Smithers firefighters Dale Chartrand

Smithers firefighters Dale Chartrand

Bulkley Valley Museum hoists flags

The museum is hosting two shows highlighting the contributions to the Bulkley Valley by Dutch and Swiss immigrants.

The Bulkley Valley Museum is gearing up for another busy tourist season and is organizing a free “Culture Crawl” showcasing historical homes, displays about early settlers, information about local First Nations and more.

While the Wet’suwet’en people were here long before the town’s founding in 1913, two large migrations to the Bulkley Valley were courtesy of the Dutch and the Swiss.

Museum curator, Michelle Reguly, said after the war and the threat of another war, the great depression hit and people in Europe started too look abroad for employment and a new life.

“Canada was kind of the land of milk and honey for Europe,” said Reguly. “The railroad sent over representatives to look for suitable land for settlers.

As CN had so much land to sell and wanted to attract new immigration, they had a special colonization department, so they helped to fill up the valley with Swiss and Dutch immigrants.”

Through the summer, the museum is hosting two shows highlighting the contributions made to the Bulkley Valley by the immigration of the Dutch and Swiss.

“Our Little Switzerland” is going to be in Schimmels Fine Pastries at 1172 Main Street. “From Windmills to Sawmills”, information about Dutch settlers, should be up in the Safeway cafe, located on the highway, Monday, May 14.

Both displays are running as part of the Culture Crawl until September.

For more information or a brochure showing the Culture Crawl route, contact the museum at 250-847-5322 or stop in to the Central Park Building for a visit.

The museum is located at 1425 Main Street, at the intersection of Highway 16.