(Contributed) Staff at the Maple Ridge Museum are proud of the work they do, and their potato rock.

Looking Back: The story of ‘potato rock’

‘Every day we talk to local people about their history’

Back in 2002, a man with a big heart and an open mind walked into the museum, a donation in hand.

He had lived a long and hard life, but something interesting had just happened – he came across a rather extraordinary rock.

He showed his neighbours, and jokers that they were they told him: ‘Well, it’s a fossil… a fossil potato.’

And with his open heart and mind, this man thought: ‘Well, it belongs in a museum.’

So he brought it to us at the Maple Ridge Museum, and with equally large hearts, the student workers here at the time saw the hope in his eyes and gratefully took his donation.

While, sadly, there is no such thing as a fossil potato, the rock bears a striking resemblance to our favorite starchy side dish. It now lives in our local geology exhibit case as an example of things not always being what they appear.

At the museum, we do more than collect and catalogue old photos and artifacts; we are the keepers of Maple Ridge’s history, its personality, and its heart.

This “potato rock” is just one example of the sometimes weird and wacky things in our collection, all representing the culture and people of Maple Ridge. While other museums would look at this round river rock and dismiss it as just a rock taking up space, our museum has integrated it into our collection, because sometimes our job here as the keepers of the past is more about local ministry than anything.

Every day we talk to local people about their history, their family history, and their connection to our community. Whether their families have been here for a hundred years or if they have just moved here, they can find a connection to the past and Maple Ridge here at the museum.

While we are now hard pressed for space to store our collections and are particular about what donations we are able to take and store, we are still so happy we accepted our potato rock.

It not only means a lot to us as a symbol of our community, but the elderly man who brought it here would proudly bring his great-grandchildren here every year to see what he contributed to the museum and that connection to the community we serve is priceless.

We may be small, but we have a big heart, and, yes, that heart may be potato-shaped, but I, and everyone here, are proud to work for a museum that values the people of the community above all.

Shea Henry is curator of the Maple Ridge Museum.

Just Posted

Council balks at new groundwater maps in Maple Ridge’s long-term plan

Wants staff to later vote on removing them, and refer issue to province

Maple Ridge businesses, residents looking for relief from tent city

Both have been challenged by being near homeless camp.

UPDATE: Province putting temporary modular housing on Burnett Street

Expected to take five months, will work with city on solution to homeless camp.

Paramedics say ambulances sitting idle

Shortages in Maple Ridge, Metro Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded after swearing at student during 2017 altercation

Gregory Norman Brock was issued letter of discipline, suspended three days without pay.

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Most Read