A project aimed at preserving local history and transforming Grasmere’s Pioneer Hall into a showcase for the community has been launched by the Triangle Women’s Institute (TWI).

With funding from Columbia Basin Trust, the women’s group commissioned a local designer to create five large panels to depict South Country history.

The Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History (CBIRH) said local Erin Knutson has researched and designed several 61 cm. by 91 cm. pictorial studies of education, industry, memories,  and the history of the Triangle Women’s Institute.

The first five are a series that the organization hopes to expand into 20 panels upon completion.

“We are very proud of TWI’s history, and we are fortunate to have the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History working with us and doing this project for us. Erin really is a gem,” said TWI President Judy-Lou McDonald.

Helping with research, the CBIRH said it made its historical resources available for the panels.

The first series of panels have already been installed, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Hall is only open to limited capacity. Public response has still been positive, however.

“There were great reviews on the completed panels. People were able to enjoy them during the recent provincial election at our Hall, and we can hardly wait to continue with the project,” said McDonald.

According to the CBIRH, the TWI is seeking funding to expand the project, with the goal of setting up a museum-quality exhibit in Pioneer Hall depicting South Country history.

“We are excited to proceed and look forward to the next step, which begins with honouring our Tobacco Plains neighbours,” said McDonald.

Bonnie Crosson and TWI President Judy-Lou McDonald at the Pioneer Hall in
Grasmere B.C. (Supplied by the Columbia Basin Institute for Regional History)

 

An example of one of the panels now hanging in Grasmere’s Pioneer Hall. (Supplied by the Columbia Basin Institute for Regional History)

 

Exterior photo of Grasmere’s Pioneer Hall. (Supplied by the Columbia Basin Institute for Regional History)