The Nicola Valley Museum and Archives (NVMA) may be tucked away on Tutill Court, but that won’t stop them from being in the forefront of the community as the organization marks another year of preserving history with their annual general meeting (AGM).
Being a non-profit organization, the NVMA is required to hold an AGM to apprise members of operations and ongoing projects. Held on November 17 at the Seniors Centre that the museum shares a building with, turnout exceeded museum management’s expectations.
“It was pretty good attendance, more than I was even expecting,” said Cameron Bridge, manager of the NVMA.
“We just wanted to go over everything and let the membership know what’s going on. We didn’t have any bylaws or anything we had to vote on, it was just sort of a general update on some of the projects we’ve done over the past year.”
In addition to their set exhibits, featuring a large collection of local historical pieces, the museum also maintains a rotating display in house. Most recently the display showcased local artist Bev Veale’s art gallery show, which detailed her family’s extensive history in the valley through her artworks and the use of museum artifacts.
Another ongoing project of the NVMA is the organization’s hunt for the identity of a local cowboy that resided in the Nicola Valley nearly 100 years ago. Their only lead, a diary written by the mystery man, has sent members on a wild goose chase for further clues. Member Mary Charter delivered a talk about her efforts to uncover the cowboy’s identity during the AGM.
“We have a diary here at the museum that’s been around for a little while now,” explained Bridge.
“It lays out a year of this guy’s life, who was a cowboy up in Douglas Lake in 1930. We don’t know who he is, there’s nothing to indicate what his name was. She [Charters] has spent the past few years doing some research, talking with people, and seeing if anybody can remember any of the specifics that may indicate who he is.”
Charters and Bridge have had conversations with community members about the man and his movements, distributed copies of the diary, and searched local records for a possible match. The most recent breakthrough came when Bridge decided to check the Armstrong General Store ledger after reading a page in the diary where the cowboy mentions grocery shopping. Unfortunately, it appears that another community member paid for the man’s groceries on loan, as no matches were found in the ledger.
A number of members have gotten involved in the search, and the community is encouraged to inquire about the search for the mystery cowboy themselves. The NVMA remains open year round.
“Come on down, we’re still open here throughout the winter season,” added Bridge.
The Nicola Valley Museum and Archives are located at 1675 Tutill Court, and open Tuesday through Friday from 10AM to 5PM. For more information, call 250-378-4145, or visit www.nicolavalleymuseum.org.