An exhibit marking the Fort Frances Museum’s 40th anniversary will open this week, kicking off with a wine-and-cheese reception this Wednesday (Sept. 19) from 4-7 p.m.
Museum curator Sherry George said the new exhibit also recognizes the 120th anniversary of the building which houses the museum.
Some residents may not know the building originally was a school when it was built in 1898, she noted.
“The town was booming [back then],” George added. “In early years, we had the Shevlin Clark mill open up, the bridge was built, the dam was built, the railroad came through.”
As the population grew, there were more school children, necessitating that more, larger schools–first Robert Moore and Fort Frances High School–be built
As such, by 1927, the building that would become the museum no longer was used as a school but as the local Legion hall.
After about 40 years, the Legion built its own hall and the building then was used as a police station, the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce office, and the site of assessment offices.
In 1978, the museum moved in.
“Before they [the museum] were occupying part of the library,” George noted. “They were in the base of the tower which was at the Point and they also had a spot inside [the former] Fort St. Pierre.”
In 2007, the museum underwent major renovations. In the past year or so, it got a new roof, an accessible washroom, and ramp.
In recognition of government funding used to do the latter renovations, several dignitaries from the federal and provincial governments will be on hand for a grand opening to coincide with the anniversary reception.
The reception is open to everyone, with opening remarks slated to begin at 4:30 p.m.
The new exhibit will be up until the beginning of November. If you miss the reception, feel free to drop by the museum on Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and check it out.
In related news, museum supporters are urged to mark Thursday, Nov. 1 on their calendars.
That’s when the “Friends of the Museum” will be bringing back “Novemberfest” for a second year after last year’s fundraising gala for the museum proved popular–especially the beer.
Stay tuned for more details on the event in the coming weeks.