HUDSON’S HOPE, B.C. — The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) has yet to find a new home for the Don Nearhood collection, which was previously on display at BC Hydro’s Peace Canyon visitor centre until its closure.
PRRD directors briefly addressed the collection as one of their diary items at their September 7th, 2023, Electoral Area Directors Committee meeting.
“I don’t think the loop is completely closed,” said PRRD CAO Shawn Dahlen. “Staff has done quite an extensive investigation, trying to look at where this could end up, and I think that’s still in the works unless there have been some updates that I’m unaware of.”
Dahlen added that the PRRD will continue to work with the District of Hudson’s Hope to find a new home for the collection and anticipates they’ll find a space for it there.
Electoral Area C Director Brad Sperling jokingly suggested they could place the collection on the roof of the Chetwynd Public Library.
The collection has been waiting for a new home since May 2022, when PRRD board directors hosted an outreach meeting in Hudson’s Hope and took a small visit to the closed visitor centre to get a first-hand look at it.
The collection, handcrafted by Nearhood, was acquired by the PRRD in 1996 for $20,000 and includes historically significant replicas from the pioneer era: wagon teams, miniature log skids, sleighs, barns, agricultural equipment, ceramic horses, and a steamboat.
The ceramic used in many of the pieces needs to be kept in a climate-controlled setting to prevent cracking. The fragility of the collection limits where it can be safely relocated. Several pioneer photographs also accompany the collection and also need careful stewardship.