Visitors to Big Valley who have come to see the events of Rails and Tales 2017, may also be interested in a number of sites within the Village of Big Valley, itself. For a tiny community, it is packed with things to see and do.
Visitors arriving at the village by train will first see the Big Valley Station, located in the former 1912 CNR Depot, a Provincial Heritage Resource, featuring photos and artifacts pertinent to the local area history. Walking up Main Street, very few people will miss the Jimmy Jock Boardwalk, a western-flavoured boardwalk housing a fudge shop, a custom cowboy hat shop, tea room and art gallery. Continuing north, the village’s original 1914 jailhouse has been restored to show visitors just what a real jailhouse is like. Further along, Memorial Park, which also has a cenotaph, is a wonderful place to sit and relax. At the top of the hill, St. Edmond’s Church (also known as “the little blue church on the hill”) is a landmark 1916 Anglican church, and a Provincial Heritage Site.
Leaving Main Street, be sure to visit the Vintage Tool and Collectable Museum, known to be the largest collection of hand tools in Canada (possibly North America!). It also displays a significant collection of china, dolls and historic toys. Big Valley Historical Society’s McAlister Motor Museum houses many interesting artifacts of the Big Valley region as well as vintage autos and tractors. The Creation Science Museum provides information on creation science. The Oil Well Pumper Display donated by Gulf Canada is a symbol of Big Valley’s oilfield history, and the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame houses everything you wanted to know about the railway, and more. Finally, there is a children’s playground for kids and parents to take a break in all the busy events.
Returning to Railway Avenue, check out the Roundhouse, another Provincial Heritage Resource. These historic ruins are a favorite for all train enthusiasts to visit. And last, don’t forget to go to the Elevator, a third Provincial Heritage Resource, for a tours of a working elevator.