What is a Museum For?

Perhaps a museum is for preserving valuable cultural artifacts of more than personal significance and which might otherwise not be available for purposes of public renewal. Things like this:

Pumphouse on the Gray Canal, Vernon

Fallen off its footings and left to the local porcupine.

It is fitting that we preserve the many war memorials in the Okanagan and that we remember the terrible cultural price that was paid to transform Canadian men into soldiers in two European world wars. I do find it sad, though, that the constructions those men left behind to go to war or built when they came home again to create some kind of peace are left to fall into disrepair: orchard prop piles, orchard machinery yards, old bunkhouses and irrigation flumes, packinghouses, livery stables, smithies, and trucking company offices, just for a tiny start: honourable items of work, that touched the land. Even in the last twenty years, we have lost the World War I era flumes and Chinese bunkhouses at Greata Ranch. Forty years ago, we lost the entire townsite of Upper Keremeos. These things don’t fall down on their own. They fall down because it is in the nature of people to forget. This is what forgetting looks like:

A Poplar Tree Remembers the Day Some Man Forgot

Honouring why men went to war is noble and stirring stuff. Honouring why they came back, though, although perhaps neither noble nor stirring, is equally vital.

This is what remembering looks like:

The Current Owner of the Pumphouse Shyly Holds Its Ground

It is also in the nature of people to remember. Lets.

3 replies »

    • The easiest place is Monte Lake. The road cut at the south end of the lake is rich with glass and agate, and this formation continues under the lake and on the other side, above the railroad cut. There is also an outcropping about 5 or 7 kms north of the north end of the lake. Lots of great stuff at Crater Lake above the Ashnola, too. The Vernon area is rich with opal. Why not go to the Opal Mine. They can take you on a dig. Obsidian is in the Chilcotin.


      • Thanks for the advice, so i guess turtle mountain would be a good place to look for opal?
        Have you been to the blue hawk gold mine in kelowna, it is really interesting. There is an old dirt road that lead’s to it, the road is just before lake Okanagan resort. the mine goes in about 90 meters into the mountain, and has some really interesting mineral structures inside.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.