At 88, Bob McMinn isn’t one to shy away from a hard day’s work — especially if he’s doing something for his beloved Highlands.
McMinn has owned property in the Highlands since 1952, and was the inaugural mayor after it was incorporated in 1993.
Most recently, McMinn has put his muscle — and his money — into a community effort to create the Highlands Museum. An old building has been pulled apart and its bare bones expanded to house relics of the area’s past.
“We don’t have a great deal, but we’re hoping that, once it’s open, other things will come in,” McMinn said.
The prized items so far are the First World War medals earned by Harold Pike, grandson of Caleb Pike, a pioneering Highlands resident and the namesake of Caleb Pike Heritage Park, where the museum is located.
The 1.2-hectare heritage park also includes Caleb Pike House — the Pike family home — and a vintage one-room school affectionately known as the Little Red Schoolhouse.
McMinn said the complete records of the school, which was open from 1893 to 1941, are still intact.
A carpenter has been hired to do the bulk of the work on the museum, with McMinn and other volunteers pitching in on a regular basis. Much of the wood used so far has come from McMinn’s land.
If all goes according to plan, the building will be complete by the end of March and a provincial government grant of $30,000 will be in hand. McMinn estimates the overall cost of the museum project will be about $60,000, all of which he has fronted.
“My contribution if things work out with the grant will be $30,000,” he said. “I’m hoping that will cover it.”
Donations to the museum can be made through the Highlands Heritage Park Society or the Highlands municipal office.
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