Third Floor

Map of the Third Floor Exhibits

Three exhibits are located on the third floor of the Thunder Bay Museum.

Here you will find a gallery dedicated to our rich musical heritage, an exhibit of Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario’s military history, and rotating temporary exhibits in the Antechamber Gallery.

Antechamber Gallery

Self-portrait on the Horseshoe Trestle near Jackfish Bay. Beside him is the wooden box in which he carried photographic glass plates. TBHMS 2002.34.17k.

North of Superior: The Photography of John Forde

June 13th 2023 – March 2024

This exhibit presents a selection of 21 photographs taken between 1890 and 1910 by John Forde, a fur trader who worked as a photographer in his spare time and who later in 1896 purchased a studio in Port Arthur.

These photographs provide a fascinating window into the early post-settlement history of Thunder Bay and the north shore of Lake Superior. His photographs capture early scenes of the Canadian Pacific Railroad along the north shore, highlighting its natural beauty and rugged terrain, as well as of the industrial and civic development of Port Arthur and Fort William. From expeditions into the Nipigon watershed to remote First Nations communities, they also provide some of the only photographic record of these communities from this time period.

Military Exhibit

Examples of Military Uniforms from the 1880s to the Second World War

Stand on Guard: Our Military Heritage

Military power in Northwestern Ontario began with the War of 1812 but the first formal military unit was created in 1885 (later known as the Lake Superior Regiment), and others followed–army, navy, and air force–particularly in the two World Wars. The honours achieved by local soldiers are second to none.

Some of the uniforms on display include:

  • that of Charles McLennan, 96th District of Algoma Battalion of rifles, 1887
  • the First World War flying suit used by Alfred Coombs
  • that of Col. Robert Keane who lead the LSR during the Second World War
  • Red Cross uniforms worn by Mary Miller during the Second World War

Other notable artifacts include:

  • First World War German machine gun
  • First World War LSR brass band drum also used in Second World War
  • Second World War mine detector

Music Exhibit

Gallery Exhibit of mannequins playing a saxophone, trombone, and clarinet

Music to our Ears: Notes from Thunder Bay’s Musical Past

This exhibit is a comprehensive collection of musicians and bands throughout Thunder Bay’s history.

From the earliest brass band (dating from the late 1870s) to the most modern rock group, they are all here in picture, artifact or song. Consult our detailed computerized database that now contains over 600 entries and continues to grow. It is the most comprehensive of its kind. Included are such well-known Thunder Bay musicians as Bobby Curtola, Paul Shaffer, The Golden Dogs, Suzanne Hou, the Fort William Male Choir, Jon Vickers, Karina Long, The Negatives, Tommy Horricks, Hugh LeCaine, Tyler Yarema, Billy Ziegel, Myrna Lorrie, Buddy DeVal, Don Grashey, Jerry Palmer, The Ryde, Rodney Brown, Cosimo Filane, Flipper Flanagan’s Flat Footed Four, and hundreds of others.

The exhibit also includes a variety of instruments such as a beautiful, hand-crafted accordion made by Mr. Baldovin of Fort William, and an Irish lute harp circa 1809 that was brought to Canada in 1924.