Friday, July 26, 2013

Window To The Past At Delta Museum

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN daylight and dreaming my thoughts have lingered on the not so distant past that has brought us to this moment in history.

My recent visit to the Delta Museum in Ladner Village had me reflecting on a different era fondly. Commonly referred to as the "good old days" we tend to romanticize the lifestyles and artifacts that have gone before us.

Indeed, there is much to admire about our ancestors who worked hard and struggled while seeming to maintain courtesies and a grace that currently eludes us.

People did not simply turn a dial or flick a switch to make a meal. There was more personal involvement and a fire needed to be stoked to roast a turkey or bake a muffin.

Pioneers exhibited a passion for niceties at home amid the roughness of untamed landscapes. Although the lighting in the museum was dim, it was easy to see that wallpapers were ornate and rich with color.

Women stitched and embroidered for hours on end ...

and many sewed their own dresses.

Women did the family laundry with vigor. Their arms must have been quite toned from using washing boards ... until the luxury of mechanical washers arrived on the scene.

Children could not insert a coin to ride a pony. They actually had to rock their bodies to move their toy horses.

The beds looked extremely cozy covered with handmade quilts and linens but the mattresses were probably less comfortable than the ones we now enjoy.

Pictures of people perfectly posed in their finery were hung like ornaments behind glass (along with brief histories) at the museum.

One could read about local pioneers who were wise and motivated enough to buy acres and acres of land to farm and to perhaps eventually bring future generations wealth because of their foresight.

The museum is housed in a Tudor style heritage home built in 1912. Of course, not all families lived in such elegant houses but the movers and shakers of their day certainly did.

There are also extensive artifacts and tools upstairs in the museum, including these somewhat modern looking tin cans that were ...

used to hold fish processed in the declining Delta canneries of that era.

Labeling those cans must have been a bit of a challenge with this contraption in contrast to the more convenient options technology offers today.

The Delta Museum is a relaxed setting where inquiring minds can explore local history to their hearts content. I must confess, however, it was the sign that said "Do Not Open" that piqued my curiosity in the end.

I adore glimpses of days gone by and do not want to close the door to the past. But if I had a time machine I would also like to go forward to what is yet to be discovered. What marvels await mankind and what problems solved and created and new museums built in our future world?

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Copyright by Penelope Puddlisms


  1. This is wonderful, Maria. I must confess I don't have the patience to wander through local museums, but I know you have a fondness for them.
    I love your photos of the stove, the washing machine, and the bedroom furniture, but most of all I love the cans and the labeling machine, because my grandfather and his brother ran canneries up and down the coast for years when Mom was young.
    My early childhood was full of stories of salmon bellies and coastal freighters and cannery lore. And, to top it off, my grandfather played lacrosse for the New Westminster Salmonbellies.
    Because it involved so many people I loved, I think mine was an idyllic British Columbia childhood.
    Thanks for the memories.
    Luv, K

  2. The museum looks to have smelt wonderfully nostalgic to you, Penelope. I like to walk through such nice antique things, too. The advent of washing machine, refrigerator, and rice cooker liberated Japanese women from long and hard works on homemaking in 1950s. I think I’m happy as a homemaker to be born into this age as I have much more free time as Yoko, not as a wife or a mother as a role. Regarding the childhood, however, I think children in the past must have been more free and comfortable.

  3. What a wonderful museum!! And your captures are terrific! Next best thing to being there myself! Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a great week!

  4. Thank you for this look at the past. I too enjoy visiting museums to learn about the past. I have no doubt that life was very hard in the days of this museum. Nowadays we North Americans have only a vague idea of how hard life was back then....and still is in many parts of the world.

  5. I enjoyed the photos and your thoughts on "the good old days".

  6. Lovely post and wonderful photos from the past! A great museum to visit, thank for sharing.

  7. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  8. I, too, love to think about the ways that life was different in the past and how things could change in the future. I think your wonderful post highlights the fact that staying in the present, while good in many ways, would rob of us of historical treasures and imaginative ones too. That beautiful lace dress was so lovely. I wonder if you had just a slight urge to try it on. For some reason, I could picture it looking lovely on you :)

  9. Beautiful exhibits in the museum. Definitely worth a visit.

  10. I love museums, cause it`s so wonderful to see the beautiful handcrafts, and the vintage feeling. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures :)

  11. In some ways it would have been nicer then, but I think also of practical things - like antibiotics, good dental treatment. I don't think I would have been pioneer material. I read a book once about pioneers in Canada and the winter cold was quite unknown to them, there were even scotsmen in kilts in the snow!

  12. I've never been there, it looks like a wealth of information.

    My Grandmother raised her family in the bush without running water, or electricity. We do romanticize wasn't easy. But then again, what choice did they have?

    I love the shots, and this will have to be on my list should we return to the Lower Mainland for a visit.


  13. Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed going through your photos of the past and your take on it. I would love to visit this place the next time I visit Vancouver.


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