Leslie Dreimel looks for colour under the guidance of prospectors Ian Jensen and Dave Mullett.

Leslie Dreimel looks for colour under the guidance of prospectors Ian Jensen and Dave Mullett.

New exhibits unearth mining history

Port Hardy Museum launched its new temporary exhibit last weekend.

PORT HARDY—Gold fever helped pack Port Hardy Museum and Archives last weekend as visitors flooded in for the launch of a new exhibit.

Curator Jane Hutton welcomed visitors for the opening of the summer’s temporary exhibit, Prospecting and Mining on the North Island, and noted that it was in fact a triple opening with the installation of a permanent mining exhibit and the launch of an exhibit on the Carrot Campaign for the highway.

The temporary exhibit is largely made up of items on loan from Zeballos Museum, recounting the rich history of mining on the North Island and including photographs, maps, tools and other equipment.

The museum also unveiled an updated permanent mining exhibit, displayed in a custom-made cabinet, crafted as an exact copy of the neighbouring fossil case. The pièce de résistance in that collection is a weathered post with a storied past. “It’s an original claim post from Island Copper,” explained Hutton.

The curator also thanked those who helped bring the collections together through the donation of time, knowledge and artifacts.

Outside, local prospectors Dave Mullett and Ian Jensen gave visitors the chance to get a taste of gold fever with free gold-panning lessons, with each participant given a vial containing flecks of the yellow stuff they panned. Comox Valley Gold Adventures were also in site, offering sluicing equipment and gold-bearing gravel for those smitten by the experience.

The temporary exhibit is expected to run through the summer. For more information contact Hutton at 250-949-8143.