Largest plant and mu­seum col­lec­tion

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - NEWS - TODD HAM­BLE­TON

Big fac­tory, big ex­hibit. “I worked at Dom­tar, and I don’t mind say­ing that Cour­taulds was big­ger,” said the Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Mu­seum’s Don Smith.

The Cour­taulds tex­tile fac­tory closed its doors in Corn­wall 25 years ago, but it lives on in a fairly big way at the mu­seum.

The mu­seum has hun­dreds of photos and quite a few Cour­taulds ar­ti­facts. In fact, of all the dis­plays and ex­hibits at the fa­cil­ity in Lamoureux Park, noth­ing tops it.

“It’s our largest col­lec­tion,” said Smith, in charge of me­dia re­la­tions for the mu­seum. “Var­i­ous peo­ple have con­trib­uted, but much of our Cour­taulds col­lec­tion is thanks to a for­mer (SD&G Historical So­ci­ety) board mem­ber, Ransom Le­doux, who worked there.

“The bulk of the ar­ti­facts we have are thanks to him.”

In fact, the mu­seum has a Cour­taulds ex­hibit that’s cur­rently avail­able for view­ing, one that’s timed to the 25th an­niver­sary of the fi­nal clos­ing door at the fac­tory.

“It’s a two-month dis­play, but it (will likely be ex­tended into) the spring,” Smith said.

Cour­taulds won’t be for­got­ten at the mu­seum in 2018, by any stretch. A long-planned ma­jor theme/ex­hibit for next year, Smith noted, is Corn­wall’s in­dus­trial tran­si­tion from nat­u­ral to syn­thetic tex­tiles (the Cot­ton Mills to Cour­taulds).

“By the sum­mer we’ll be right in the thick of (the new ex­hibit),” Smith said.

That Cour­taulds, or much of it, through photos and ar­ti­facts, has been pre­served and is avail­able for pub­lic view­ing, puts a smile on Smith’s face.

“In Corn­wall’s his­tory, it’s rare that we have a col­lec­tion this size,” he said. “Of­ten, ar­ti­facts are dis­carded.”

It was early last fall when the mu­seum launched its new Toronto Pa­per/Howard Smith/ Dom­tar pa­per mill ex­hibit, mark­ing 10 years since the Dom­tar mill closed.

The Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Mu­seum is open each day from Wed­nes­day to Sun­day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tham­ble­ton@post­ twit­­hold­erTodd


This photo pro­vided by the Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Mu­seum shows Cour­taulds em­ploy­ees in front of the plant in 1935.


The Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Mu­seum's Don Smith, with a photo of a worker op­er­at­ing box spin­ning ma­chines on the sec­ond floor of No. 1 Mill, circa 1924.


This photo pro­vided by the Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Mu­seum shows an ae­rial view of the var­i­ous Cour­taulds plants, ca. 1965. The hy­dro sub­sta­tion at the bot­tom right and for­mer of­fice build­ing are all that re­main.

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