The South Cariboo Historical Museum Society (SCHMS), which operates the Clinton Museum and the Village of Clinton Archives, is hoping to build on the success of the 2015 season, and make the museum “the reason people come here.
.So says Andrew May, the newly elected President of the SCHMS. “We had 3,500 visitors to the museum last year, and some of those people told us they came to Clinton just to go the museum; they wouldn’t have come here if it weren’t for that. These are people who stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, and buy goods here.
“People come here because the museum has been recommended, and we want more of that.”
The Society held its AGM on February 9, and elected a Board of Directors for 2016. Fifteen people signed up as members, and May notes there will be more, as several long-time members are currently enjoying winter holidays. They’re always looking for new members, he adds.
The SCHMS has several projects in the works, and new ones for 2016. Their World War I project is being updated constantly as they receive more information about area veterans, and a “Home Front” room at the site is representative of what life was like for those who stayed behind. The Society is moving forward on its plans to receive charitable status, which will enable it to access more grants and donations.
Better wheelchair access to the site is a priority, as is restoring a scale model of the historic Clinton Hotel. The 20’ by 12’ model, handmade with logs and shingles, needs some restoration work before it can be exhibited to the public.
May says the Society is looking at holding musical events at the site. “It would raise the profile of the museum; and anything we can do in the evening here is great, because otherwise the sidewalks roll up at about 6:00pm.”
He admits that staffing of the museum is an ongoing challenge. “People commit to a couple of days a week, and then when summer comes they can’t find the time.” The SCHMS is looking to hire someone for 2016 who will be available for a significant number of hours each week, and is also hoping to get a student staffer again.
“Angela Billy did a great job last year,” says May, noting that among other things she digitized more than 3,500 items for the museum.
“We have a damn good museum here, and we’re going to get better. We want to keep hitting above our weight class.”
Anyone wanting to become a member of the SCHMS should contact May at (250) 459-7725.