There is a deep, rich history of music in Maple Ridge, and it is the focus of a display at the museum this fall.
Currently, the museum doesn't have many instruments, but curator Allison White is
hoping the focus on the history of music in the community this fall will inspire residents to bring some in - at least small ones that can be put on display.
"I'm more interested in hand-held instruments and the stories behind them," White said.
"The goal with the temporary exhibits is to fill gaps in our collection," White added.
Fiddling was a big part of the early history of Maple Ridge, White said, and a violin was the instrument to own.
A violin was donated to the museum from the Rajala family, a Finnish family who settled in Maple Ridge. It was played by several members of the Rajala family, but most notably by John Rajala at dances.
Hector Ferguson, who lived in B.C. in the late 1800s and settled in Maple Ridge, once said that, if he were religiously inclined, he'd move to Chilliwack, if politics were his thing, he'd move to Langley, and if he wanted to dance, he'd move to Maple Ridge. "Maple Ridge long held a reputation for merry dances - not the mawkish, waddling things called dances today  but the regular old hoe-downs and reels, after which a man seating his partner, would walk over to the door and open up his vest in order to dry his shirt, which would be dripping with perspiration," Ferguson famously said.
Music continued to be a prominent part of life in Maple Ridge even after the early
During the Second World War, dances were a big part of the fundraising efforts for the war, and often they raised money to send packages overseas to Canadian troops. Later musical groups from the area included the Haney Old Time Fiddlers, Tiller's Folly, and The Nocturnals.
Another fixture in the community was Haney Music and Art, established in 1945, where local residents went to get music and art supplies for almost half a century, White explained.
Anyone who might have a hand-held instrument with a historical connection to Maple Ridge can contact curator Allison White to see if it's suitable for the museum's collection at 604-463-5311.
The Maple Ridge Museum, 22520 116th Ave., is open Wednesdays and Sundays, from 1 to 4 p.m. both days.
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