Surrounded by rural Rocky View County and the neighbouring communities of Irricana and Acme is a small village often passed without much notice on a journey to other destinations.
While Beiseker may not be thought of as a travel destination hotspot, the village boasts some great attractions to travellers passing through this summer, including a historic museum, centennial park, and campground.
This summer provides the perfect time to visit Beiseker, as the village is celebrating its centennial in myriad ways throughout the year.
Founded in the early 20th century as an agricultural service centre and incorporated as a village in 1921, much of Beiseker’s agricultural origins can still be seen today at the Beiseker Station Museum, situated within a historic Canadian Pacific Rail train station.
The museum includes exhibits, an authentic CP Rail caboose and a replica of a sod house created in 2006, with the aim of providing guests a glimpse into the lives of early settlers. According to Beiseker Mayor Warren Wise, visitors have come from as far as Louisiana to witness the one-of-a-kind settler home.
“It’s not heavily advertised but the word has spread and people over the years have found it pretty interesting,” he said.
Visitors are welcome to the museum year-round, with curators available to provide tours in July and August for a particularly unique experience. According to Jeannette Richter of the Beiseker Station Museum Society, the museum will be hosting a special centennial exhibit for visitors this summer. The museum is also planning on putting up signs throughout the village commemorating historic businesses and sites around town from the last 100 years in honour of its centennial, she added.
Wise noted that each year in early June, the Village of Beiseker hosts a summer celebration including a parade and a car show. With the centennial in mind, this year was slated to be the village's biggest celebration yet. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 health restrictions, all in-person centennial celebrations have been postponed until next year.
Despite this, visitors can still enjoy checking out Beiseker’s new centennial park, located in the centre of town, with a public washroom shaped like a grain elevator. Funded by grants and donations, initial construction on the park was completed last fall and it is now open to the public year-round.
Wise added that recent additions to the park have included a parking lot, gazebo and landscaping. Phase 1 of the park’s construction is nearing completion and there are future plans for additional phases to the park.
“[Plans include] various things to make it a spot where people can stop in and have a lunch hour or just a break from travelling,” he said. “I don’t envisage [Beiseker] to be a destination place, but rather a stopping place where you can enjoy yourself.”
He added that Beiseker’s central location on the crossroads of Highway 9 and Highway 72 makes the village a prime location for weary travelers needing a rest break. Those driving east to Drumheller from Calgary, in particular, have an easy reason to stop by and see what Beiseker has to offer, as it is en-route.
Along with its historic offerings, the village also has an active campground facility that includes lots with power, water, and sewer available.
While construction of the Meadowlark Trail – a 7.5-kilometre walking and cycling path connecting Beiseker and nearby Irricana – has not yet been completed, Wise said he expects the pathway to be “quite the tourist attraction” this fall.
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