The Telkwa Museum Society has been busy over the past year and this summer, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the museum has been a busy little beehive.
The Visitor Information Centre in the museum on Highway 16 in the heart of Telkwa is open with health precautions in mind.
“It’s actually fairly well used,” said society Treasurer Linda Hanson. “We have a fair amount of pamphlets from this area and extending out and people do come in looking for information.”
They were successful in acquiring the Canada Summer Jobs Grant to help fund a summer student and have found an employee who is willing to work within the newly developed COVID guidelines.
The museum and info centre are only open to the public during the summer months but the society keeps up the building and St. Stephen’s Church and works on other projects throughout the year.
Last year the board members and volunteers were able to work on a couple of publications including one on the history of coal mining in the Telkwa Area in conjunction with the Village of Telkwa; work with the Anglican Church Synod to acquire ownership of St. Stephen’s Church and the attached land; compile a history of the Telkwa Pentecostal Church; create two portable exhibits and organize and co-host a joint Canada Day and 100th-anniversary celebration of the Reading Room.
Last year’s summer student also upgraded existing exhibits, researched a couple of sawmill owners; started uploading archives to a new database and recorded and transcribed information about exhibits for self-guided tours.
Currently, the society is working on three new projects. The first is a walking tour brochure.
“We want to turn it into a booklet,” said Hanson. “There is so much information out there about Telkwa, the trails around Telkwa and our historical points. We are still researching, verifying some info and we need to change the map slightly so it is taking us longer than thought.”
They are also creating a driving tour brochure that will highlight further points of interest and will include Round Lake Hall, St. John the Divine Anglican Church on Quick East Road and the Walcott Bridge.
“Anything we can do to keep visitors in this area around longer is one of our aims,” she added.
The museum society also recently received a new computer with a museum quality database and were able to hire someone to input archives with grant funding.
“This will allow external research, we will put it online and people can access things about Telkwa and this will aid in our exhibits,” Hanson said.
The society also received grant this year from the Wetzin’Kwa Community Forest that will be used to paint the exterior and do some minor repairs, which Hanson said will greatly improve the look of the building.
Meanwhile, the society is in need of more volunteers.
“In the last few years at least three members passed on,” said President Doug Boersema. “We need a younger crowd to take over or help and jobs can be assigned according to their skills. If they are interested they can learn a lot about local history of Telkwa and the Bullkey Valley and assist in keeping it available for the next generation.”
Anyone interested can contact the museum.