Just how much does Cumberland love its Lucky Lager? Do you know about the village’s Black history?
Rosslyn Shipp is the executive director of Cumberland Museum & Archives and talks about some of the lesser-known facts about the village’s history on the ninth edition of the Comox Valley Record’s podcast, Off The Page.
Following a temporary closure due to the pandemic, the museum took advantage of the time to undertake a renovation to their building. The makeover included not only infrastructure changes but changes to their exhibits inside.
“Cumberland is a really wonderful, unique community and it’s really changing,” explained Shipp. “We have a very different demographic moving into the community, and it’s becoming larger and larger, and we’re seeing some of the effects of that.”
Shipp said one of the new additions is the Community Cabinet of Curiosities – a hallway display that connects the past to the present; one such item on display is a Lucky beer can.
“Cumberland is sort of known as one of the largest consumers of Lucky beer on the Island. So it’s just a little bit of a nod to some of the folklore of our community, as well as it sits right beside a growler from the Cumberland Brewing Company. So just the idea there was that it is a fun place for the community to explore. And those doors, you can open up single objects in them as well, but explore the different elements of the community, as well as historic and contemporary (items).”
Shipp explained one role of the museum she wanted to focus on is the parts of history many people don’t know, including Cumberland’s Black community.
The museum features a display with an empty case to indicate they don’t have the information or the artifacts to fill it — something that is happening a lot in the museum community currently, she said.
“I think we’re really coming to learn that my history is different from your history, and everybody experiences things in a different manner. And maybe we need to shed more light on other areas and other people’s histories. Especially in a coal mining town, we have this perspective of looking at that settlement idea and a settlement of history, because that’s where we feel a good amount of our roots in this community have come from.”
As for Shipp’s favourite exhibition in the museum? You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out.
New episodes of Off The Page drop every Wednesday.
To submit podcast topics or guest ideas, email firstname.lastname@example.org.