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Central Alberta Regional Museums Network Online Catalogue

The Roulston Museum

The Roulston Museum is located in Carstairs, Alberta and preserves and demonstrates the history of the district. The main buildings that house the museum are the former Knox Presbyterian Church and the two-story McCaig House.

The McCaig House

Henry Wise Wood collection

The McCaig House was built by George A. McCaig, although he and his family only lived there for one year before moving back east. In 1911, Murl and Jenny Riddle took possession and lived there for one year. In the years that followed, the house was modified for use as a granary and served that purpose for decades.

It was decided that this house should be preserved because of its history and uniqueness as a two-story pioneer dwelling. With funding from the Historical Society and private donations, the structure was moved to its present location beside the museum in 1988. Nearly 300 hours of volunteer labour, along with donations of doors, windows, shiplap siding, tar paper, and many more items from other old buildings went into the restoration project.


On 20 July 1991 the official opening ribbon was cut by Mrs. Hazel Fraser, a granddaughter of George Alexander McCaig.

Knox Presbyterian Church Museum Building:

The former Knox Presbyterian Church, which was built in 1901, is the home of the Roulston Museum. The first service at the Knox Presbyterian Church was held on 15 July 1901, and the Revered J.T.S. Ferguson from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario presided. Over the eighty-four years that the church was open, eighteen different ministers led the congregation. The last service was held on 30 June 1985 and was officiated by Revered R. Richie. During its years as an active Presbyterian Church, over seventy-five couples took their marriage vows before the altar, and, even today, couples can hold their wedding in the church’s quaint interior which seats 100 people comfortably.

Firemans duty coat and belt

In January 1988 the church was designated a Registered Historical Site by Alberta Culture and Multiculturalism. The building is preserved as an example of an early Pioneer Church. Visitors can sit in the pews and be transported back in time as they view the many religious and historical artefacts on display.

Adjoining the church is Roulston Hall, which is named after the minister who was involved in its being built in 1959, but who passed away before its completion. Today, the 850 square foot hall is part of the museum’s main display area and the museum itself is named in Reverend Roulston’s honour. The Roulston Museum displays hundreds of artefacts from the early years of life on the prairie and in the small town of Carstairs. A large collection of photographs that record the passing of the years in the community is on permanent display.

The Reminisce program

Dominion dolls

For the past several years Roulston Museum has been running a speakers program called Reminisce. The program occurs every second Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. from Victoria Day to Labour Day. The invited speakers are usually long-standing members of the community. They tell the audience about their memorable moments, often using stories, pictures, and personal artifacts. Presentations last about an hour and there is an audience question period that follows. Admission is free and coffee, tea, and home baked cookies are offered for a very low price.

Hours and Admission:
May long weekend – September long weekend
Tuesday – Sunday, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

September 15 – May
Wednesday – Thursday, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Admission by donation

Roulston Museum
Box 1067
1138 Nanon Street
Carstairs, Alberta
T0M 0N0
Phone: (403) 337–3710
Fax: (403) 337–3343
Email: cdhs@telusplanet.net

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