Friday, September 27, 2013

Culture Scene 2013!

Culture Scene 2013 happens tomorrow!

There are many, many activities to get involved in. Check out the Town of Peace River's facebook for the schedule of events. 

Come out and experience some or all of them. You will find museum staff at Athabasca Hall, acting as co-host for the performers and artists on stage, from 1 - 3:30 pm. In this fantastic line-up you will find Metis jiggers, a guitarist soloist and many more. 

At the Museum you will find members of the Valley Peacemakers Quilt Guild. They will be here from 10 am - 1 pm, showing off their beautiful quilted works, and selling tickets for quilt raffles. There are 3 prizes to be won, including a king sized quilt, a Christmas table runner and place mat set, and a table topper. All of the money raised during this raffle goes towards the Raise the Roof campaign for St. James Anglican Cathedral. The draw will be held November 28, 2013 at the Peace River Library.

Visual, performing, and literary arts are being celebrated province-wide for Culture days, September 27-29th, 2013, and no less so in the Peace Country!

 Both of these quilts are prizes for the raffle. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Artifact of the Week - Wang Computer

This week’s featured artifact is a Wang Computer. As the Museum receives an upgrade to our system, in the form of a new server, it seems fitting to feature a computer artifact.

The Wang Computer was donated by Meyers, Norris & Penny, LLP. When the MNP accounting firm was preparing to move offices in 2010, they found this Wang computer in an old storage room and called the museum to see if we might be interested. We didn’t have a Wang Computer, so we were happy to add this important piece of technology history into our collection.

Wang Laboratories was created by Dr. An Wang and Dr. G. Y. Chu in 1951. Dr. Wang directed this company from its inception until they filed for bankruptcy in 1992. Following bankruptcy they re-emerged as Wang Global, until they were bought out by Getronics of the Netherlands in 1999.  
PRMA 2010.009.001

Currently, the Wang Computer is on display in the Peace River Gallery with other technology items, such as a typewriter, a videocamera, and a television with a pretty tiny screen. Visit the museum to see this and many other displays. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Artifact of the Week - HBC Scotch Whiskey bottle

This week’s featured artifact came from the Goulet family who found it on their land in the Three Creeks area, near the old Cadotte Trail. It is a Scotch Whiskey Bottle from the Hudson’s Bay Company. There are records of scotch being shipped to North America as early as 1701, which is 92 years before Sir Alexander Mackenzie or any other European men made their way through Peace River. The age of this bottle is unknown.
PRMA 2009.057.001

There is currently a small spirits and alcohol display at the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre, and we invite everyone down to come check it out! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Artist of the Month - Jenny Bakewell

For the month of September, the beautiful photographs of Jenny Bakewell are gracing the art wall in the Museum. 

Jenny Amara Bakewell is a self-taught artist, born in the Northwest Territories. She attributes her love for photography to the arrival of her first daughter, and since then it has only grown with the arrival of her second and third daughters. 

Jenny's love and passion for photography can be summed up in the following quotation "When I experience life, my first thought is always 'how would this look through my camera'. The fresh energy, the excitement of catching the lure in the subject is what drives me. I have no limits."

Come down to the Museum during the month of September to view Jenny's works.  

Artifact of the Week - Ladies Victorian boots

This week’s featured artifact is a pair of ladies high button boots from the Victorian era. The boots were found in a local building in Peace River and have been dated to roughly 1900.

The Victorian era, encompassing the time that Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 until her death in 1901, was a time of many changes in fashion. These types of boots were worn to cover a woman’s ankles. Skirts were long, to the floor, and a higher boot meant extra protection in hiding a woman’s lower limbs. Lower limbs had to be covered, lest the woman be thought scandalous.

Ladies high button boots, PRMA 69.379
These boots were so tightly laced that they required button hooks to get them done up. This button hook belonged to Jean Cameron Kelley, who came to Peace River in 1913 as the second teacher for Peace River Crossing. She replaced Miss Anderson, who had married, only 6 months after becoming the first school teacher.

Button hook, PRMA 2008.098.003

The Peace River Museum has a large and varied collection of textiles and accessories. Drop by the Museum to see some of our collections and stay tuned to the blog for further fashion items. The first week of October is Archives Week and this years theme is Fashion. So, it will be only fitting that I post a fashionable object that week. Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Artifact of the Week - Dorothy Wittmeyer's wedding dress

This week’s featured artifact is the dress that Dorothy Andrew wore, on July 2, 1955, when she married John Gray Wittmeyer. This beautiful wedding dress is made of taffeta and lace. Based on the inside seams of the dress and stitching, we believe this dress was likely homemade. Perhaps Dorothy made it herself, or she had someone make it for her, but it isn’t likely that it was commercially made.

Dorothy and her 5 siblings were all born and raised in Peace River, by their parents, Bill and Agnes Andrew. Bill was a master blacksmith, machinist and welder, while Agnes spent her time raising the children, curling and cooking a fine meal.

Dorothy and Gray spent their married life in Colorado and Oregon. She may not have lived in Peace River for quite a few years, but when making up her will, Dorothy thought of her parents and her hometown. Upon her passing in 2011, it was revealed that Dorothy had bequeathed between $500,000 and 700,000 to a group or groups in the Peace Region that would memorialize her parents. After an arduous process, the recipient of this bequest was the Peace Regional Outreach Campus, in order to purchase and improve a building to house their school, programs and daycare. The Grand Opening for the new Andrew Education Centre is today (September 3, 2013), and Peace River is pleased to welcome back to the Peace Country, Rotarians from Eugene-Delta, Oregon, who along with Peace River Rotarians, administered this bequest and chose the deserving recipient.

Dorothy and Gray enjoyed a wonderful life together, full of love, laughter and memories. We invite you down to the Museum to see this dress on exhibit, along with photos of the Andrew and Wittmeyer families.