The Grace Methodist Church and manse are built; Rev. E. J. Chegwin is the first minister
Restorations – 13 Years in the Making
The original layout of the home was preserved as were many of the original materials. The museum-side of the house was restored with lath & plaster walls and period appropriate fir flooring. Upstairs, the original painted fir flooring was restored. Most of the original baseboards, trim, and some of the doors were restored. Several non-original windows on the main floor were removed entirely while others were re-installed in their original locations. Upstairs, the window that had been added on the landing was removed along with the dormer window on the north side of the roof. The most important restoration inside the house was the relocation of the period staircase. Once the stairs had been moved back to their original location at the front of the house, the Society debated for over a year on how to appropriately restore the staircase so it would suit the style of the home and its new use as a museum. Additionally, the plumbing, electrical, and heating were updated throughout the house.
The exterior also underwent several restorations as well. The cedar shingles on the roof were replaced along with some of the sheeting underneath, and a new brick chimney was re-constructed. The porch and portico had been removed when the new foundations were poured and had to be completely rebuilt. Much of the original siding was restored and the entire building was painted a bright white with brown trim. The porch was painted a grey-blue to match the original painted floors upstairs. Additionally, a local sign painter was commissioned to create a free-standing sign to put in the yard out front.
Thoughtful consideration was also given to the artifacts that were acquired to furnish the museum. Furniture and other artifacts were acquired from Roland Michener, the Red Deer Museum, the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, and local residents. One special piece that came to the museum later is the pump organ that was purchased for the Grace Methodist Church in 1906. Roland and his siblings donated numerous artifacts and furniture pieces to the museum, including original artwork done by Mary Michener, Edward and Mary’s three-piece oak bedroom suite, Roland’s boyhood dresser, and a clock that was gifted to Edward and Mary at their wedding in 1897. Roland also donated numerous items from his personal collection that tell the story of his time as Speaker of the House of Commons and Governor General.
The Michener House Museum officially opened to the public on May 25, 1984. The opening ceremonies included speeches from Roland Michener, Lacombe Mayor Charles Budd, MLA Ron Moore, and a representative of the Alberta Heritage Resource Foundation. Roland also cut the ribbon at the ceremony with a boy scout knife. After the ceremony, the public was invited to tour the museum for the first time.
Provincial & Municipal Designation
As an important representation of Lacombe’s residential history, the Michener House became a Designated Provincial Historic Resource on June 28, 1977. On September 24, 2016 it became a Municipal Historic Resource. The Michener House is among fourteen buildings and monuments in Lacombe that have been designated historic resources either by the Province of Alberta or the City of Lacombe. Six buildings are Designated Provincial Historic Resources. Five buildings are Registered Historic Resources. Six buildings and one monument are Municipal Historic Resources. These classifications aid in the preservation of the building and the important history they hold.