Twenty years ago, the Wells Museum re-opened its doors in what was once the Island Mountain Mine office. The people of Wells came together with a team of engineers to renovate the old building. Luckily, the crew very thoroughly documented the entire process. Because of this, we are able to publish an online photo album today!
The beginning of the renovation process consisted of work to repair the foundation. The engineers drafted a plan to reconstruct it to be safer and more stable. From there, the team went to work.
The new foundation came in after.
The crew prepared the building for foundation. Afterwards, they were able to cover up the base and prepare to install a deck and walkway later on.
Interior renovations finally began.
With the building now safe to be in, the crew was finally able to begin the interior renovations. The many years of dust and clutter that had built up needed to be cleared out. Of course, they also fixed the wiring to make it usable again.
The story of a window:
Wells tends to get 20+ feet of snow every winter. What’s more, the temperature averages a cool -5° C in those winter months. This means that solid windows and plenty of insulation are essential!
The scaffolding went up:
The team had finished all of the structural renovations. That meant it was time to work on the aesthetic changes: priming, painting, cleaning, etc.
… But that wasn’t enough!
In addition to renovating the original building, the crew added an extension. It is now used as our public bathrooms and storage.
Soon after, the crew added a lovely walkway! Now, you can find a bench and welcome sign here, as well as lights and flowers hanging from the pillars.
Then came the interior design.
At this point, the outside of the building was finished. The crew only had the interior flooring, painting, and decorating left.
Once the crew had the building finished, it was time to party!
Here they are at the ribbon-cutting ceremony with MLA John Wilson in 1999. The fire was warm and the music was great.
After the ceremony, guests toured the museum and saw artefacts from their community on display. When you come in to visit, you will see that not much has changed in the layout since then.
Thank you for joining us on this trip down memory lane. From Island Mountain Mine office to new museum was quite the journey, and the last 20 years have proven that the people of Wells have never-ending resilience!
Here’s to a bright and long future for the Wells Museum, kept alive by our own citizens and our many visitors.