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Fort St. John museum news: Cemetery tours return this month

Over 100 hours of research go into each of our cemetery tours as we work to collect stories, check dates, and piece together bits of personal history from our records.
FSJ-CemeteryTour-2018
Larry Evans tells the story of Alaska Highway News founder Margaret “Ma” Murray during the Fort St. John North Peace Museum’s Cemetery Tour on July 22, 2018. (Alaska Highway News Archives)

This past month we’ve been working hard to assemble information for our brand new Woodlawn Cemetery Tour. Over 100 hours of research go into each of our cemetery tours as we work to collect stories, check dates, and piece together bits of personal history from our records and digital records. We reach out to community members and family members who might have stories to share about the people we are featuring on the tour.

In addition to our brand new Woodlawn Tour, we are also presenting our Original Cemetery Tour and Alaska Highway themed tour at the cemetery on 100 Ave. These tours will be presented this spring and summer with options for Wednesday or Friday evenings. Our first tour is Friday, May 27 (see below). The Woodlawn Tour debuts Wednesday, June 8 at 7 p.m.

Exhibits

• Scrubs, Shears and Scalpels: Surgery in the North Peace (Free Exhibit at the Fort St. John Hospital): From an American Air Force Surgeon in 1945 to Dr. Jack Temple and from anaesthesia masks to sterilizers, this exhibit looks at the challenges, changes in technology, and even the humour involved in surgery in Fort St. John from the 1940s to the 1970s. This exhibit is presented in partnership with the Fort St. John Hospital Arts Committee. The display case is in the hospital lobby between reception and Cool Beans Cafe.

Events

• International Museums Day, Wednesday, May 18 at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Museum: Celebrate International Museums Day at the Fort St. John North Peace Museum with free admission! This is your chance to check out the latest additions to our exhibits for free and learn more about the local history we preserve and present at the museum.

• Cemetery Tour: Alaska Highway Edition, Friday, May 27 at 7 p.m. at the Fort St. John Cemetery: 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. 

Educational Programs

We’re already busy booking programs for school groups. Our most popular programs are Minding the Fort (about the fur trade) and Wild Animals. We also have programs about the Alaska Highway, rodents, and dinosaurs. We offer guided tours and an array of scavenger hunts. Learn more about our programs at fsjmuseum.com/category/programs-activities/ or call Heather at 250-787-0430 for more information.

Collections & Archives

We’ve responded to 55 inquiries so far this year. Many have to do with information found in the Alaska Highway News that we are in the process of scanning. Volunteers are now scanning on May 1982. If you’d like to get involved in this amazing scanning project, we’re happy to train you. You set your own schedule. Contact Heather at 250-787-0430 or fsjnpmuseum@fsjmail.com to get involved.

Museum Gift Shop

We have some great new books in our gift shop including Dave Kyllo’s Remembering My Early Years: Growing up and living in the Peace River Country about his life in Hudson’s Hope. We also have Jim Christy’s Rough Road to the North, about the Alaska Highway, and Marion McKinnon Crook’s Always Pack A Candle, about being a nurse in the Cariboo-Chilcotin in the 1960s.For kids, we have reusable sticker activity sets, magnetic play sets, and games. We have puzzles for all ages (babies to seniors) and some great family games like T-Rex Topple (stacking sticks on the back of a T-Rex). Purchases from our gift shop help us preserve and present local history.


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

Have a story or opinion to share? Email your letters to editor@ahnfsj.ca