The Clinton Museum is once more open to the public, for the first time since the summer of 2019.
The occasion was marked by a little celebration at the museum at the beginning of June. The museum’s new chair, Janice Maurice, said around 20 people showed up including Mayor Susan Swann, Highbar First Nation Chief Roy Fletcher, Clinton RCMP Const. Marika Masters, 100 Mile’s Murray Casey and Ted ‘Chilko’ Choate. Choate’s mother, Avis, helped found the Clinton museum and he said a few words about the old days.
“I think everybody is quite excited to have the town getting back to operating normally. After the end of June, it’s going to be great for everyone in town,” Maurice said.
Maurice said the museum will initially be open Fridays to Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and staffed entirely by volunteers. By the end of June, however, she said they plan to hire some students so they can have the museum open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The museum experience will also be a bit different this year. Rather than starting in the museum’s main building, she said tours will start in the backyard to view the outdoor exhibits and the barn before exiting through the indoor exhibits. Maurice said they plan to do this for the whole summer and she expects to have quite a few visitors after the middle of June.
As a history buff, Maurice says she loves the fact the museum is located in the centre of town. This year she said they’re encouraging people to have coffee and lunch at the museum
“We’ve set up a couple of picnic tables to encourage people to sit and stay. To be outside more than inside. The museum itself is very small.”
Maurice said the museum’s logging exhibit has been completed and added to the museum. It joins exhibits on a wide range of local topics including Clinton’s cowboy past, an updated gun display, the venerable annual Clinton May Ball and the history of the local First Nations peoples.
“It’s nice to know the local history but it’s also kind of history that touches base with a lot of the wider Cariboo. The Cariboo Gold Trail, ranching, the logging sector, all of that has made what our towns are today,” Maurice said.
People have been attracted to Clinton for years, Maurice said, due to its small, colourful cowpoke nature and excellent rodeos. Celebrating that heritage in the museum is an important part of what they do and she’s hopeful visitors will swing by the museum this summer to learn more about the village.