New Brunswick

Fredericton museum unlocks third floor for open house

Fredericton Region Museum opens its third-floor cataloguing space as part of its annual open house. Normally off-limits to visitors, employees dressed in period costume explained how they research and archive the museums many artifacts.

Fredericton Region Museum opens its third-floor catalogues to visitors as part of the annual event

Museum staff show visitors part of the third-floor catalogues, an area normally closed to the public. (Jill English/CBC)

The Fredericton Region Museum hosted its annual open house Sunday, this year opening the third floor to visitors interested in the cataloguing process.

The floor is usually off-limits to visitors. It hosts a variety of artifacts not regularly displayed in the museum's exhibits.

Museum staff were there in period costume to guide guests through the various stages of cataloguing. Mark Burnett, who brought his six-year-old daughter and her friend, said it was a big draw.

Parker Burnett and Jillian Dicks play an old-fashioned game at the Fredericton Region Museum's open house on Sunday.

"The girls were pretty excited to see where they catalogue everything and kind of get a behind-the-scenes look at the museum," he said.

Learning local history

The open house was also a good opportunity to expose the girls to Fredericton's history, when so often museums are saved for trips to other cities, Burnett said.

"It's nice to get here and see what we're doing locally as opposed to away," he said. "It's important for them to know what came before them and how things came to be the way they are."

His daughter Parker was a big fan of the model farm that was set up, and her friend Jillian Dicks was most impressed with the butter churner.

"There would be milk inside of there," she said, demonstrating the butter-churning. "We'd close the lid so none of the things could splatter."

A special visit to Fredericton

The open house was particularly special for one family from the Boston area.  

Alice Long was joined by her husband, son, daugher-in-law and two grandchildren on a trip to New Brunswick to visit her mother's birthplace — a trip she said has exceeded expectations.

"It's been wonderful," she said. "I never anticipating finding the graveyard my ancestors were in."

The Long family, from the Boston area, came to New Brunswick to learn about their family lineage. They said the trip has exceeded expectations. (Jill English/CBC)

Long's daughter-in-law Julia said the museum is a special part of the trip, too, especially now that they're aware of their personal connection to the area.

"We know a lot about the revolutionary war from the Massachusetts perspective," she said. "It's just nice to see the overlay of the history."

The Fredericton Region Museum's Open House wrapped up at 5 p.m. Sunday. It is back to its usual operations on Monday.