Don Nearhood collection to be moved

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Tom Summer Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News
The Local Journalism Initiative (LJI) supports the creation of original civic journalism. Tom Summer works under the Alaska Highway News in Fort St. John. The content that is produced will be made available to media organizations through a Creative Commons license so that Canadians can be better informed.

The Peace River Regional District is crafting plans to move the Don Nearhood collection from BC Hydro’s Peace Canyon visitor centre in Hudson’s Hope.

The miniature museum contains an agriculture collection, a logging collection, and other historically significant replicas from the pioneer era, such as wagon teams filled with grain sacks. Nearhood handcrafted all the pieces, which includes miniature log skids, sleighs, barns, trees, agricultural equipment, and ceramic horses.

The collection was moved to the Peace Canyon centre after BC Hydro offered to curate the collection in 1996, when the PRRD purchased the collection for $20,000.

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“No one ever envisioned that the Peace Canyon centre would be closed, and that’s the issue,” Director Karen Goodings said at the May 28 board meeting, noting the public can no longer enjoy the collection.

Goodings has agreed to be one of the primary contacts to move the collection, along with Hudson’s Hope Mayor Dave Heiberg.

“We would definitely have a plan to make sure that’s it properly looked after and properly transported, as an artifact should be,” said Heiberg, noting museums and historical societies will be contacted soon. 

Heiberg also expressed interest in putting the collection on rotation, so all interested parties would have a chance to share the history, with some pieces remaining in Hudson’s Hope. BC Hydro has agreed to hold on to the collection until a plan has been finalized.

“There isn’t any immediate request to have this moved, but I think it’s really important that we have a proper discussion before we do anything else. It’s an amazing piece of work,” Heiberg said.

Heiberg added that the collection could be moved to the Fort St John airport, which has displayed artifacts for the Hudson’s Hope Museum in the past. 

Email reporter Tom Summer at [email protected]


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