Our next stop on the Heartland Tour has us shooting for the stars in Bruderheim!

First incorporated as a village in 1908, the town of Bruderheim gets its name from two German words that translate into "home of the brother" in English. Bruderheim was upgraded to town status in September of 1980.

The most recent census count of Bruderheim puts the town at just over 1,300 people, a 13 per cent increase from its previous count in 2011.

The town has come a long way since its inception.
 
"We moved in here in Bruderheim in 1976, and I was born and raised in Edmonton. So when we first moved here, it was a bit of a culture shock for me. My first purchase was rubber boots because there was no pavement on the roads, so we had to manoeuvre and a harness for my 18-month-old daughter because the dogs were running wild," said Carolyne Olechow, a longtime resident of Bruderheim.
 
"But I've seen the town grow throughout the years, and now I can wear sandals and no harness for my grandchildren."
 
The town's greatest claim to fame is the Bruderheim meteor. Just after 1 a.m. on March 4, 1960, a bright fireball, which could be seen from as far as British Columbia, tore through the earth's atmosphere. The meteorite landed and detonated, sending a shock wave that could be heard from 5,000 kilometres away, shaking the foundation of homes in the area.

Once news broke that a meteorite had fallen, people came from all around to search by air and land for pieces of it. The first meteorite fragment was found by a local farmer, Nick Broda, in his barnyard.
 
Nearly 700 pieces of the meteorite were found, with a total weight of over 660 pounds, making it the largest recovered fall in the country's history. Fragments of the Bruderheim meteor can be found in places like the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Vatican Meteorite Collection.

Residents of Bruderheim say the town is very volunteer-oriented; most groups and clubs are volunteer-run, like the Agricultural Society, which is instrumental in getting things done, including the town's community gardens built this year.
 
"Bruderheim works together to get things done," Olechow continued.

She added that Bruderheim today is a great place to live and raise a family because of the 'wonderful people that live here,' it's small, and it's easy to get to know your neighbours. Olechow describes the town as a place where you feel like you don't have to stress or wonder what will happen next.
 
The town also has some industry moving into the area, with a hemp plant opening up near the end of 2021, which should add more employment opportunities to the town.