Imagine a place where you can breathe in traces of our industrial heritage, learn through hands-on activities, be inspired by artistic expression, and experience the heart of community in Medicine Hat.
Medalta in the Historic Clay District is that place. Medalta is a National Historic Site that has been converted into an industrial heritage museum. Far from a static museum, Medalta is a dynamic space that activates community and inspires change. Their entire campus is the result of a dedicated restoration effort supported by the local community and all three levels of government. The result is a stunning context for dynamic experiences. Medalta is a venue for community economic development, educational programming, artistic expression and practice, and heritage preservation.
These iconic beehive kilns were used to fire pottery and built using medieval designs, relying on gravity to keep the overhead domes together. Think about that for a second… there is no mortar holding these structures together! All around the base of the kilns, you’ll also notice little archways which is where the fire entered the kilns through long gas pipes. The kilns would produce so much heat, they could make a penny evaporate! At Medalta, you can explore empty kilns, as well as one filled with all kinds of Medalta pottery from throughout the ages.
Pottery Collection (Schlachter Gallery)
These pieces represent nearly every factory that ever operated in Medicine Hat! Tony Schalchter is a prolific collector of Medicine Hat pottery, and that shows in this incredible collection of over 2,500 pieces. It all began with a nondescript chicken waterer that Tony found on his farm in 1954. Other unique pieces include “The Donkey with a Secret”, “Mini Medalta” and the unsuccessful “Beehive Insulator”. Visit the gallery and see if you can find these pieces hidden away in the gallery!
Step back in time by navigating through Medalta’s Old Factory. When this factory began operating over a century ago, a single electric engine ran through each of these rooms, connecting every machine. Now you can walk through these same spaces with our knowledgeable tour providers who will pass on all of the stories we have discovered about the Historic Clay District. Who are James Marshall and Jack Forbes? How many fires tried to burn down Medalta Potteries? How does a kiln work anyway? Find out these answers and more by joining a guided tour at Medalta!
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713 Medalta Avenue SE