Photo from the Middleville & District Museum
As someone who studies the past, I have strong personal ideas about what makes a good museum. To get my vote, a museum has to be prepared to take some risks, and it should present different views and ideas. That said, everyone has a different opinion, but my bottom line is it should be innovative and really involved with its local community. If people donate their family items to a museum they want to see it on display– and that is what the Middleville Museum does. There is very little in their stock room, and each exhibit is set in its own vignette. I didn’t sense institutional stuffiness or aloofness either, which are two of the threats of low attendance at museums– in fact, it was the absolute opposite.
Interior one room sod home–Middleville & District Museum
Chances are you probably have not visited this little gem smack dab in the middle of Lanark County, and I was one of the guilty ones. It’s not like I didn’t try– a few times the museum was closed for the season, or I came during the week. My driving has its limits now, and then this year I got sick and stayed inside for most of the summer. I knew they closed Thanksgiving weekend and time was of the essence– so when Steve asked me where I wanted to go on Saturday — it was definitely ‘The Middleville Museum”.
So much to see at the Middleville & District Museum
This museum as far as I am concerned is one of the best kept secrets of Eastern Ontario, and deeply entwined with the life of the surrounding area. Some museums might have assumed a level of audience, but not always among the general visiting public. Putting something in a glass case with a parallel text next to it can be a not-very-immersive experience for the visitor.
Something for everyone in the family and a great place for local schools to visit. You don’t need to go to Ottawa–Middleville & District Museum
The Middleville Museum hits it all- with photos and mementos, a small interactive log cabin that you can step back in time, a classroom, and even antique autos and an old funeral hearse. Every turn of the corner was a delight, and even if a good portion is based on objects–there was an instant connection made between the object and history, which gives us a special kind of access to the past. Immediately I sensed the community in the Middleville Museum, whether it was separated by a pane of glass or not.
Cars and such-Middleville & District Museum
Middleville Museum, Part 1– Photo by John Rayner– as there is no way my “bad shot” conveyed the awesomeness of this vehicle
No one has an idea about why we go to museums ourselves, or indeed why other people might go. The truth is– are any of us really sure? Today, I felt this museum was where the unexpected happens and I can’t really put how I feel into words. I am not a historian, I write and share stories of the past– and today, I looked at the content of the Middleville Museum and didn’t want to leave. If you let your imagination fly while you are walking around a museum and it invades your emotions, you’ve probably got a rather good museum on your hands. Even today, I am still thinking about what I saw– space that was thoughtfully transformed back into time. Well done– the ancestors are smiling from above!
General store and Post Office at the Middleville & District Museum
Schoolroom with personal mementos at the Middleville & District Museum
Curator Alice Borrowman from the Middleville & District Museum
Middleville & District Museum—Address: 2130 Concession Rd 6D, Lanark, ON K0G 1K0
Hours: · 11AM–3PM– check out their hours before you go.
Phone: (613) 259-0229 Open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the next couple of weeks and also on Thanksgiving Monday from 11-3.CLOSES THANKSGIVING WEEKEND!
Interested in Family Histories from the Middleville/Lanark Township area? Come have a chat with David Murdoch, our resident expert. That would be Archives Lanark and Lanark County historian Marilyn Snedden sitting there. Photo-Middleville & District Museum
In memory of the late Carman Lalonde who I miss greatly. (sitting in front of Clyde Hall in Lanark Village at his granddaughter and my son’s wedding)
The night before I made my journey to the Middleville & District Museum I had a dream where Carman was discussing ‘The Vertical Board House” and Carman was saying, “I told you that was the Sommerville House— did you forget?” I will never have the memory of Carman Lalonde.. there was only one Carman Lalonde.
John Rayner’s Posts
Shaw’s of Perth-(About the Matheson’s of Perth)- Matheson House Museum