Namao's new escape room gives visitors a blast from the past.
Run by the owner of Johnny's Store, LOCKED is a historical escape room that tells five different stories of real people, most of which have roots in the Sturgeon County area.
"Everybody loves the history of Johnny's Store and the area itself," said owner Amanda Dube. "I think it's because everybody loves the opportunity to be a part of something old and unique."
In order to create the escape rooms, Dube had to spend a lot of time researching each of the people and their stories. Some of her inspiration came from Namao Connections, a book that talks about local historical families and their hardships.
The biggest room, Love and War, tells the story of Anna and Matthew, a couple before WWII. It focuses on them dealing with their relationship apart from each other.
The second room is The Farmhouse. It is the story of Argentine, who came over from England with her family to live on a farm, and the struggles she faced dealing with Canadian winters for the first time.
Sarah stars in the Schoolhouse room. She is a new teacher in the 1920s and the room is filled with puzzles, as she attempts to teach kids from kindergarten to Grade 8 in one space.
The last open room is the The '50s Kitchen, which is the story of Johnny and June. The room is a humorous one that follows their relationship and goes into their connection with Johnny's Store.
Dube plans to have the final room, The Saloon, open in June.
"What makes LOCKED unique and so original is that it ties in history," Dube explained. "You really leave with a sense of knowledge that you've just done something fun and educational."
Each room will change every six months. When the rooms change, their new plot will continue following the same characters, as if a new chapter in a book.
Nearly all the props in the house are authentic. Dube was able to find them at various stores and through donations.
"If you're in a room, you love a piece and there is a price tag on it, you can actually take it home," she added. "It becomes part of a story that you carry on into your own home."
The total cost of creating LOCKED was around $20,000. The escape room officially opened on February 1.
Johnny's Store first opened in 1902 and has been featured in multiple TV shows and movies.
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