HISTORY: Museums offer first-hand account of local history – by Karen Bachmann (Timmins Daily Press – March 8, 2019)


Timmins Museum curator Karen Bachmann talks about opportunities to get historic accounts “from the horse’s mouth.”

Three things I learned this week: 1) Never believe them when they say “it’s a done deal”; 2) Never say “yes” when you really mean “no, thank you” and 3) Never, ever, let someone else tell your story.

The first two I already knew – I just needed to be reminded of those principals. The last came as a hard lesson – especially for a curator who should, at the end of the day, know better.

Museums in particular are coming a little late to the party – while we house artifacts and objects and images, that stuff really is nothing without a story that makes it all come to life. I can have people walk through my collections area and look at artifacts, but the “stuff” becomes real for them when I can tell them a story that related to that artifact.

A mining lamp is a thing; a mining lamp is much more when you turn it on and turn out the lights and tell someone that you could spend up to 12 hours underground working by that light.

I can tell you what I think it was like to live here in the early days of the camp, but Eva Derosa does a much better job of it: “Yes, we moved here in 1910, to start a business, and we lived there and then after the fire, my husband bought the bowling alley here with two other partners.

For the rest of this article: https://www.timminspress.com/opinion/columnists/history-museums-offer-first-hand-account-of-local-history