Like all towns in southern Alberta, Claresholm has a history and a story all its own. The Claresholm and District Museum has been the gatekeeper, guardian, and advocate of that story since 1969, and displays it proudly and interactively in a multi-building complex at the centre of town.
Comprised of a 1912 sandstone train station, an 8,000 square foot Exhibit Hall, Claresholm’s first one-room school, a 1920s log cabin, and a retired Canadian Pacific Railway caboose, the Claresholm and District Museum offers a multifaceted journey into the past. A visit to the grounds reveals many intriguing and wonderfully surprising aspects of the town’s historical fabric. Like how the introduction of the railway influenced growth in the area, how thousands of pilots lived and trained here during World War II and for NATO, how homesteaders and ranchers lived and helped establish the town, and why colourful characters like Louise McKinney, a political activist, fighter for women’s rights, and one of Canada’s Famous Five, called Claresholm her home.
Permanent exhibits include displays on Aboriginal history, local ranching, the Northwest Mounted Police, farming, military and aviation history, and early town life. But things at the museum are continually evolving, so it’s always a good idea to stop in to see what’s new.