Historic south focus of exhibit

A bustling community of coal mines, railways, farming and families located south of Nanaimo is the focus of a new exhibit at Nanaimo Museum.

Discover South Wellington takes a look at the historic community, based on Clare Singleton’s book Treasures of South Wellington.

The exhibit includes a variety of photographs, artifacts and stories provided by the community that complement the original works by the artist.

Visitors will learn about the dangers faced by miners, the devastating fires that swept through the community and the lives of people who lived there.

“We worked closely with the artist to develop the exhibit and include stories from the recently published community history South Wellington: Stories from the Past,” said museum curator David Hill-Turner.

Singleton’s art is the centre of the exhibit, to be complemented with photos and artifacts. Her book forms the basis of the exhibit’s storyline. Her work highlights the generations of mining families in this area and the lives they still lead.

As part of the exhibit, the museum offers a series of speakers on Saturdays as well as walking tours of South Wellington to complement the display.

The series begins April 9 with Helen Tilley, from the South Wellington Historical Committee, discussing history and the early families.

On April 16, author T.W. Paterson takes listeners on a virtual tour of the trail of coal that linked the five mines in South Wellington to Nanaimo.

The lecture April 30 features writer and photographer Peter Culley, as well as Singleton.

On May 7, people can participate in a walking tour of South Wellington at 10 a.m. and noon, beginning at the fire hall on Morden Road. The $10 fee goes toward South Wellington heritage. Registration with the museum is required.

On the same day, at the museum, Friends of Morden Mine will discuss attempts to save the concrete head frame and tipple.

The series wraps up May 14 with the South Wellington community association.

Presentations, except the walking tour, take place in the museum from 2-4 p.m. Please visit www.nanaimomuseum.com.