REGINA – The historic museum in the Village of Pelly, Saskatchewan, northeast of Yorkton went up in flames Saturday afternoon and the RCMP believe the blaze was deliberately set.
“This is a big loss to our community,” said Mayor Sharon Nelson.
The museum was closed Saturday for the village’s annual jamboree and thankfully no one was hurt. Nearby residences were evacuated as a precaution as volunteer firefighters and local farmers worked to put out the blaze.
The museum and the adjacent train boxcar were destroyed.
Nelson said thousands of historic artifacts, including a replica of the old Pelly fort, have been loss. The museum celebrated its 40th anniversary last summer.
“They have a phenomenal board that works hard to keep it going and they just did tons and tons of renovations to the museum,” said Nelson. “It was for sure well maintained and up-kept and it was just gorgeous.”
According to the village website, the museum was located in Pelly’s old high school, built in 1912, and is named for the historic Hudson Bay Fort Pelly and for the location of Fort Livingstone.
Nelson said the building was considered a heritage site.
No charges have been laid as the investigation continues. No one was hurt in the incident.