It is no secret that I love the history of this community and think it is important to preserve it. While many communities search for a unique identity, Raymond’s identity is clear. Not only is our history important locally, but regionally, provincially and nationally. We have a stewardship over it and should protect and celebrate it. It also provides many opportunities for us as a community. Raymond’s Stampede and Heritage days is a perfect example. This event is recognized nationally as the first professional rodeo and the celebration that has grown around it is a massive boost to the local economy. We have unrealized opportunities around the unique aspects of our history. Below are some steps we should take to ensure that we are preserving, commemorating, celebrating and benefiting from our history.
- Historic sites: Establish a process for designating local historic sites and make the historic resource committee a standing council committee.
- Lead by example: Designate Town-owned historic properties, starting with the Museum building (old Town Hall) and the Stampede grounds. Then work with interested property owners to have their properties designated.
- Plaques & signage: Partner with the historical society on a plaque and signage program.
- Inventory: Partner with the historical society on a historic resource inventory database to track proposed development of historic places and assist property owners in understanding the history of their properties.
- Japanese history: Enhance the way we commemorate Japanese history in Raymond. Establish a committee to provide recommendations on how to do this. We are designated Nationally for the history of the Japanese experience in Canada and we can do more to tell this important story and how Raymond is connected to it.
- Mormon Trail: Continue to develop relationships with other Mormon Trail Communities to commemorate our shared history of Mormon settlement.
- History everywhere: Use parks and public spaces to showcase our unique history through interpretive signage or public display space. Establish a town “Naming Committee” and that reviews names for public facilities and makes recommendations to Council on facility names. Their mandate should include using names commemorate and/or celebrate our past.
- Regional collaboration: Work with the county and the other Mormon Trail Communities to protect and/or interpret sites that are significant to the history of Raymond and the region but that are not located within town boundaries (ie. sugar factory site, Knight properties, etc.).
- Tourism: Build up the commemoration of truly unique aspects of our history and work toward a long-term plan of creating destination attractions around each of them (Japanese settlement, Mormon settlement, sugar industry, stampede history, sports excellence, etc.)