The Middleville and District Museum continues to look for and acknowledge the stories of Indigenous People who called the area home. A recent donation from the family of Joe Baye included photos and stories as well as family history. The photographs enhance the story of his children. Some stories tell about Joe's brother, Johhny Bey, who lived at the end of the Mazinaw. A recent donation of a basket made by the Baye family brings up the story that Peter Baye, father of Joe and Johnny travelled to this area with Joe's family. The family made beautiful baskets for sale and also to be given as gifts for friends and neighbours. The basket resembles those made by the Whiteduck family of Joe's Lake. It turns out that Johnny and the Whiteduck family of the same area knew each other well. The arrival of Joe's violin leads to stories about what accomplished musicians the Baye family were known to be.
There are books that tell about the Mazinaw and the pictures on the rocks Notes compiled tell about the possible Indigenous trails that, in some cases, later became settler trails and eventually byways in the region. The twists and turns were carefully crafted to follow the high land. Some would involve portage and others lead to fishing and hunting grounds.
As the artifacts and information come to the Museum, the Indigenous Exhibit grows with depth and personal stories. Visitors can learn about who lived here in the rocky highlands of the area using the natural landscape for all their needs,. The abundance of wildlife, waterways and flora with many uses made this area a desirable area to live. .
The Middleville and District Museum hopes to collect and preserve more stories of Indigenous families who lived in the area. Visitors learn about the lives of the families through the artifacts and narratives. Plan to spend some time reading the stories on your next visit to the Museum.
This journal is written, researched, and maintained by the volunteers of the Middleville Museum.