Liverpool Packet will soon sail again at the Queens County Museum

Nick Moase
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Big changes are coming to the Queens County Museum over the next two months, with the arrival of the Liverpool Packet replica.

A project two years in the making, the space has been cleared and work is being done to ready the museum for the new exhibit. Starting mid-March the exhibit will be installed, and will take about a month to complete.

"We're coming to the end of the project, and the Liverpool Packet will soon be arriving," says museum manager Linda Rafuse.

The interactive exhibit will be a scale replica of the first 37 feet of the top deck of The Packet, taking up one entire wall of the museum. It will stretch out 18 feet from the wall, so people can wander around the deck to see what a Privateer Ship was like, and take in the interactive displays on the War of 1812, Captain Joseph Barss, and the privateering history of Liverpool.

The announcement of the new exhibit came in late 2012, but a need to update to the museum has been around much longer, says Rafuse.

"This is something we've waited to do for a long time," she says.

Despite the renovations, the museum will still be open to the public. Most of the museum displays are put away, however the Thomas Raddall Research Centre is unaffected.

Rafuse says they thought it would be more interesting for the community if they could come in and see the progress.

"We talked about closing the museum, but thought we should leave it open because it gives a chance for anyone to come in and see what is going on," she says.

The museum may have the odd day they need to close while the exhibit is under construction, says Rafuse, but they will announce any closures on Facebook.

The project cost about $300,000, and there is still a little bit of fundraising left to do, however the bulk of it has been complete. Funding came through grants from the federal and provincial government, as well as private donations.

The official unveiling of the exhibit will take place during Privateer Days on June 21, however the exhibit will be finished and open to the public before then.

It won't be the end of the museum's work however.

"Once exhibit is complete and workers have gone, to me that's when the big job begins," she says.

That will involve getting the rest of the museum back in order, and then making sure the new exhibit is promoted for tourists. Rafuse is confident though the new exhibit will be a big boost for the museum.


Organizations: Queens County Museum, Thomas Raddall Research Centre

Geographic location: Liverpool

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