I finished cleaning up after the Website Launch Open House and I’ve finally gotten the time to sit down and write a bulletin for this beautiful new page. It’s been a busy few months for the Society and we’re glad that our hard work has paid off and we were able to celebrate on Monday, February 19, the first day of B.C. Heritage Week! Scroll down to view more photos of the evening.
I want to thank the wonderful people who came to our open house last night. Everyone at the Wells Historical Society is so happy to have the new website live. It was great to be able to celebrate with the community we love. We all thank Margaret Inoue, who spent countless hours designing the new site and updating our content for a better presentation. She did a wonderful job, if you ask me!
For one night only, we opened the upstairs of the museum to showcase a glass map that illustrates the different geological levels of the Cariboo Gold Quartz Mine. The table had been made for the old museum in the seventies, and as glass is wont to do, several pieces broke at some point in the past. When the pieces were stored, they weren’t labelled and I had a heck of a time finding displayable portions, but was finally able to puzzle a bit of it together.
Union cards, helmets, a union charter, safety rules, and machinery specs were also displayed. Lina and I found a charter for a women’s auxiliary association in the archives and Claire and Bill had some interesting insights into union organization. The Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union was an American based union which leaned far left. Women in the unionized mining communities had no representation about decisions affected them and strikes sometimes caused mine families to go hungry. Wives, daughters, and mothers began Women’s Auxiliary Unions to set up strike kitchens and school houses. Although the women’s unions supported strikers, they were independent from the men’s union. Much of history focuses on men, but ignores the vital contributions of women. It was exciting to bring out this piece of history that highlights the strong women of the Wells area. Most of these items are not on permanent display, but if you feel like you missed out, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a viewing.
To help celebrate the refreshed look of the Wells Historical Society website, we also announced our Adopt a Historic Photo project. If you adopt a photo from our extensive collection, you will receive a beautiful copy of the photo and your name will be go on a website donor list. You can view the photos on the website’s Adopt a Photo tab or come in and see them up close and grab a catalogue. Currently, there are limited options for photos but stay tuned for additions to availability and packages.
In addition, I also grabbed some of the Wells Historical Society’s most interesting artefacts and archival material. Has anyone ever wondered what kind of trouble Wellsites of the past may have gotten up to? Well, rowdy behavior at the Wells Hotel and local disputes were on view in the RCMP Offence book dating from the founding of Wells in the 1930s. Lina’s favorite was a page which had two complaints about business owner K.H. Sing’s bull getting loose in the meadow and terrorizing ladies on walks. Mine was an entry about a man trying to force his wife to return to him and the constable stating that non-violent marital affairs were not his jurisdiction. Leila, Richard, and Margaret found some hilarious entries as well. I also brought out an 8 mm video camera and projector because the Wells people were prolific photographers and videographers.
All in all, Monday night was great and I’m so happy to be a part of this beautiful community and museum. I owe the open house success to the wonderful people that have gravitated to Wells over the years. At the end of the night I had the privilege of listening to stories from the eighties about the other Kevin Brown, hotties of the times, working at Barkerville, and the Historical Society as told by Anne Laing, Sharon Brown, and Carrie Johnston.
Kaitlyn Puffalt, Wells Museum Intern