The museum building was constructed in 1939 as a Mennonite Brethren Church and is now a designated Alberta Historical Resource.
Coaldale was the site of the first Mennonite Brethren Church in Alberta, and the museum building is the second church constructed after the congregation grew too large for the first.
In 1972, the church was sold to a local businessman, and the building spent some time as a cement factory.
A large hole was made in the church sanctuary floor to accommodate the factory equipment.
The building was sold again and sat empty for a number of years until 1995, when local Coaldale resident Erna Goertzen approached the Town of Coaldale and proposed that they buy the building for use as a museum.
The Gem of the West Museum Society was formed to oversee the new museum, and Erna was its first President.
Extensive renovations were necessary to restore the building.
The hole in the floor was filled in enough to make the space useable as a museum, but was retained in part as an important feature of the building’s history.
Today, in addition to the museum, the building also serves as a venue for public programs and events, private rental events and functions, and as an office for the Town of Coaldale Community Services Department.