Osoyoos Museum showcasing town’s proud history through new interpretive signs project

By on April 23, 2014
Kara Burton, manager of the Osoyoos Museum, stands beside the new interpretive sign erected outside town hall a couple of weeks ago. Five of these informative signs, which provide detailed information and photos about historic landmarks, have been erected and the museum hopes to add several more when funding becomes available. (Keith Lacey photo)

Kara Burton, manager of the Osoyoos Museum, stands beside the new interpretive sign erected outside town hall a couple of weeks ago. Five of these informative signs, which provide detailed information and photos about historic landmarks, have been erected and the museum hopes to add several more when funding becomes available. (Keith Lacey photo)

A new series of interpretive signs have been erected in the Town of Osoyoos that detail the long and proud history of this community and many of its most recognized buildings.

A total of five interpretive signs have been erected so far, with a sixth to be installed in the next couple of months as part of the Gyro Park Multi-Purpose Plaza project, said Kara Burton, the manager of the Osoyoos Museum, which is responsible for the interpretive signs project.

The five sites where interpretive signs have been installed over the past couple of weeks include outside town hall, outside the Osoyoos Art Gallery, outside the Sonora Community Centre, one near the bridge that separates the north and south side of Osoyoos Lake and one outside Haynes House on Lakeshore Drive.

Each of the signs features a detailed description of each site and several pictures from the Osoyoos Museum archives, said Burton.

“One of our summer students from last summer that was hired under the Young Canada Works program was responsible for putting together the information and pictures that we used on the signs,” said Burton. “All of the wording and photos were approved by the museum board.

“The information provided not only gives a detailed description of the site and photos from years gone by, but also provides information most people from this community probably wouldn’t know anything about. The whole idea was to provide a history of some of the key locations in town and provide information that locals and tourists might find interesting.”

The original plan was to install 10 to 12 interpretive signs in town and that remains the goal, however, more funds will need to be raised in the next year or so to complete the project, said Burton.

Town council donated $3,500 to the interpretive signs project, which was matched by the provincial government’s heritage legacy project funding, she said.

The museum is planning to offer a series of community tours this coming summer and fall and tour guides will be incorporating four or five of the interpretive signs into the tour, said Burton.

“The tour will include a visit to each site in the downtown area, but won’t include the visit to Haynes House because Lakeshore Drive is a fair distance away,” she said. “But we will direct anyone who might want to visit Haynes House to that location.”

Mat Hassen, the managing director of the museum and president of the board of directors, said the interpretive signs project has received great response from local residents and tourists.

“We’re very pleased with the response,” he said. “The signs look great and they provide information that is historical and interesting, while mixing in some stuff most people probably didn’t know about.

“Some of the old photos we’ve managed to pull from our archives are just wonderful to see as well. Overall, we’re very pleased with the project and hope we can add a few more signs once we can access some additional funding.”

Haynes House is one of the original buildings erected in this community, while the Sonora Centre is located at the site of the town’s original log cabin, which has been on display inside the museum for several years.

Meanwhile, the museum has just recently completed a project to digitize all copies of the Osoyoos Times from the time the paper began in 1947 until the end of 1994, said Burton.

“All back issues of the paper can now be easily accessed on our computer system,” she said.

KEITH LACEY

Osoyoos Times

 

 

 

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