New exhibit opens at Port Hardy Museum

‘Frigon carried the voyageur spirit of his ancestors all the way to Vancouver Island’

The Port Hardy Museum opened their big summer exhibit on Saturday, just in time for tourist season.

“There’s been a little bit of talk about Ned Frigon over the years,” said Museum Curator Jane Hutton. “I was fascinated when I read about his background and his travels. He had a fur trade post up at Balaklava Island first, then later moved his business to around Quatsino sound and ended up in the Port Alice area.”

Hutton said one of the main reasons she wanted to put together the exhibit on Frigon was due to him being “what they call a ‘free trader’, which in the context of the fur trade means he was not aligned with the Hudsons Bay Company, he was an independent trader.”

The exhibit features tons of information on the North Island’s history in the fur trade business.

Also on display are numerous animal pelts that were graciously loaned to the museum, as well as guns and knives from the time period.

Hutton said the exhibit is the major one for the museum’s summer season.

“In the summertime we always have an exhibit that educates visitors and locals about the area’s history.”

Interested in learning about a unique part of the North Island’s fur trade history? Stop in at the Port Hardy museum and check out the Ned Frigon Fur Trader Balaklava Island & Quatsino Sound (1860’s-1900’s) exhibit, which will be running from May 13 to Sept. 30.

Frigon carried the voyageur spirit of his ancestors all the way to Vancouver Island. In 1855 he travelled west to the California goldfields via Panama. Three years later he joined the gold rush to B.C. and spent many years searching for gold in the Interior.

He became the first white settler on the north end of Vancouver Island.

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