Stories of Humboldt exhibit begins third chapter

HUMBOLDT — Agricultural fairs, life at the Arlington Hotel, a song written about Humboldt and a time capsule are among the stories told at the Humboldt and District Museum’s Stories of Humboldt Chapter 3 exhibit.

The exhibit is part of a continuing effort by the museum to share the stories local residents deem important, rather than simply show artifacts of bygone years.

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One of the display is about the agriculture fairs that happened in Humboldt that would see the town’s population swell as people visited the midway, played ball tournaments and watched horse races.

“There's a story about the 1954 fair in particular, just because we have some fantastic photographs and artifacts from that fair,” said Catherine Harrison, a cultural programmer with the museum.

The agriculture fairs started in 1909, saw a lull due to the Great Depression and the Second World War and then started back up again in the late 1940s, hitting their peak in the 1950s and 1960s.

Another display looks at life at the Arlington Hotel. The head of housekeeping during the 1950s took a series of photographs showing what the staff did. The photos were donated by the head of housekeeping’s nephew.

There’s the story of Inez Bower, who was a country folk singer in the 1950s.

“When she was in her fifties, the town commissioned her to write a song for the province’s jubilees, so 1955, and so she wrote a song for the town and it caught on and became nationally famous,” Harrison said

Bower ended up touring the country after that.

The museum also has a display about the old city hall, which was demolished in 1965.

“In the rubble, they found a little box that they've placed under the cornerstone. It's like a little time capsule,” Harrison said.

For some reason, the box was placed in 1928, not when the building was constructed.

Harrison said the museum will show the items found in the box.

The cultural programmer said the museum is eager to learn more about its displays.

“As always, we just have bits and pieces of the story, so if people come in, they see the exhibit and they have more to add or they have different information or another spin on the story, come talk to us, tell us all about it.”

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