The girls were divided into three groups and took part in a variety of activities to learn about our local history and also what goes on behind the scenes at a museum.
Activity #1 - Exhibit Gallery
Here the girls visited the current exhibit - "Grand Design: Architectural Treasures Along the Grand" and learned a bit about different landmarks and buildings that existed in Haldimand County in the past - and those that are still present today! They then worked on a wordsearch and explored terminology that is used by curators and museum staff.
Activity #2 - Artifacts
Back upstairs, the girls learned about what happens when an item is donated to a museum. They were able to see and touch artifacts while filling out Condition Reports for an Army Beret (1945) and a Clothing Booklet (1853). In order to fill out the report, the girls examined artifacts to determine their general condition, identify the materials used to make the item, and make detailed notes on the condition and any flaws or damage.
Activity #3 - Tour
In addition to the exhibits and gallery, we also toured the lower level of the museum and learned more about how the building was used in the past. The building was erected as a Town Hall in 1856, and Council meetings were held on the main floor. We went down to the basement and saw where different types or artifacts are stored and looked at different items, including a butter press and ledgers containing hand-written deeds (the girls were amazed at how neat the writing was - and that it was all in cursive!). This part of the building was originally a Meat Market - 6 butchers would set up stalls and sell their wares from January 1st to December 30th. On December 30th, they had to pack up everything and move out. On December 31st, 6 names would be pulled out of a hat, and those 6 butchers would then set up for the following year. Further along in the basement, we visited the restored jail cell. The Town Constable and his family would life on the upper level of the building, and his wife would be responsible for feeding anyone unlucky enough to be arrested. Before heading back upstairs, we got to see and handle keys and a pair of handcuffs, and look at a display of different artifacts, including a Bible, gum machine and telephone switchboard!
Activity #4 - Scavenger Hunt
For the final activity, everyone gathered back together to head out on a scavenger hunt through the upper and main levels. Some of the questions they had to answer were:
- How much money did Eva Marlene Heddle win as Canada's Loveliest Child? ($250)
- Who is the founder of Caledonia? (Ranald McKinnon)
- When was Haldimand County founded? (1850)
- The 114th Haldimand Rifles are also known as ...? (Brock's Rangers)
- What year was the Plank Road finished? (1843
- What is the brand name on the peanut butter can in the upstairs gallery? (Jack & Jill)