May 18th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 20
Historical society asks for help on APP barracks
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald Reporter
Legendary bootlegger Emilio Picariello was generous with his ill-gotten booze money, using some of it to enrich local citizens.

He is said to have donated the flour he used to hide his bootleg liquor to needy families in the Pass. He donated money to the area’s coal miners when they were on strike. He also bought a large quantity of victory bonds during the First World War.

And now, with the Crowsnest Historical Society moving ahead with plans to restore the old Alberta Provincial Police barracks in Coleman, the man known locally as Emperor Pic is still giving back through ongoing fascination of his tragic end.

One of the most historically significant buildings in the Pass, the barracks were the site of the shooting of Constable Stephen Lawson in 1922, which led to the hanging of Picariello and Florence “Filumena” Losandro. It was the culmination of a prohibition conflict between bootleggers and law officials, and made headlines throughout the nation.
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The Historical Society plans to install a permanent exhibit on prohibition in the barracks.

“We hope to open this as a major new provincial interpretive facility,” said Fred Bradley, chair of the Crowsnest Historical Society, in a presentation to council on May 10,” It could be a revenue generator for the museum and maybe for the rest of the community, if we do it right.”
The project is expected to cost about $760,000.

Bradley asked council to waive development and permit fees for the ongoing project to contribute $25,000 to $50,000 from the 2017 budget to cover exhibit development costs. He added the Historical Society would not need those funds if a series of fundraising initiatives are successful.
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A Canada 150 Infrastructure Program and other grants will cover some of the cost. The Crowsnest Historical Society is launching a fundraising campaign to raise $398,000 over the next two years.

“We will be aggressively pursuing fundraising for the project and hope to raise the money externally,” said Bradley. “It would give us some comfort to proceed with the exhibit development and fabrication in the fall of 2016 if we knew we would be able to count on some funding for the project from the municipality."

Calgary firm, Westwind Design and Display has won the contract to develop a permanent exhibit in the barracks while work on both the interior and exterior of the building will be awarded to local contractors. The building’s roof, chimney and foundation have already been restored.

The APP barracks was built by the international Coke and Coal Company and eventually leased to the provincial police. It acted as barracks, office space, jail and living space for Constable Lawson and his family.
May 18th ~ Vol. 85 No. 20
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