Jack Hamilton and Jean Burman on the steps of the former Normal School during Brandon’s Open Doors event on Saturday. (ROBIN BOOKER/BRANDON SUN)
The 11th annual Open Doors, presented by Heritage Brandon, was held on Saturday and Sunday.
"It’s a really good opportunity for people in Brandon to see some of the historic homes and business that they might not otherwise have the chance to see, and also learn about Brandon’s history," said Emily Cuggy, administrative assistant for Brandon’s Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee.
Lorraine Walker of Brandon was happy to have the chance to see inside the former Normal School because her mother studied to become a teacher there back in the 1920s.
"I only recently realized that the school she went to is still around, so this is exciting for me," Walker said. "She went on to teach in Lorette for a while, but she didn’t teach after she was married because married woman often didn’t work out of the home back then."
Jean Burman, who lives at Crocus Gardens, which is across the street from the former Normal School, sees the outside of the old school every day and was happy to see what was inside.
"I watch the people coming to this building and they always have to park in the same spot — they can’t just park anywhere. I thought I’d come over to see what’s going on in this building," Burman said.
Each year, Heritage Brandon chooses 13 buildings that were not on the tour the previous year for people to explore free of charge. Building are chosen based on their architecture style, historically significance or because the people who lived in the homes had an important role in Brandon’s development.
A group of people inside the former C.P.R. Depot were surprised that the old railway station was part of Open Doors because the entire inside of the building, aside from the staircase that used to lead down to the tracks, has been completely changed by renovations and was off limits to the tour.
The Open Doors event also included a historical guided bus tour as well as a murder and mayhem guided walking tour.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition July 16, 2012