Welcome to Sheppard Family Park

A Southern Alberta Pioneer Life Showcase

Sheppard Family Park is Ruth Maccoy's 13.6 acre homestead. On her death in 1995, Ruth gave the land and its buildings to the people of High River, Alberta.

Ruth wanted a group, referred to in her will as The Friendship Group, to own and operate the Park for High River residents. The friendship group declined so High River Rotary took the challenge under the direction of Gordon Barker who formed the Sheppard Family Park Society in 1996 and set about preserving and developing the park.

The Park celebrates High River history, especially the 1880's to 1920's.

Location and Open Season

Sheppard Family Park is located at the corner of 12th Ave. and 5th St. SE High River.

The park is open for day use only from May 1st to October 31st.

The Flood

Sheppard Family Park was inundated by flood waters during our big flood in June of 2013. There was lots of damage and our volunteers have been working hard to bring the park back to its glory. However, most of our volunteers had their own homes to rebuild as well and at the moment the park has no paid staff at all.

Fixing the Schoolhouse to get Ready for Move

Here is a picture of our schoolhouse. The flood picked the whole building up and slammed it against a couple of thankfully sturdy trees. This photo shows people making the repairs necessary to move the School House back on a new foundation.

The inside of the building has two big holes in the floor. All the desks need repair and cleaning... you get the idea. The short story is our popular school program is on hold until at least Spring of 2016.

All our buildings and the grounds had some flood damage but our incredible volunteers are working hard to get things back in order.

Park Features and Status

  • Ruth's Cabin - originally built in 1883 by Alex Bell. This was Ruth's home for 70 years. The cabin is in pretty good shape but all the drainage areas are plugged with silt. Best solution is to raise the structure about 18 inches.
  • Ruth's Garden - this lovely flower show was covered in a fairly thick layer of silt. Volunteers are digging out the pathways and working to remove the quack grass.
  • Little Bow School House - used as a one room schoolhouse from 1904 to 1939, this building was moved to the park in 1999. It has been moved back to its location on a new foundation but needs major repairs to its floor and the furniture. School Program on hold.
  • MacDougall House - this home was built in 1899 and moved to the park from downtown High River in 2001. It needs substantial repairs so is not available for day use at this time.
  • The Munroe Barn - was built in 1913 on a farm near Milo. It was moved on to the site in 2005. The lower level was inundated during the flood but has been repaired and now houses much of our collection. The upper level is available for rental for events for up to 110 people.
  • The Community Garden and Root Cellar - the 28 large 20 x 20 foot plots along with the four smaller 12 x 15 foot plots are all taken for this year.
  • The Picnic Area and Playground -

Special Events

Old Time Threshing Bee - Saturday September 9th, 2017

The Threshing Bee is back. The last two years our biggest event had to be cancelled. But plans are underway to bring it back this fall. The crop has already been planted and it's up.

Our Volunteers

The Park is run and maintained by volunteers. Any day you visit the Park you're liable to see one or other of the people doing odd jobs and generally keeping track of things at the park.

Volunteers also run our school programs and give tours of the buildings on site.

Registered Charity

The Sheppard Family Park Society is a registered charity so your donation are tax deductible.

Tours and park use by individuals and families is free. However leaving a donations will be very helpful to our ongoing success. You can tuck them into the wishing well next to the ramp by the Munroe Barn.

Fees are charged for renting the buildings. At the moment the only building available for rental is the Munroe Barn. Check our Barn Rental page for rates and more info.

All fees and donations are put toward maintaining and developing the Park.
We are also looking for donations of certain equipment and are currently on the lookout for a church that might be suitable for the Park.

Contact us at (403) 652 1128