Artistes de la Rivière host a walk through the past

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Added: Wed, 06/05/2019 - 2:27pm
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Jamie Cameron

    PORTAGE-DU-FORT – In celebration of their opening weekend on June 1 and 2, les Artistes de la Rivière hosted a two-day walk through the village’s past with several activities throughout the town; the unveiling of historical plaques, horse and buggy rides, historical displays, tours, and demonstrations, and much more.
    The event began with the unveiling of a historical plaque at St. James Church. Twelve other plaques are located throughout the town on buildings with architectural and heritage value dating from before the fire of 1914. A historical walk guided by the Pontiac Historical Society, which doubled in size compared to last year with over 60 participants, began at the church after the event organizers, Historical Society and Pontiac MP Will Amos delivered opening speeches. A $4,000 government grant and proceeds from last year’s event funded the plaques.
    The village’s Town Hall has gone through many changes over the years, and was once even a jail. Two cells are still located in the back of the building and are used for storage. One was cleaned and opened for the event. To add to the experience, local resident Jeff Cameron dressed as a prisoner and sat within the cell. Four local authors and a historian/genealogist also had booths set up within the building.
    Art created by Pontiac High School students was featured within the Stone School Gallery, and at the back of the building, the Haughton’s displayed various historical artifacts like furs, an antique canoe, tools used by river loggers, maps explaining the history of the region’s waterways and the fur trade, and more. Across the street, local artists Katharine Fletcher and Martina and Larry Evans displayed their artwork and offered a paint workshop for children.  
    Nancy Lane, an old street running along the river that isn’t really used for vehicles anymore, featured an array of art both inside and outside the various buildings along it.
    “It was nice to see the town bustling. The plaques are a wonderful tribute to our history,” said Mayor Lynne Cameron.