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South Frontenac Museum Goes Virtual

The South Frontenac Museum had only been permitted to open for 5 weeks since March 2021.

“It’s been a very challenging time for museums and galleries as so many of us were closed down or had very limited openings,” said John McDougall, President of the South Frontenac Museum Society.

Xplornet is a proud sponsor of the museum who have been using their Xplornet Internet to transform what was once a solely in-person experience into a virtual one.

Their most recent exhibit featured artifacts from the WWI 146th Battalion who was conscripted in the Township of South Frontenac and the County of Frontenac all those years ago.

“Dozens and dozens of our visitors came to find out information about their relatives,” John said.

Now, most of that exhibit is available online and the museum is even using social media so that those who want, can still have an interactive experience.

“Before the lockdown, we had volunteers welcoming and taking people through the museum and now that work is done on social media,” he said.

The South Frontenac Museum Society started out as a group of Verona, Ontario locals who wanted to keep their town’s history alive.

“It used to be a spot where the larger community would have an evening on Saturday night. They would go shopping, there would be movie theatres and pool halls. That’s what they wanted to save, as well as the agricultural traditions like strawberry socials, making your own butter and things like that,” he explained.

This group of people got together in 2004 and when a historic schoolhouse in Hartington just south of Verona became available through the township, they campaigned to start a museum.

“The city hired us for $1 a year to manage it and find artifacts for it,” John explained.

They then put out a public call for museum artifacts. “You would not believe the stuff we got,” he said. They had so much stuff they had to find a hall to store their overflow of artifacts.

The museum’s original display included the history of the cheese factory, pictures of the old post office, yearbooks dating back 90 years, newspaper archives, old menus, and advertisements as well as family stories and photo albums.

“We set up a historic children’s room, a large kitchen display of kitchen utensils that would be used, a bedroom with a traditional 4-post bed and quilts and a farming area with old farm equipment. It’s something you can easily spend an hour in,” John said.

Once an artifacts is received the museum uses their Internet connection to research and display the full historical meaning.

“The Xplornet internet service was absolutely crucial to this research aspect of the process,” John said.

They also use their Internet connection to advertise the museum and set up their virtual tour videos and exhibits.

John has been satisfied with the museum’s connection.

“When you call Xplornet you get a person, and that person is fabulous every time. Sometimes people come into the museum just to use the Internet,” John said.

John also uses Xplornet at home for video conferencing.

John using the computer

“I’m on a whole bunch of committees. I’m a committee junky. Almost all the meetings I’ve had have been on Zoom. I don’t know how I would have done without it,” he said.

When asked if he would recommend Xplornet he said, “Absolutely, at home and here it’s been excellent.”

John lives at the end of a lane on four acres of woodland on a small lake called Little John’s Sister.

“It’s just fabulous, my wife is a gardener, and we have a big vegetable garden. We have a spot on an island in the middle of the lake where there’s really good swimming, so we go there by canoe. We want to stay as long as we can. I’m 81 and she’s 83. One essential to the whole thing is going to be the Internet,” he said.

John and family

Xplornet is here so that you can live wherever you want in beautiful rural Ontario, without exception. Call 1-866-601-0021 to see what we have available in your area.