Did you Know we have a “World Class Museum” right in Lanark County?

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Did you Know we have a “World Class Museum” right in Lanark County?

 

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.

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Interior one room sod homeMiddleville & District Museum

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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”.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

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Cars and such-Middleville & District Museum

 

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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!

 

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General store and Post Office at the Middleville & District Museum

 

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Schoolroom with personal mementos at the Middleville & District Museum

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Curator Alice Borrowman from the Middleville & District Museum

Stay tuned all week to the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page to see more photos of some great interesting things from the Middleville & District Museum.

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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!

 

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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

 

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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.

 

relatedreading

 

When History Comes to You–A Visit from Middleville

Visiting the Neighbours — Middleville Ontario and Down the 511

It’s the Middleville News

Hissing Steam, Parades and a 1930 Hearse–Pioneer Days Middleville

Have You Ever Paid Tribute to our Pioneers? Middleville Pioneer Cemetery

Why Am I Obsessed with History?

Where is it Now? The Heirloom of William Camelon

 

John Rayner’s Posts

Middleville Museum, Part 3

Middleville Museum, Part 2

Middleville Museum, Part 1

 

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Preserving the Past With Love Without Embalming It — Photos of the Carleton Place Museum 2011

Carleton Place Rules the World — Almonte Waves a White Flag!

The Rosamond Woolen Company’s Constipation Blues

Calling on the Victorian Neighbours Full of Lustre!

When I was 17- The Kitten- Glenayr Knitting Mills Reunion

Shaw’s of Perth-(About the Matheson’s of Perth)- Matheson House Museum

I was Born a Boxcar Child- Tales of the Railroad

The North Lanark Quilts

Bill Armstrong and The Innisville Museum (closed)

 
 

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Middleville & District Museum
Yesterday at 10:00 AM  · 

We’re opening! … Saturday, July 24, at noon, we will open for our 2021 season.
Days/hours: Saturdays, Sundays, and Holiday Mondays, up to an including Monday, October 11th – 12 noon to 4pm.
COVID restrictions still apply. Contact-tracing information will be collected as per the Health Board.
For more information, message us or check out our website at http://www.middlevillemuseum.org/.

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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