Sunset Country's communities can distinguish themselves from other areas for a number of reasons; not only is the landscape that surrounds the towns breathtaking, their involvement in preserving their local history is unrivaled. Luckily for visitors, their history, culture, as well as artifacts can be viewed in many local museums, which cover a variety of topics and themes involved with the towns.
Because the gold rush and famous Hudson Bay fur trade were important to many of the region's towns, it is no wonder most museums have permanent exhibits displaying artifacts such as equipment, clothing and house wares from the locals during the period. The history of Aboriginal peoples in Northwest Ontario is also a common display in the museums, however, most museums in Sunset Country have rotating exhibits, dealing with themes unique to each community – including local heroes and celebrities, commercial antiques, settlement evolution as well as fashion, photographs and written document from the past. Because of the region's backdrop, many museums exhibits deal with the natural world, incorporating the importance of environment with the importance of their community's past.
Besides the information displayed in the exhibits, many of the museums offer educational workshops for children and youth as well as adults. The workshops can span anywhere from watching videos available at the museums to arts and crafts activities, such as pottery and painting. Many of the museums also display work of local artists, which can be viewed in an exhibit or taken home for your own pleasure at the gift shops offered. The Red Lake Regional Heritage Centre has created new multi-media exhibits including "Listen to Naamiwan’s Dream and the Legend of Red Lake" and "The History of Aviation," which are fantastic and should not be missed.
The famous "Dryden Buck" is housed at the Dryden & District Museum. Each year hunters throughout North America come to Northwestern Ontario in search of whitetail deer. At the time this magnificent specimen, known as the "Dryden Buck" was killed, a score could not take place because it was held as evidence as it was killed illegally. In January 2005, after 14 months, it was scored and unofficially ranked 192 7/8 typical whitetail deer, setting a new Ontario record. The Dryden Buck is displayed in the museum to illustrate some of the rich resources in the area, and as a reminder of the importance of respecting wildlife laws.
Barwick: Chapple Museum
Ignace: Ignace Heritage Centre
Rainy River: Rainy River Heritage Square Museum
Sioux Lookout: Sioux Lookout Museum
Thunder Bay Area: Fort William Historical Park
Whether it is an interest in the local art and heritage or just a way to pass the time, Sunset Country's museums will not disappoint and are guaranteed to leave you feeling like you had just step back in time! Visit one soon, whether you are a local or a visitor to one of our museum. For more information, please feel free to contact our toll-free phone number at 1-800-665-7567, or contact the Northwestern Ontario museums listed above.