This was the family home of Fred and Amy Steeves of Hoadley. Originally a store and post office, opened in 1913, in the village of Haverigg (Hoadley was Haverigg until the railroad came that far up the Blindman Valley in 1922). Later it was moved approximately two miles by seventeen head of horses to one and one half miles east of Hoadley on highway 611.
Changes were made at that time to convert the building to a home but many traces of the past were preserved over the years. The door still shows the letter drop slot.
On December 17th, 2019 the building was moved once more from it’s location East of Hoadley to the PasKaPoo Historical Park & Smithson International Truck Museum in Rimbey.
The building itself is unique. It is built of rough– hewn logs. Many of Hoadley’s early settlers were of Scandinavian descent. We expect they might have shown their expertise in the construction of this building. Logs were put together by wooden pegs.
After the passing of Fred and Amy Steeves, the family took on the project of restoring the old house back to its original condition. It was taken off its foundation by a moving company, the siding and shingles taken off. The bottom row of logs that had deteriorated were replaced with new ones. The building was put on a new cement foundation and completely restored on the outside. The inside of the building was gutted and restored back to the pioneer days. It was an intensive restoration with tens of thousands of dollars spent on the reconstruction.
After the restoration of the House, the family opened it to the public for touring. A separate build was constructed beside the house for a tea room and Janette Oke’s writing exhibit. Janette Oke is the daughter of Fred and Amy Steeves and grew up in the house with many other siblings.
Janette’s first novel, Love Comes Softly, was published by Bethany House in 1979. She has written over seventy books for both adults and children. At last count, her books have sold thirty million copies, in sixteen languages. A total of eighteen movies have been produced based on her books. The When Calls the Heart series of books are being made into a TV series and can be seen of CBC and more recently Netflix. Her books are often set in a pioneer era and are centered on female protagonists.
In 2015 She and her family approached the Rimbey Historical Society to accept the donation of all the contents of the writing museum which was added to the collections at the Rimbey Museum.
The family also wanted to donate the Steeves House, to be brought to the Museum.
After 4 years, enough funds were raised from private donors specifically for the move of the Steeves House to the Museum.