Hello there everyone, my name is Connie Spencer and I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself and update everyone on the winter happenings at the Museum and Artifactory.
I had the pleasure of working at the Museum from 2009-2016 and am absolutely thrilled to be back. The first position I had at the Museum in 2009 was doing a complete inventory of all artifacts in the Museum’s collection and getting them ready to move to the storage facility being built at the time (now the Artifactory). In 2010 I was hired on as Assistant Curator and in the years that followed I helped implement exhibits, organized fundraising and community events, was the primary tour guide, and completed many museum studies and collection management courses. In 2022 I had the opportunity to come back to the Museum as Development Coordinator and now I couldn’t be more excited with my roles of Operations Manager and Curator.
This fall and winter began a new inventory project at the Artifactory, with my awesome coworker Kim Evans. The purpose of this project was to update the Collections Management software program while conducting condition reports…. Along with adding recently donated artifacts to the system. Basically, getting the building organized.
Let me take a minute to tell you about how amazing the Artifactory building is. It houses all of the Museum’s collection in a climate controlled environment, along with having an isolation room for when items first come in, a workshop area for us to examine, clean and document everything, an office and a lovely meeting area room which now houses the Research/ Genealogy area. We are truly blessed to have such an amazing building to help preserve our history.
One of the highlights of this project was finding a whole box of Archival artifacts from one of the most predominant historic Montague businesses, Poole and Thompson. Every single piece of paper was in fantastic condition, one of which is pictured below – an amazing blueprint of the South side of Montague complete with businesses names at the time. This box also contained will and testaments, letters and $100 ‘shares’ in the company. What a treasure find?!
The Museum has a fairly substantial gun collection (keep a look out for future exhibit) and another highlight of this project was having Mr. Greg Gallant in for a day to help identify and give us a history lesson on each and everyone of them.
One of our guns is a German WW1 ‘trench buster’ rifle.
There’s still a crazy amount of work to be done in the Artifactory but Kim and I are extremely happy with the start we made on everything.
This winter the Town of Three Rivers had its first ever winter festival called WinterVale. I was asked to give a historic talk about Brudenell Island. You can see the island behind me in the photo below. Two tours were given back to back… with about 15 participants in the first one and 5 in the second one. It was freezing that day but super fun.
Last but not least is taking a minute to say farewell to the flooring on the first and second floors of the museum. We’re pretty sure this is the same flooring from the day the Museum opened in 1958…. So it was time. The new flooring is absolutely beautiful and makes such a huge difference. It was a massive job to tear down and pack up all of the artifacts on exhibit, the gift shop and all of the office spaces. Thank goodness for Kim and the men from Town Maintenance for help! Of course thank you to London’s flooring for their job well done and the Town of Three Rivers for funding for the much needed Reno. Below is a before and after of the flooring.
Very much looking forward to organizing and setting up new exhibits for the 2023 season! Hope to see you all this year.