By Lindsay Briscoe
Ear Falls will soon have a new space dedicated to housing the community and surrounding area’s historical artifacts and photos as residents and council work to get the new museum up and running.
“In council, we’re all in agreement that this needs to happen,” said Ear Falls Mayor Kevin Kahoot in an interview last week. “It’s important that we preserve our history.”
Dutchie Loman agrees. He’s a long-time Ear Falls resident and former curator of the old Ear Falls museum – which closed a few years back.
“We’ve got a rich history in this country and in Ear Falls,” said Loman at the Ear Falls regular council meeting on the evening of Feb. 6. “We don’t need a lot of paper shuffling. We need action.”
Loman showed up to the meeting to present to council his ideas and suggestions for the space, noting that the room and halls that were set aside for a museum in the township’s new multiplex are currently being used as storage for the museum items because they still haven’t been put on display.
Mayor Kahoot says that when council and staff and several township services moved into the new building a little over a year ago, other priorities like setting up the offices and making sure the daycare, fire hall and library were up to code and ready to go was the first order of business.
“We’re just getting to that point now where our offices are ready. Now the priority that’s moved to the forefront would be the museum,” added Mayor Kahoot.
Loman said he would also like to see one or two other community spaces, such as the Wellair building and the Katimavik log building, cleared out and utilized as a workshop for the museum volunteers, as he doesn’t think the room in the multiplex is suitable for painting, cutting wood or using a power saw. He noted that the Wellair building is already heated by the township and used to store equipment and machinery. The Katimavik building is older and would require a larger investment in order to get it up and running to code.
Mayor Kahoot notes that while he and council have some other ideas in the works for spaces that might be suitable for a workshop, they have taken Loman’s suggestion into consideration.
“We came up with two other ideas but we have to do some investigating to see about insurance and liability issues,” said Mayor Kahoot. “We will have, in the future, some place for them to work. It’s something we’re not going to forget.”
Mayor Kahoot says it’s reasonable to say that the new museum could be up and running before the end of the year.
“It’s going to be a priority for myself. I’m going to make sure this moves forward as quickly as possible.”