We had a special visitor to the museum last week… a beautiful fox was taking a break in our pole shed when I went out to measure a plow. What a treat to see this creature! I’ll have to measure the plow another warm day, as I wanted to give the fox some space. It was a great reminder to just take a step back from the busy whirlwind of life and enjoy a special moment.
Busy whirlwind certainly describes life behind the museum these days. Though I have a reprieve from grant writing for a bit, we’re playing catch up with donated items and with archival inquiries. We have had an 87% increase in requests to our archives in the last three months over the first seven months of the year! I’m so thankful for our archives volunteers who help me respond to these inquiries. It looks like we are going to have more than double the number of lots of items this year over last year as many residents of the North Peace are taking this time as an opportunity to clean house.
We are in the midst of writing signs for the outside of the Allen House as well as several large pieces of equipment in our yard. This equipment includes Austin Hadland’s 1939 Model D 30 International Truck, Andy Copeland’s/Steve Quinn’s 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck, the Hadland family’s root grader (made by Baldonnel Blacksmith Harold Richards), and the Epp family sulky plow.
In Their Shoes: This free exhibit at the North Peace Regional Airport looks at five pairs of shoes and their four owners (or makers). Discover the stories these shoes can tell about Nurse Anne (Roberts) Young, softball player Freda Murphy, BC Police/RCMP Constable Robert Miller, and moccasin maker May Dominic Apsassin. Student Beci Bonkowski developed and designed this exhibit.
Stretchers, Snowstorms, & Station Wagons: Early Ambulance Service in the North Peace: Learn about ambulances from Dr. Kearney's Jeep and Alaska Highway Ambulances to the ambulance service run out of our Fire Department. Most of the exhibit focuses on our best-known ambulance driver, Ernie Carriere, and his experiences. This exhibit is free and was presented in partnership with the Fort St. John Hospital Arts Committee. Find it at the Fort St. John Hospital in the lobby by the pay phone.
Archives and Collections
In addition to all our work responding to archival requests and cataloguing incoming items, we are working on some projects that will increase our efficiency. We have just had two books scanned (with permission) to make them searchable in-house which will vastly increase our knowledge of local history including people and events. This will enable us to better respond to archival requests and to more easily research certain topics for future presentations and exhibits. We’re putting the final touches on our newspaper scanning instructions and then with the help of many volunteers, will be embarking on a journey to scan the papers in our collection.
Help us preserve local history through a variety of volunteer opportunities. Options include collections management, our newspaper scanning project, working in the archives, answering inquiries, and volunteering in the gift shop.
We can tailor your volunteer experience to whatever area of the museum you’d like to work in and as often/long you want to work for. It’s a fun project for your retirement, can be tailored around your work schedule, or is great work experience for students.
If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who might be, please talk to Heather in person, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at 250-787-0430.
Share Your Covid-19 Experience
How has Covid-19 had an impact on your life? The Fort St. John North Peace Museum is looking for your stories and photographs of living in a much different world than what we were used to. We’re looking for things like the bread recipe you perfected, photographs of how daily life has changed, or a short write up on what it’s like to go to the barber or the grocery store these days. Items, stories, journals, photographs, etc. that connect to the Covid-19 pandemic can be dropped off at the museum or submitted by email to email@example.com.
The museum has lots of fabulous new books in stock, which would make great gifts this holiday season. These include Wayne Sawchuk’s Crossing the Divide: Discovering a Wilderness Ethic in Canada’s Northern Rockies and Keith Rande’s Boot Polish, Bears and Bush Sense: Adventures of a British Columbia Conservation Officer.
Also new in store are beautiful Fort St. John North Peace Museum t-shirts with graphics celebrating notable events in the history of the North Peace. They come in four colours and two different designs.
Heather Sjoblom is manager and curator of the Fort St. John North Peace Museum.