Who is Past Forward Heritage?
Past Forward Heritage Services (now Past Forward Heritage Limited) was
formed as the result of the collaboration of Doug Mackey and his son Paul
Mackey on a number of local history research projects beginning in 1994.
Initially the plan was to produce small pamphlets for local consumption.
As our research progressed we uncovered a wealth of original material.
We realized that the stories were of wide interest and that previous writers
had only scratched the surface. Our first study was of the Nipissing
and Nosbonsing Railway (The Booth Track). It was about 80% complete
when we began research for a book on the village
of Fossmill. After interviews with aging former residents we realized the
urgency of completing the research before the stories where lost. Recently
as a result of one of the interviews rare film footage
of the Fossmill operation came to our attention.
Many oral history books present the stories of seniors with little historical
context and explanation. Traditional history books look at the subject
using evidence in documented and archival material losing out on the rich
texture and emotional experience to be gleaned from oral histories. We
have combined the two approaches capturing the power of people's memories
and confirming and enriching them with traditional historical material.
As a result we have true stories that have many features of historical
fiction such as suspense, character development, descriptive detail capturing
the sounds, smells feelings and sights of the past. Illustrations, maps
and photographs will also help to recall the experiences of the past.
To promote and preserve local, oral and social history.
To publish local and social history books and DVDs
ALLAN DOUGLAS MACKEY: Doug is retired after 36 years as a Teacher, Principal
and Superintendent. He has experience as a writer and researcher and has
broad organizational and program development skills. He has taught log
house building and spent two years as the Curator of the Mattawa and District
Museum carrying out a variety of heritage projects. His educational qualifications
are: B.Sc (Industrial Education), B.A. (Sociology), and three separate
Masters Degrees in English, Administration and Special Education.
Doug is now writing a weekly column
called HERITAGE PERSPECTIVES in Community Voices a regional publication
of the North Bay Nugget. Check out the HERITAGE
PERSPECTIVES web page.
PAUL DOUGLAS MACKEY: Paul studied History and Anthropology at the University
of Toronto. He has experience with heritage building restoration, boat
restoration and cabinet making. He is an illustrator, photographer and
has experience as an Historical Interpreter. Extensive research on a number
of projects have been completed and he is skilled on computers and desk
Read a transcript of a talk
on Oral History Paul gave at the Pembroke cultural heritage conference
See a small selection of his
photographs of Steam Trains and Tall