Aylmer & District Museum
14 East St, Aylmer ON, N5H 1W2
Preserves, presents and promotes a collection reflecting the town and areas local heritage. Museum volunteers also organize the annual Christmas Tour of Homes, Tundra Swan migration reports and other events.
Open: Mar 1st 2011 to Nov 26th 2011
Mar – June & Sept – Nov:
Mon – Thur, 10am to 6pm; Fri, 10am – 1pm
July & Aug Summer Hours:
Tues – Sat, 10am – 6pm
Backus-Page House Museum
29424 Lakeview Ln, Wallacetown, ON N0L 2M0
The Backus-Page House Museum is located amidst the beauty of John E. Pearce Provincial Park. This restored Georgian-style 1850s residence is home to a living history museum. It is one of the first brick homes built in what would eventually become Dunwich Township. The Tyrconnell Heritage Society was incorporated in 1994 with the express purpose of restoring the house and property to its 1850s condition.
May 1st - Thanksgiving
Tues – Fri, 10am – 4:30pm; Sat – Sun & Holiday Mondays, 12noon – 4:30pm
Open year-round by appointment
Edison Museum of Vienna
14 Snow St, Vienna, ON NOJ 1Y0
The Edison Museum features authentic Edison artifacts, many of them donated by the late Nora Edison Coombe in 1981. A first cousin of inventor Thomas Alva Edison, she was the last descendant with the Edison name to live in Vienna. The museum is located in a home built in 1853 and donated by Helen and Douglas Howard to the village for the purpose of creating a museum.
Four generations of Edison's survived floods, fires, wars, revolutions and epidemics to become one of the founding families of Vienna, dubbed by a Toronto reporter in 1851, "the most flourishing place in Canada West." Thomas Alva Edison summered in Vienna with his grandfather during his formative years. Visit the Inventor's Room, which contains variations of earlier light bulbs, and storage batteries, as well as an experiement by Thomas Edison along with his friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone. During off-season contact Bayham Municipal Office at 519-866-5521, 8:30am – 4:30pm Mon – Fri.
Open Mid-May to Labour Day
Daily, 10am – 5:30pm
Elgin County Museum
450 Sunset Dr, St. Thomas, ON N5R 5V1
519-631-1460 (ext 160)
The Elgin County Museum exists to promote Elgin County's rich historical and agricultural heritage by acquiring, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting artifacts pertaining to the history of the County of Elgin; and to provide leadership and support to County museums in the promotion of a heritage partnership.
Victoria Day to Labour Day
Tues – Sat, 10am – 4pm
Labour Day to Victoria Day
Mon - Fri, 10am - 4pm
Elgin County Railway Museum
225 Wellington St, St. Thomas, ON N5R 2S6
Housed in the former 1913 Michigan Central Locomotive Shops, the museum includes steam, diesel and electric locomotives, cabooses, work equipment, passenger cars and an operating model railway, much of which has been restored by volunteers. Signature events include Railway Nostalgia Weekend in June, Day Out with Thomas in July and Railway Heritage Day in August. Major fundraising efforts such as "A Day Out with Thomas" contribute to the ongoing refurbishment of both the railway equipment and museum building. Such work will ensure the museum's future role in the preservation and presentation of Elgin County Railway heritage.
Spring & Summer
Daily 10am – 4pm
Fall & Winter
Tues - Sat, 12noon – 4pm
Elgin Military Museum
30 Talbot St, St. Thomas, ON N5P 1A3
The museum focuses on military history, with an emphasis on elgin County and its citizens and the role they have played in Canadian military history back to the founding of the Talbot Settlement. The museum is also anticipating the arrival of HMCS Ojibwa, a cold war Oberon Class submarine, which will be preserved and operate as a museum in Port Burwell (visit www.projectojibwa).
Since locating at 30 Talbot St in 1979, the Museum has worked to collect, record, interpret and exhibit items relating to military history with an emphasis on Elgin County and its residents. today, the Museum boasts close to 9,000 files on individual from the County, some dating back to the War of 1812, and research is ongoing.
Tues – Fri, 1pm – 5pm; Sat 9am – noon & 1pm – 5pm
24th of May to Labour Day
Open Sun 2pm – 4pm in addition to above hours
Forge and Anvil Museum
46316 Sparta Line, Sparta, ON
The cob museum building is one of the many examples of early Ontario architecture in Sparta, which began as a Quaker settlement in 1813. It served as a blacksmith shop and carriage works in the early community. The artifacts reflect the history of the Sparta area.
Forge and Anvil Museum is owned and operated by the Sparta and District Historical Society. The Society also hosts a re-enactment dinner the second Saturday in November and co-ordinate Doors Open in Sparta in conjunction with Port Stanley in October.
Open every day May till August, and most days till November.
Gay Lea Dairy Heritage Museum
Gay Lea Dairy Heritage Museum
48075 Jamestown Line, RR#2, Aylmer ON N5H 2R2
The museum began in the 1980s when Andy and Lotty van Kasteren decided to collect older dairy and heritage items so the public could see how farm families and tradesmiths would have once done their chores. As the collection grew, a new building was constructed to hold the artifacts. In 2008 Gay Lea Foods purchased the collections and are committed to dedicated stewardship of Ontario’s dairy heritage.
Victoria Day to Labour Day
Monday - Saturday: 9 am-5 pm
Labour Day to mid October
Saturday: 9 am-5 pm
Thanksgiving Monday: Closed
Mid October to Victoria Day Closed
Off season tours by appointment
Port Burwell Marine Museum & Historic Lighthouse
20 Pitt St, Port Burwell, ON N0J 1T0
From its beginning as an important centre for shipbuilding in the Talbot Settlement, to a prominent shipping port, to the Canadian destination of the Ashtabula carrying coal across Lake Erie, the marine-influenced economy and community life of Port Burwell are depicted within the museum’s displays. It has one of the finest collections of lighthouse lenses on the Great Lakes. Built in 1840, the lighthouse is one of Canada’s oldest wooden lighthouses. The 53 stairs take the visitors to a spectacular view of the harbour and village.
Port Burwell was named after Mahlon Burwell, a good friend of land surveyor Col. Thomas Talbot, who managed the early settlement of this area. The Big Otter Creek has been a major factor in the history of this port. The timber boom also led to a thriving ship building industry. Seventy-one sailing ships are recorded to have been built at Port Burwell during the 19th century. Not only lumber ran out, the arrival of the railroad around 1900 increased the importance of the harbour for the shipping of coal from Pennsylvania. (During off-season contact Bayham Municipal Office at 519-866-5521, 8:30am – 4:30pm Mon – Fri.)
Open Mid-May to Labour Day
Mon - Sat, 10am – 5:30pm; Sun, 11am – 6:30pm
Stork Club Big Band Museum & Interpretive Centre
302 Bridge St, Port Stanley, ON
The Stork Club Big Band Museum and Hall of Fame, in Port Stanley, Ontario, was set up to create a museum, exhibition and hall of fame dedicated to the history of the Stork Club, the display of Big Band memorabilia, and the revival and enjoyment of Swing Era music through ongoing events such as dances, concerts and festivals. Formed in late 2006, the organization has held dances, held displays for Doors Open (2006 - present), offered ongoing Ballroom and Latin Dance classes since September 2008, and created an Orientation Centre (now called the 'Interpretive Centre') located at 302 Bridge Street in Port Stanley where there is a display of music memorabilia and Stork Club artifacts.
The Stork Club, on the shores of Lake Erie in Port Stanley, was one of the most famous dance halls in North America. Opened in 1926 as the London and Port Stanley Dance Pavilion, and later renamed the Stork Club, it quickly became a favourite venue for big bands, orchestras and singers from Canada and the US. The building was destroyed by fire in 1979. For more on the history of the Stork Club, go to the website FAQ page or watch the video on the Stork Club History.
Winter Season (Labour Day to Victoria Day)
Tues – Sat, 10am – 5pm
7 days a week, 10am – 5pm
"Railway Nostalgia" References
Some general references to history and railway history in St. Thomas & Elgin County, used for "Railway Nostalgia" in Relish Elgin May/June 2013.