-10 Red Pheasant, a Chinook Hovercraft and a T-33 Silver Star. But, of all the fantastic pieces of machinery Karlas's favourite piece is the CF-Sam. "It became my favourite artifact when I saw it in a National Film Board film" she said , "It was an operational Air Ambulance and in the film I watched it pick somebody up on a farm near Tuxford. It's incredible to see what they did with the resources they had at the time. I saw something working, in real life, that I'd only seen in galleries before".

 The CF-Sam, an early air ambulance, is Karla's favourite artifact

The CF-Sam, an early air ambulance, is Karla's favourite artifact

The most popular artifact, Karla added, "is definitely the the railway coach. It's pretty rare that you can touch things in a museum, so to have a piece that kids can walk in and out of is pretty special".

 A 1934 Buick converted into a railcar sitting in front of the most popular item at the WDM, a 1945 railway coach, that was once used to carry returning soldiers.

A 1934 Buick converted into a railcar sitting in front of the most popular item at the WDM, a 1945 railway coach, that was once used to carry returning soldiers.

The WDM recently wrapped up a volunteer drive that introduced 13 new sign-ups, who will do their orientations this weekend. But Karla encourages people to sign up whenever they like. "There is definitely a lot of opportunity for people who want to get involved" she said.

Volunteers get to work on and learn about the steam engines, they can even operate Line 101, which will once again be running the track outside the WDM building. They are also looking for engineers to run their 1914 Vulcan Steam Locomotive, conductors to punch tickets and assist passengers, maintenance crews to maintain tracks and coaches, as well as special events volunteers, educational assistants, tour guides, interpreters, gallery ambassadors, office workers and poster volunteers. Karla made a point of stressing how valuable volunteers are to the WDM. without them, the place likely wouldn't operate. 

"Volunteers can learn to drive a lot the vehicles too" Karla emphasized.

 Steam Locomotive 2634 was built in 1913 and used for passenger service until the late 1950s

Steam Locomotive 2634 was built in 1913 and used for passenger service until the late 1950s

Currently, WDM is hosting a travelling exhibit called Our Collective Threads, that showcases clothing styles worn over the centuries in different areas of the world

For more information check out https://www.wdm.ca/mj.html

Heritage Day will be held on February 10th