Craig Bakay | May 22, 2019
If South Frontenac Museum Society secretary Al Boyce had his way, there would be museum buildings all over the Township, and the County, each focusing on a different aspect of Frontenac history.
Boyce said its been a “busy and dynamic year” for the society focusing on making the Hartington site more accessible.
“We’ve been working on the displays to reduce the crowded feeling,” he said. “So, we picked a theme and topic and you can get a wheelchair around it now.”
The theme, he said, is South Frontenac 1900-1930.
“We chose Doug Lovegrove’s work on the 146th regiment (a First World War unit recruited from the area) as an anchor, including the displays on nursing sisters and women on the homefront,” Boyce said. “It’s kind of a before, during and after the war, with at home and on the farm.
“It’s like this is what Ma was doing while the boys were away, and this is what Pa was doing on the farm, including the tools he used without electricity.”
Boyce said this is only the beginning. They’d like to have more space to display items as well as storage space so they can accept some of the donations they’ve been offered.
“We’re no what we’re going to be in five years,” he said. “We’re hugely indebted to the Township and all they’ve done for us (but) we’re not going to turn somebody away just because their stuff comes from North of Hwy 7.”
Boyce said there’s no way to know just what the museum system will turn into but he sees a great opportunity to preserve parts of history that the Royal Ontario Museum or the seven national museums in Ottawa can’t do.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love the ROM, but I think museums like this one provide a local service you don’t get at the ROM,” he said. “Saws for example.
“I we don’t preserve these things . . .”
He said their mission is to share and catalogue the history of the area, whatever that might be.
“Who knows, in five to 10 years, we might have the world’s best collection of fishing rods,” he said.
Boyce said their biggest challenge is finding people with the skills they think they need.
“The people we’ve got are really keen but we need computer people, graphic arts people and carpenters,” he said. “If you let it go away to the dump, it will be gone.
“But if you take the providence of it, it can be shared.”