Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation

The hallway that leads to Rooms 4 and 5 of the Community Centre has come alive with historical décor. As one of three permanent exhibits provided by the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation (TRMF) the display showcases maps, aerial photos and satellite photos of our small corner of the world.

The oldest maps have been digitally reproduced and given to TRMP, courtesy of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and date back to 1906. The maps show that our area was clearly unexplored or at least not documented. As you progress down the hallway, you can see the changes on each map, albeit it small to the onlooker. In 1919 our locale was named Tumbler Range and on the very next map (1920), it shows the name changed to Tumbler Ridge. That?s more like it. The latest maps are aerial and satellite photos produced in 2001, with TRMF expecting a more recent set in the near future.

A second exhibit graces the walls at the bottom of the stairs towards the Weight Room and Aquatic Centre. Digital reprints of the 1939 Leake Collection came from the personal collections of Janet Hartford and Richard Brooks. Gary and Brenda Holmlund donated their time and the use of materials for the reprint process.

The piece de resistance was a new interactive touch screen display made possible through a donation from SciTech North in Fort St. John. The display allows you to choose from a number of topics, with historical pictures, stories and video clips. Much of the presentation was pieced together from VHS video, 8 mm and digital video. Rodger Legault of Tumbler Ridge created the project in large part. Several museum members did the narratives. The current running time of the entire presentation is about an hour. The Foundation hopes to work towards setting up a plasma screen so that more than a few can watch the screen simultaneously.

The event was well attended, with town citizens packed into the Fireside Lounge. Councillor Rose Colledge, also President of TRMF opened the ceremony. Many significant guests were present to receive praise for their part in this project. Lori Ackerman, Executive Director for SciTech presented a commemorative plaque to Colledge and Charles Helm.

Just before the unveiling, Mayor Clay Iles was asked to speak and assured residents that he is totally committed to maintaining the diversification of Tumbler Ridge, despite the reopening of mines here. Said the Mayor, ?We don?t want to be where we were 3-4 years ago.? He commended TRMF for their fine efforts and mentioned that a museum in Grande Prairie, also focusing on dinosaur research was granted $25 million and Mayor Illes would like to see the BC Government do the same for this region.

Following the unveiling, the first of five Itchy Feet presentations took place in the Library. Rich McCrea and Lisa Buckley, well known Palaentologists now living in Tumbler Ridge gave a presentation on Dinosaur Tracks of the Peace. This Itchy Feet event also marked the announcement of the TRMF Code of Ethics and the launch of the Peace Region Palaeontology Research Centre (PRPRC) website at www.prprc.com. This centre was established in Tumbler Ridge to house the dinosaur bones and other fossils located in our area.