150 years of Queens County history in photos

Published on April 19, 2017

Linda Rafuse of the Queens County Museum shows off just one of the hundreds of photos featuring Queens County through the past 150 years that will be put on display for Canada 150.

Liverpool - Soon, people across Canada will be able to see a photo display of 150 years of Queens County History.

The Queens County Museum has received a Canada 150 grant to digitize hundreds and hundreds or photos to create a display entitled “Through the Eyes of the Photographer, Our Cultural Legacy.”

The museum itself has boxes and boxes of old photographs, says Linda Rafuse, manager of the Queens County Museum. It has also recently been donated 32 shoeboxes of negatives from well known local photographer Ken Dagley, which cover many years of the county’s history.

“When Ken called here and asked if we would take his photograph collection, some of his darkroom collection, we were just thrilled.”

Rafuse says Canada 150’s criteria was to choose something that’s been celebrated in the last 150 years of history,

“As a museum collection or photograph collection, I mean we cover history so we found it very difficult to feature one thing to showcase,” she says.

“When we look through our photograph collection through the last 150 years we find there were many things celebrated and many people celebrated, many events, things that happened, but because of all of that it was those photographers who left us that visual history.”

Rafuse says it is going to be very difficult to choose from the thousands of photos.

She says Queens County had many excellent photographers, and they chronicled the history of the county.

“All of those men over the last 150 years have left us a visual history of what we have today.”

She says the project will celebrate the photographers and the legacy they have left in their photographs.

They’ve contracted an employee to  digitize the collection and create an interactive kiosk to show the collection from all of those photographers.

“It will be available to the visitor by subject, so it will be just like looking for pictures. So if you want to see buildings, sports events, if you’d like to see things like fires, those were big happenings. It can be anything. We have war heroes. So this interactive kiosks will be full of photographs for the last 150 years of everything left us by our photographers.”

The kiosk will be located at the Queens County Museum as a permanent display.