Mill Memory Project
In association with the Virtual Museum
Destination North, in association with the Virtual Museum of Canada is beginning work on an exciting online history project celebrating the industrial heritage of Sault Ste. Marie.
The Virtual Museum of Canada is an online collection of multimedia pieces focusing on entertaining and important aspects of the Arts, Sciences, and History from across Canada.
The sandstone structures of the former St. Mary's Paper Company are at the heart of the Mill Square redevelopment, the new canal district on the west end of downtown. As the district grows, the beautiful structures are being given new purposes and becoming architectural centerpieces of the Sault. Already the home of Machine Shop and The Algoma Conservatory of Music, the buildings are no longer antiquated structures in an industrial operation.
The Virtual Museum project will explore the history of the structures, and their transformation for modern use in words, photographs and audio and video recording.
The St Mary's Paper Mill structures are making a mark in history.
In recent years, the St. Mary's Paper mill site has undergone transformations, becoming what's now known Mill Square and Canal District.
Destination North, a public, private initiative to develop a living centre for ecology, culture and wilderness experience at the former St. Mary’s Paper Mill site, applied for the Community Memories investment program through the Virtual Museum of Canada. The program enables small community museums to develop online local history exhibits.
"The [virtual exhibit] will tell the history of Francis H. Clergue and of the sandstone structures that are on the mill square site, like the machine shop, the pulp tower, the board mill building and yard locker," said Elena Lewis, Destination North volunteer and project producer.
The objective is to produce an online exhibit titled, The Paper Mill Structures: Symbols of Vision and Innovation.
Saultite Andrew Traficante is a volunteer project producer for the virtual exhibit and teacher for the Algoma District School Board.
"For the past year and a half I've been working on a documentary film about Francis Clergue, St. Mary's Paper and the redevelopment at the Mill Square now. I've been researching Clergue for the past year now, sort of linking Clergue with that redevelopment," Said Traficante, "They approached me to help with research and writing."
Traficante said Destination North started the community memories project will identify the stories of the paper mill site structures which will be put together into a virtual exhibit through the Virtual Museum of Canada.
On October 9, from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. at Mill Square, they will be hosting an event for people with a personal history with any aspect of the paper mill site's heritage to gather and share their memories.
"Part [of the project] will be made by going to archives, the Sault Ste. Marie museum and whats on site here," Lewis said.
"But because it's a community memories project, we'll also do interviews with people," she said.
"We think an important part of it is including peoples' stories from the community who have worked at the mill and who saw transformation of structure though the years," Traficante said.
Lewis said the event in October is so people can share their stories with each other and the community, but not every story will make it into the online exhibit.
"We'll identify maybe under 10 key people who we'll interview and record," Lewis said, "If we talked to everyone we'd have hundreds of hours of footage."
Those interested are invited to contact the organizers by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or over the phone by calling:
Elena Lewis 705-971-4574
Andrew Traficante 705-257-1912
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