Happy Birthday, St. Catharines Museum. Established in 1967, the Museum is 50 years old this year. We have spent the year looking back over the history of our institution with a special exhibit entitled “#VintageSTCM: 50 Years of the St. Catharines Museum.”
Specifically, the exhibition features artifacts that were collected and displayed in our first year. Many of the objects are tools or household objects from the Victorian period. Museum collecting in the 1960s consisted greatly of accepting objects that were found in attics, basements, or garages. These objects held common narratives which detailed the early settlement of the community by European settlers and their descendants.
The Museum’s vision and mission are a bit different than it was 50 years ago. Our community’s identity, how we study and present history, and the nature of museum-going have changed drastically over the last 50 years. And the Museum has changed with it. We now focus on an inclusive narrative for all those who live in our diverse city. The exhibit serves as a reminder of where we have come from and where we hope to go. You’ll have to come see the exhibition to get a sense of how displaying a bunch of tools and household goods helps us set a vision for the future.
Join in the celebration! Do you have special memories and stories from the Museum’s past 50 years? Share them with us here on the blog, or via social media. Make sure to include the hashtag: #VintageSTCM.
#VintageSTCM is on display in the Lobby of the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre through to January 2018.
Adrian Petry is a public historian and Visitor Services Coordinator at the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre.