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A Century Ago Dundas in the 1920s
UPDATED: February 8 – October 17
Our first exhibit of the new year is also the first exhibit of the 2020s decade! We are taking this opportunity to look back at what life in our town was like one hundred years ago,
recreating historic spaces with hundreds of period artifacts from our permanent collections. The jazz age was defined by its bold reinvention of traditional design and decoration, but how much did this aesthetic revolution actually influence the look of our town? From the extravagant to the every day, the distinct fashion of the decade will be on full display with stunning examples of period clothing and jewelry from our vault. The artistry of manufacturing is apparent in the deco furniture, telephones, radios, and other products which were being manufactured in the bustling Dundas business sectors. Between buying a new straw hat at Grafton’s and picking up groceries at Laing’s, what would the average Dundasian see around them? Take a look through antique maps, city directories, and newspaper advertisements to recreate Dundas’ King Street shopping district as it looked in 1925. Take a closer look at authentic items from the time; men’s shaving equipment, a ladies’ vanity set, children’s toys, and kitchen gadgets for the ‘modern’ age.
As communications spread across the globe and made the world a little smaller, the 1920s became a world of entertainment. Town celebrations transformed the Driving Park into a picturesque fairground, civic holidays brought cheering crowds out to witness parades of marching bands and fire brigades, and silent films flickered on the screen of the Majestic Theatre. Dundasians fell in love with the Charleston, Clara Bow, and Rudolph Valentino. View the artifacts which bring this vibrant age back to life!
The Dundas Museum and Archives gratefully acknowledges the City of Hamilton City Enrichment Fund for its support of our Exhibition Program.
In the Education Centre Gallery
Gallery temporarily closed.
On-going in the First Gallery
Featured in our First Gallery is the ever-popular kid’s zone, an interactive room featuring all you need to know on pre-European Dundas. The gallery features a climbing wall shaped into the Dundas Peak with a mural looking down into the town. Kids can go wild touching and exploring our habitat drawers and discovering some of the creatures they share the valley with!
On-going in the First Gallery
The Neutrals of the Valley
The second gallery features a scaled cross-section of an indigenous longhouse, a dwelling similar to that that the Neutrals, the first people in the valley, would have lived in. Visitors can sit and read about how the Neutrals lived, or explore the many ways our cultures were similar, and how they differed. On display in the gallery is also a portion of the Museum’s indigenous archaeological collection, including pottery from the Late Haudenosaunee Period (900-1650 A.D.) and projectile points from the Late Paleo-Indian Period (8,000 B.C.)
On-going in the Main Gallery
Welcome to Dundas! Our Main Gallery presents a look back at the history of our town illustrated by a collection of remarkable artifacts from our vault. Over its two-hundred-year history, Dundas has been a frontier home for Loyalist refugees, a bustling Victorian canal town, a volatile hotbed of rebel sedition, and so much more! Whether you come to relive memories or to learn anew, our ever-changing space is bound to lead you to new discoveries.
Funding for the main gallery was provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation(OTF). The OTF is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. Learn more about the project here: Press Release Trillium Grant
A War Without End
What happened when three young men left their homes to serve their country? The travelling exhibition A War Without End shares the Great War experiences of three Dundas boys. Their compelling stories have a local connection and prompt conversations about service, sacrifice, community, and family.
Each soldier’s story is told through an introductory panel, a life-size photographic reproduction of the soldier, and two retractable banners containing text and images of archival documents, photographs and artifacts from the Museum’s collection. They are portable and easy to set up.
The exhibit is available free of charge and can be borrowed individually or together. Perfect for schools, retirement homes, community centres, libraries, or other public spaces.
Contact the Museum at 905.627.7412 or email Sandra for more information.
The Dundas Museum and Archives gratefully acknowledges the City of Hamilton City Enrichment Fund for its support of our Archives Community Outreach Program.