Carbonear museum being expanded
The Railway Station Museum in Carbonear is being expanded with the help of a $58,000 contribution from the provincial government.
The project will utilize the area’s historical significance to strengthen the local economy, said Innovation, Trade and Rural Development Minister Shawn Skinner.
“Museum developments hold considerable potential in the social and economic development of the province’s communities and regions,” said Skinner.
With the expansion, the museum will introduce a new exhibit that celebrates the historical significance of Carbonear Island.
Carbonear Island played a key role in the French-English battles in the 1600s. Expansion of the Railway Station Museum to develop the island’s story into a tourism attraction on the Baccalieu Trail was outlined in the Town of Carbonear and Mariner Resource Opportunities Network’s joint 2004 Carbonear Island Development Strategy.
“In addition to celebrating our province’s history, museums can, and do, translate into new economic development opportunities. They provide direct employment at the museum itself while also holding indirect opportunities for local businesses to meet the needs of museum visitors,” Skinner added.
Carbonear Mayor Sam Slade said, “ The town, with the assistance of its partners, is pleased to be undertaking renovations of the museum.”
“ Set in the community’s heritage district, the 93-year-old building has long been a focal point for tourists and locals seeking information on history, genealogy, and research. This new exhibit is another example of one of the diverse cultural elements that make up the considerable heritage and cultural resources of the town, which will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.”
Scheduled to open in April 2011, the new exhibit will include text writing, photography, and interpretive panels. In addition to the expansion, funding will also be directed towards site improvements and greater accessibility to the entire facility.
“ The Town of Carbonear is an area with a rich and colourful history,” said Health and Community Services Minister and Carbonear-Harbour Grace MHA Jerome Kennedy.
“ Expansion of the Railway Station Museum will help tell the story of the area’s past while further enhancing the local tourism infrastructure offering positive benefits for the area as a whole.”
Carbonear Island was a defensive refuge for settlers of Carbonear and Harbour Grace in times of invasion. Most significantly known for the raids by French General Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville in which he attempted to rid the entire colony of Newfoundland of English influence, Carbonear Island was the only settlement on the Avalon Peninsula to withstand d’Iberville’s attack.