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Treasures of the County exhibit provides glimpses of memories important to residents

The opening reception of Treasures of the County was held July 8 at the Wellington County Museum and Archives. The exhibit continues until Sept. 17. LEFT: G.T.R. Station, Palmerston, Ontario. Image on loan from the Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum. RIGHT: With the Harriston contribution are Willa Wick, Harriston Historical Society; Anne Reid of Palmerston and Hailey Johnston, (WCMA curatorial assistant). The group posed with items from herbal medicine practitioner Levi Wesley of Harriston.  Photo by Mike Robinson

Treasures of the County exhibit provides glimpses of memories important to residents

by Mike Robinson

ABOYNE - Treasures of the County provides glimpses of the past shared by heritage groups from around Wellington.

Curatorial assistant Amy Dunlop welcomed visitors to the opening of the newest gallery - Treasures of the County at the Wellington County Museum and Archives.

She explained it is a community curated exhibit showing the treasured objects and the stories of community groups.

“It’s really telling their stories.”

In addition, to the eight community partners the curating include the participation of Perth-Wellington MP John Nater, Wellington-Halton Hills MPP Ted Arnott and Wellington County Warden Dennis Lever, each of who selected items to display from the museum’s collection.

Participating groups include: Arthur and Area Historical Society, Harriston Historical Society, Mount Forest Museum and Archives, Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum, Town of Erin Heritage Committee, Heritage Centre Wellington, and the C.A.V. Barker Museum of Canadian Veterinary History (University of Guelph).

Wellington Place administrator Janice Hindley said “for me, the biggest treasure is this building and the grounds.”

She noted that the museum building is not only a national historic site, the building and grounds “has been in the loving hands of Wellington County since 1877 ... it’s changed its role from a poorhouse, to long-term care facility and now a museum ... and still going strong.”

Hindley said when discussion of Canada’s 150th anniversary was happening “everyone was talking about treasures of Canada ... we took it to a local level asked what are the treasures of Wellington County.”

Nater echoed Hindley’s comments regarding the building. “It was a fascinating experience going through the museum and into the attic to see items not currently on display, but nonetheless important artifacts.”

Nater’s selection for the show was a memorial cross issued on behalf of Robert Hood after his death at Vimy Ridge.

On the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge, Nater said he chose the cross as a representation of the sacrifice of those who have shown such patriotic sacrifice - and all that is good in Wellington County.

Arnott also was honoured to take part in the exhibit.

“Today, we are here at the most majestic, most spectacular public building in Wellington County where the past comes alive.”

He said “the past informs the present, and an understanding of the past helps us to embrace the promise of the future.”

Arnott said he has had the chance to visit the museum and archives numerous times over the years, “along with the building itself, what has consistently impressed me has been the extraordinary professionalism, dedication and enthusiasm of all of the staff and volunteers. They are truly exceptional in their passionate desire to create the best possible experience for each and every individual who comes through these doors ... and they succeed every time.”

When Arnott was asked to pick an item significant to him, “it wasn’t hard.”

His choice was associated with Groves Memorial Community Hospital and the memory of Dr. Abraham Groves. Arnott’s choice was a 1950s-era nursery bed which symbolizes birth, new beginnings and wonderful things to come.

Lever stated the museum and archives put commitment, love and care into these exhibits - from research to presentation.

“It’s incredible when it all comes together like this.”

The exhibit continues to Sept. 17.

July 14, 2017

 
 

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