Skip to content

Fort St. John museum news

This is your last month to see the Our Living Languages exhibit, and learn what First Nations communities throughout the province are doing to help 34 different languages survive and flourish.
FSJ-Museum-railway-monument
Mrs. Ambrose, Mrs. Kilgour, and Amy Cousins pose with a monument commemorating the Pacific Great Eastern Railway coming to Fort St. John in 1958.

It’s hard to believe that the summer is half over! We’ve had a great time this past month sharing local history from the hundreds of people who visited our exhibits and participated in our scavenger hunts on Canada Day to programs for summer camps and our guided cemetery tours. We’re working really hard to try and get the Allen House open this fall as well as a variety of other tasks behind the scenes. We always have room for more volunteers. Contact us if you’d like to get involved. 

Exhibits

• Our Living Languages Travelling Exhibition: June 4, 2022 to September 5, 2022

This is your last month or so to see this exhibit! Learn what First Nations communities throughout the province are doing to help 34 different languages survive and flourish, in Our Living Languages, a beautifully designed exhibition from the Royal BC Museum and First Peoples’ Cultural Council that celebrates the resilience and diversity of Indigenous languages in the face of change. Through interactive stations, video and audio, Our Living Languages provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about the history of disrupted languages in BC, the complexity of these languages, and the people – and entire communities – that are working tirelessly to document and revitalize them.

• Allen House Update

We are working on furnishing the Allen House throughout August. We have many original items from the Allen/Large family as well as in our collection. We are looking for mattresses though. We need thinner older mattresses (two singles and a double). We also need old wool blankets in good condition as well as older sheets. Please contact us if you have any to donate. We are happy to pick them up within a reasonable distance of town.

Events

• Alaska Highway Cemetery Tour: Friday, August 5 at 7 p.m. at the Fort St. John Cemetery on 100th Ave

Join us for a guided cemetery tour of the Fort St. John Cemetery on 100 Ave. Learn about the connection of many of the people buried there to the Alaska Highway. From construction workers to entrepreneurs to ambulance drivers, the cemetery is full of people who worked and lived along the highway. Tour is $10 and can be paid at the gate of the cemetery prior to the tour. This is not a scary tour! We share stories (humorous, informative, and sometimes sad) about these people and the history of the highway while standing by their graves.

• Moose FM Block Party: Saturday, September 10 at Centennial Park

Come and visit our fishpond at the Block Party. Learn fun facts about Sucker Sunday and get the kids/grandkids to fish for great prizes for only $1!  

Collections & Archives

Our summer student, Luke, is working hard on cataloguing one of the first albums of photographs that surveyor Duncan Cran took in this area in the 1930s. Though these photographs were donated over 40 years ago, it’s thanks to the hard work of staff and volunteers that they are catalogued, scanned, and searchable in our database. We have been working hard the past eleven years to get most of our photograph collection into the database. These photographs are frequently in demand through the archival inquiries we receive each year. So far this year, we’ve responded to 88 inquiries.

Thousands of hours of work go into scanning documents, photographs, negatives, maps, and newspapers. Thousands more hours go into cataloguing items in our database or indexing newspapers so these items are searchable. The North Peace Historical Society has introduced a new fee structure for our archives. We continue to offer thirty minutes of research for free for everyone and we don’t charge for our time to help researchers in person. The moment has come, however, to operate our archives more as a business so we can continue to preserve and present the history of Fort St. John and the North Peace. To view our new fees, please visit https://www.fsjmuseum.com/archives/

Fundraisers

The museum has three on-going fundraisers in the community. We are partnering with Return-It to make donating funds from beverage containers quicker and more convenient! Collect your empty bottles/cans in a clear or clear blue recycling bag and bring it to the Fort St. John Return-It Express depot. Enter in 250-787-0430 at the Express Kiosk. Attach the label to your bag and put it in the designated bin. When purchasing bread and goodies at COBS Bread Fort St. John, mention the FSJ North Peace Museum and they will donate 5% of your purchase to us. If you have metal to recycle, you can select the FSJ North Peace Museum at ABC Recycling as the charity to donate your ticket to! These donations help the North Peace Historical Society preserve and present local history through the museum.

Gift Shop

There are lots of new items in the Museum Gift Shop. We have just got a new order of Hatley Little Blue House socks (from babies to adults) as well as baby tights, mugs, magnetic note pads, and sticky notes. The stationary and mugs feature humorous images of Canadian wildlife.

We have a variety of new stones too such as vials of natural rocks and minerals from the Canadian Rockies (choose from twelve different types of rocks from amethyst to quartz). We also have some cool science rocks such as a TV rock (appears to lift images from the page/TV through fibre optics); a popcorn rock (grows crystals once vinegar is added); and an amazing magnetic stone (attracts money, paper clips, and other metal items).


Heather Sjoblom is manager and curator of the Fort St. John North Peace Museum.