1999 – WINDOWS ON WHALETOWN

(Curated and mounted by Doreen Thompson)

Displayed photos and artifacts showcasing the social history of Whaletown from 1869 to the present day (1999).

Museum Musings from Whaletown National Enquirer of July, 1999:

It was a celebration of place – a very special place called Whaletown.

Highlights of the exhibit included a history of land holdings, a newly restored model of the troller Sylva Jane, an oversized canvas of the Peter Police homestead at Carrington Lagoon (c1942), a Whaletown map of place, and replicate photo albums dating back to the early 1900s.

WINDOWS ON WHALETOWN was one humble step towards documenting the social history of the Whaletown community.  It was hoped the display would inspire others to add to the work in place and establish a strong archival record of the community.

The exhibit opened June 18, 1999, with great fanfare.  “Old-time Whaletowners” returning to Whaletown for the opening ceremonies included members from the Findlay, Huck, Tooker, Ballantyne, Tait, Barrett, Byers, Ogren and Munro families.  A lively afternoon walk-about in Whaletown welcomed the guests.  Tooker granddaughters giggled to learn that the Louisa Tooker Memorial Library is affectionately called the “Tooker”.  Kay Boas, widow of the late reverend, had a big hug for Peggy Munro when she walked into St. John the Baptist Church, where Peggy was married in 1951 at the first wedding ceremony conducted in the newly finished church.  The Columbia Coast Mission boat Captain Findlay’s granddaughters reminisced over summers spent in Whaletown with their grandfather and carried with them a copy of the Captain’s Memoirs which were later donated to the Museum’s Archives.

There was an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the exhibit at a wine and cheese reception in the Museum with fiddle music outside by Palle Helenius.

Bonnie MacDonald presided over the dedication of the Archives, and a surprised May Ellingsen was invited to pull ribbons to reveal the sign over the doorway of the MAY ELLINGSEN ARCHIVES.  It is May’s long-standing vision of a museum on Cortes Island that has brought us to this point.

Keep Exploring

Wayfinding: Stories of Maps and Place
Wayfinding: Stories of Maps & Place The exhibition opened on March 26 and will continue through December 2023. Wayfinding is about how we navigate and understand the world around us....
Reflecting Light
2022 Reflecting Light: Portraying Joy Photographs 2012 – 2022   The exhibition, opened on Sunday, April 24, 2022 with last day on Saturday, July 2, 2022. Artist’s Statement I’ve loved...
The Suitcase Project
2022 The Suitcase Project by Kayla Isomura Cortes Island Museum & Archives July 6 to November 29, 2022 Opening, July 10, 2 – 4 p.m. “If you were going to...
That Was Then / This Is Now
2021 That Was Then / This Is Now This exhibition is a look back at the past two decades since the Cortes Island Museum & Archives has been open to...
Curiouser & Curiouser
2020/2021 It could be said “Curiosity as a value in itself” was the idea at the beginning of the Renaissance and Europe’s slow emergence from the Dark Ages. This Cortes...
Blue Heron Comes to School
2019 Blue Heron Comes to School curated by Jane Newman with the co-operation of Cortes Island School and Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI), 2018/2019
Manson’s Lagoon
1998 – MANSON’S LAGOON, YEAR OF THE OCEANS Curated and mounted by Bonnie MacDonald and Sabina Leader Mense The Museum hosted the first exhibit in recognition of the International Year of...
Refuge Cove Exhibit
2017 Refuge Cove: Moving with the Tide The exhibition filled the main gallery and featured iconic paintings by Judith Williams, archival photographs, diaries, and videotaped conversations with some of the...
Community Quilt
2017 Community Quilt – Canada 150 Project hɛkʷ čɛ θ tuwa? // where do you come from? // d’où venez-vous? Where were you born? Where did you live before you...