Adam Reym of Blakes Moving and Storage carries out some of the artifacts from the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin that will go into storage at the Tourism Discovery Centre. Gaeil Farrar photo

Moving of artifacts at Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin continues

Famous Stampede bull throwing contest steel bull among artifacts moved today

Blakes Moving and Storage workers delivered another load of precious historical objects from the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin to their new home at the Tourism Discovery Centre today.

Some of the artifacts will be on display at the TDC while others will go into storage until a new museum is built or designated.

Among the artifacts on the move this morning, June 16, was the big black bull made from a barrel that held the cow pies used in the politicians’ bull throwing contest that was held during the annual Williams Lake Stampede for many years.

Historian Diana French said none of the local or visiting politicians, no matter their high rank, ever refused to participate in the contest. Each politician in turn took a dried cow pie from the steel bull and threw it down the arena as far as he or she was able to manage. Sometimes the cow pies would break apart before or as they landed.

The “elastic” tape measure used in judging the distance of throws was somewhat flexible at times so one could never quiet be sure who would win the contest, French said, adding it was a pretty funny event at Stampede that people enjoyed.

The Blakes Moving and Storage team moving the bull today included Phillip Bucholtz, Adam Reym, Matt Reym, and Curtis (CJ) Sartain.

The museum on Fourth Avenue will be torn down to make way for a new 72-bed residential care centre. The building needs to be vacated by July 4 for construction on the project to begin.

“We are starting with museum event related materials that will go into a 20-foot storage container and some of the larger shelving that will go to the TDC,” said Tara Fraser, conservator with Fraser/Spafford Ricci Art and Archival Conservation Inc., the company hired by the city to facilitate the move.

She said 80 per cent of the museum’s artifacts will go into storage while 20 per cent will be on display at the TDC.

The TDC has made alterations on the main floor so the museum can have an exhibit space. In the unfinished basement, interior walls, shelving and security and motion detectors have been installed for artifact storage.

“It’s dry and it’s a great enclosed environment down there for us,” Fraser said of the basement area. “They are really trying to accommodate our specifications as best they can.”

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