“The people of Collingwood have such a love for their history and they are very knowledgeable,” said podcast host Ken Maher.
Did you know that Collingwood experienced a property boom during World War II? Or that for many decades the people of Collingwood marked the arrival of the festive season when Harry Bell’s sleigh bells rang through the streets?
These are just a few of the many glimpses into the city’s past that can be heard on Stories from Another Day, a podcast produced by the Collingwood Museum. The podcast, which launched last spring, travels through the city’s past to uncover the people, events and stories that helped make this city what it is today.
Hosted by Ken Maher, the podcast releases a new episode every other Tuesday on topics ranging from historical moments, royal flubs, furry friends, political intrigue, potential invasions, ship launches, lost ships, holiday memories and much more.
“There’s so much history here in our little town,” said Maher, a local pastor and longtime volunteer at the museum.
Maher moved to Collingwood over a decade ago and began volunteering with the museum’s advisory board a few years later. He falls in love with the city and “is really interested in the museum”
“The museum is such a gem and I wanted to be able to give some volunteer time back to the city,” Maher said. “Each time you feel like you have mastered the city, its history and its past, you discover a new document or artifact.”
Maher said the museum is always looking for new ways to engage with the community and share Collingwood’s history and a few years ago they started toying with the idea of producing a podcast.
“There’s so much about Collingwood’s history that I never knew about,” Maher said. “And I was sure I probably wasn’t alone.”
When things came to a halt for the pandemic, Maher said it became pretty clear that it was time to finally get the podcast up and running because people could no longer come and engage with the museum and its exhibits in anybody. It took a bit of time to put together a catalog of episodes and make sure any further research was done.
The museum released its first episode, titled “Beginning at the End” on May 4, 2021 to honor Museum Month last year.
The inaugural episode looked at the end of a pivotal era in Collingwood’s history: shipbuilding. Since then, the topics stem from things Maher has personally discovered that piqued his interest, and he said he has no concerns about coming up with topics for future episodes.
“I’ve probably got three full seasons of plotted stories, but I know I’m only scratching the surface,” he laughed.
One of his favorite episodes so far was about the life and times of John Rutherford Creelman, Collingwood’s police chief from 1874 to 1876.
“It’s just a tragic, ridiculous story that only history can tell you,” Maher said. There are a lot of really funny stories, and there are a lot of really tragic ones in our city’s past…”
This year, Maher also hopes to find ways to get community feedback and learn the stories they want to hear. He said: ‘The people of Collingwood have such a love for their history and they are so knowledgeable.
Maher said he’s learned a lot over the past year, but what he loves most is hearing community feedback as stories connect with audiences and spark conversation.
“I really like when stories resonate and we hear more information from the community about things they remember about those people or events,” Maher said.
Hear the stories of another day on anchor.fm/cwoodstories or any podcast provider.