Last weekend Andrew and I finally went to check out the Niverville Historical Space. They don’t call it a museum, but it seemed kind of like one to me! Come on, I’ll show you around, and you can decide whether its “historical space” name is apt.
First stop, a Métis-made Red River ox cart replica on display outside the Niverville Centennial Arena. It’s here because Niverville is a stop along the Crow Wing Trail, which had been the original “highway” of the area in the mid-1800s.
Then we went inside the arena to find the historical space. First, we noticed these (probably concrete) orbs outside the arena, each painted in a unique way. This one depicts the Mennonite Landing site, which is only a few miles away from Niverville.
Once inside the arena, we quickly saw a sign pointing upstairs to the historical space. This is most unusual for an arena!
Upon our arrival on the second floor, the first thing that caught my eye was this gorgeous piece of art by Candace Lipischak who lives nearby in Otterburne.
You need to see it in person, up close, to catch all the detail, such as bone, rust, and braid.
There are evocative murals in the historic space as well, which tell the story of the region.
Here I’m reading about the arrival of the Mennonites, which happened nearby at the junction of the Rat and Red Rivers.
Also, I think this is the only museum/historical space that documents the legendary Niverville Pop Festival of 1970, wherein masses of young people crowded onto a local farmer’s field, got stuck, and were helped out by local citizens.
All in all, this space offers a thoughtful, bite-size snapshot of the history of this exact area. It’s entirely free to explore this space, would probably only take you about 20 minutes, and is well worth the visit.