Nipigon, Ont., museum hopes to catch stories about community history, before it's too late
Museum hopes to capture stories of everyday life in northwestern Ontario
Some of the most important parts of a community's history is passed down from generation to generation.
It's the stories of everyday life that the Nipigon Museum hopes to capture as part of its Nipigon Narrations project.
The project will see 50 people interviewed, with their stories of the past archived to get a feeling as to what life was like in the earlier days of Nipigon.
"The board sat down and did a brainstorming, and listed a bunch of people. And then we had an open house and people could put their own names in, or suggest people," said Betty Brill, the curator of the Nipigon Museum.
"There was a ton of stories that I didn't know," said Dee McCullay, a filmmaker who is putting together a digital video of the community, as well as the museum's exhibits.
"I knew a few places here burned. I didn't know the whole Main Street burned though. Pretty much every building was gone. It's pretty neat."
Brill said one example of a story of interest to the project is a teacher who moved to the town in 1959. Coming from England, by train, she really didn't know what to expect.
Brill said she was shocked when the train pulled away, and somebody told her the edge of town was the treeline. The newly hired teacher, who responded to an ad, said she had never experienced anything like it before.
Another challenge in running a small museum, Brill said, is people from the community often drop off photos, but exactly who is in those pictures, is unknown.
"We are doing show and tell, every two weeks, where I put out the photographs, where I don't know who it is, and these people will tell us who they are, if they know," said Brill.
"We've got over 10,000 photographs in the museum, so I put out maybe a hundred at a time. Sometimes I get 50 to 90 identified people."