Keeper of Chinese history in B.C. destroyed in fire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Keeper of Chinese history in B.C. destroyed in fire

Lytton Chinese History Museum burnt to the ground.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Lytton Chinese History Museum
July 03, 2021 - 9:00 PM

A keeper of B.C.’s history was razed this week in the Lytton fire.

The Lytton Chinese History Museum, which traced the story of Chinese inhabitants in the Lytton area from 1858 to 1928, burned to the ground in the June 30 fire.

“I am so saddened to say that the Lytton Chinese Museum was totally burned in the Lytton fire. The photo is taken by what used to be my son’s house and all that remains of the museum are the rock walls in the background,” reads a post to the museum’s homepage written by Lorna  Fandrich who, with her husband Bernie opened the Lytton Chinese History Museum opened on May 13, 2017.

According to its website, the museum was constructed in the style of an 1881 Chinese Temple that once stood in the area and had 200 period-artifacts collected from throughout B.C.'s Interior.

Exhibits covered the gold rush, railway construction, Chinese cultural practices, and the difficulties faced by Chinese labourers help bring recognition to the early Chinese influence on Lytton and the Fraser and Thompson Canyons, and also create a greater awareness of the historic links between the Chinese community, the First Nations community and other local residents.

“We have been in contact with the Executive Director of the Lytton Chinese History Museum and can sadly confirm that the museum and its collections have been destroyed – only their online database remains,” a notice from the BC Museums Association said.

It’s not the only historical loss. The Lytton Museum and Archives was also lost.

“I’m most concerned that our little museum didn’t get saved, it had a lot of good stuff in there, but that was Fraser Street and Fraser Street was the first to go,” Lake Country Mayor James Baker said.

 Baker was a former college anthropology instructor and grew up in Lytton.

As of yesterday, 79,000 hectares of land have been burned this season, and through the weekend it will likely reach closer to 100,000 hectares, Chapman said.

Earlier this week, Lytton, about 260 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, recorded the highest temperature ever seen in Canada on three consecutive days. It maxed out at 49.6 C on Tuesday and the fire came shortly thereafter. The Village of Lytton was almost completely destroyed by the June 30 fire and B.C. Wildfire Service says the blaze is now mapped at 83 square kilometres in size. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2021

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