History restored

Locals explore the new additions to Heritage Shipyard

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

Marilyn Louie with her son Rue Rollorate, 7, stand in front of Radium Scout at Heri- tage Shipyard on August 1. As one of the seven vessels available to explore at the Shipyard, this boat has sailed as far as the Arctic Circle.

Marilyn Louie with her son Rue Rollorate, 7, stand in front of Radium Scout at Heritage Shipyard on August 1. As one of the seven vessels available to explore at the Shipyard, this boat has sailed as far as the Arctic Circle.

The Heritage Shipyard brought plenty of new discovery to Fort McMurray residents with its newly designed exhibits, name changes and train cars to explore on August 1.

“Heritage Shipyard captures the history and the stories of Fort McMurray, when we were a true transportation hub for the North,” said Roseann Davidson, Executive Director of the Fort McMurray Heritage Society. “With the new exhibits and an enriched visitor experience, we’re able to demonstrate the vitality and diversity of our community.”

Marilyn Louie spent the afternoon at the Shipyard with her seven-year-old son Rue Rollorata, who was also enjoying a bag of newly purchased old-fashioned salt water taffy.

After arriving back home on July 4, Louie said they were busy checking out the tourist attractions in Ontario during the evacuation and wanted to continue the trend back in Fort McMurray.

“I brought him here today for something different to do,” she said. “It is better, than last year. And there’s a lot more here now to see.”

The on-site train is the newest addition to the Shipyard and consists of a NAR Comboose 303 and the NAR Caboose 13002, which was built in 1926.

Inside, residents can explore through the history of the railway and learn how people once took regular nine-day-long train rides from Waterways to Edmonton. The train also sits beside a new canopy-covered deck for residents to relax and enjoy.

The FMHS reopened the Shipyard on Heritage Day by also introducing their new name and identity. Once-called Heritage Park, the Society made the decision to rebrand itself shortly after the Park’s devastation from the 2013 floods.

“Rather than looking inwards, it saw the effort to rebuild also as an opportunity to rebrand. The organization is now the Fort McMurray Heritage Society (formerly known as the Fort McMurray Historical Society). Its two cultural destinations are now called Heritage Village and Heritage Shipyard,” as stated in a recent release.

The Heritage Shipyard will remain opened daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., until September and is located at 8405 Prairie Loop Boulevard. Restoration work at Heritage Village will be completed later this fall.

– Connect Weekly –