Monday, August 01, 2011

Sukanen Ship Museum

This morning we attempted to visit the famous tunnels of Moose Jaw, but part way through the first tour Sam got really scared (understandably as someone was yelling at us since we were in the role of Chinese immigrants to Canada in the early 1900s) and we had to bow out of the tour. We'll have to try the tours (and the spa!) again when it's just an "adult visit" to Moose Jaw.

So we headed off to the Sukanen Ship Museum instead. We had heard a bit about it -- that it commemorated the efforts of an eccentric Finnish immigrant to build a ship on the prairies, which he then planned to sail back to Finland -- but, beyond that, we really didn't know what to expect. As with the train museum near Saskatoon, we were pleasantly surprised. The museum's creators had assembled a restored village around Tom Sukanen's ship, and so the site was a combination of a tribute to Sukanen's ship, a trip back to rural southern Saskatchewan in the early 1900's, and a hodgepodge of antique items of all shapes and sizes.

Sam was thrilled about riding an old tractor sitting outside the museum's entrance.

Some buildings in the restored village

The ship itself, and a small chapel built in Sukanen's memory. The ship was built mainly using tools created by Sukanen, who was well known as a creative inventor and craftsman.

The site also contained a few old fire engines, which Sam was able to drive

Another neat thing about the site is that it was very close to the landing strip that the Snowbirds (the Canadian Air Force's aerial acrobatics team) use to practice. Thus, we had planes flying over our heads constantly, and had lots of opportunities for pictures.

One last feature of the site is that it was home to John Deifenbaker's family homestead. This included several small log houses, which were filled with various bits of memorabilia.

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