Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum

Posted by Jamie Lee on Monday, October 1st, 2012

Dave Johnson / The Tribune

Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum has full-time education program co-ordinator

Learning local history is very important, it tells people how the area developed over time, how things came to be, said Sebastian Habjan.

"You learn how the community helped shape the region," said Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum's education program co-ordinator.

Habjan, who started the job just two weeks ago and deals with local schools in his position, said when students comes to the museum for a visit, he explains how Port Colborne helped shape Ontario and the rest of Canada.

One way he does that is through one of three educational programs run at the museum, Life in Great Lake Towns.

"Students learn how communities depended on canals and waterways and how trading was so important along the lakes in areas like Port Colborne."

One of the other programs run by Habjan, who is from Wainfleet, is a Pioneer Days program that is run for students in the city, usually Grade 3 students.

Students, he said, come to the museum grounds on King St. and go through the school house, doghouse and blacksmith shop and see what pioneer life was like when Port Colborne and the surrounding area were being settled. Last year, when he was a summer student at the museum, he helped develop the program and ran one Port Colborne school through it.

Early Transportation is the final program he runs and it looks at boats and other forms of transportation, like the Neff Steam Buggy. The Neff Steam Buggy was a steam-powered car built in Humberstone and dates back to 1901.

"We also take about patterns of settlement and why people migrated to one area as opposed to another."

Students and schools can also take self-guided tours of the museum grounds, Habjan said, adding the museum provides information to the students.

The students can also do scavenger hunts on the grounds where they have to find things on site and write it down. It allows the students, Habjan, to explore and learn in a fun way.

With War of 1812 activities taking place all over Niagara, Habjan said students can also come in and see the museum's exhibit.

"I talk about the Sugarloaf Settlement and the importance of it at the time. Students can also go over to our archives and look at maps of the times for a hands-on experience," said Habjan, who specialized in the First and Second World Wars while at Brock University.

Schools wanting to take part in any of the programs being offered can contact Sebastian Habjan at 905-834-7604.



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