The unique sandstone building features include a rough-faced sandstone exterior, bellcast hip roof and wide bracketed eaves and gable dormers. It possesses heritage value for its historic role as the main facilitator of transportation for the district and as a symbol of the centrality of the railways in opening Alberta to settlement. (Source: The National Historic Register of Historic Places). The museum (and the building) has survived a flood in 2010 and a major flood in 2013.
The station was built from materials from the 1893 Calgary CPR station. In 1911, the station was located in downtown Calgary, but was dismantled stone by stone and moved to High River on flatbed railway cars and reconstructed in High River between 1911 and 1912. It is unique because it was not built to a standardized plan. This impressive sandstone structure remains a significant local landmark in High River and an elegant model of railway design.
The CPR Station in High River was intimately related to the economic and social development of the surrounding district. In 1891, construction on a southern extension of the Calgary and Edmonton Railway line was initiated. The community expanded rapidly and in 1901 it was incorporated as a village. By 1911, it had become a stock and grain shipping centre for southern Alberta. High River’s growing importance and future promise suggested the need for an upgrade to the simple wood frame station erected in the community in 1893. The new sandstone station was completed in 1912 and became the main transportation facilitator in the district between 1912 and 1965. Improvements in highway infrastructure led to the closure of the station in 1965., though the Dayliner continued to stop at High River until 1971. (Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch) The station is a Municipal and Provincial Heritage Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Museum of the Highwood was incorporated in 1961 and named for the nearby Highwood River. The river gets its name from the tall trees that grow beside it and it was named by the Blackfoot. We welcome many visitors to our facility which includes the High River Visitor Information Centre, Archives, Research Centre and Gift Shop. Our current displays include On Location: Film in the Foothills featuring Heartland and other locally-shot films and television series; W.O. Mitchell: Folksy Foothills Philosopher and Unfair Trade: the pre-treaty whiskey trade in Southern Alberta from 1867 to 1877. Children of all ages enjoy the hand-on and family friendly Imagination Station. We offer seniors, school and group programs, walking tours and special events. The Museum of the Highwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.