North Lanark Historical Society (NLHS) this year. A streak of good fortune and some very generous donations have made it possible for the society to purchase a fully constructed, portable bungalow to be used as a museum for the society’s historical artifacts And last Friday, the home was moved on a flatbed by Drumond Brothers Ltd to the site of the old Appleton school museum, which served as the society’s museum before it was destroyed by fire last summer.
The NLHS is endeavouring to have the home, which came fully equipped, insulated and fitted so it could be heated, operational as soon as possible. Once operational, the society plans to move its archive, presently located in the Mini-Mall on Bridge Street (Almonte), and those artifacts of the museum that survived the fire, to the new museum at the corner of Concession 11 and High Street, Ramsay Township. With Almonte’s centennial next year, museum curator Dawn Leduc says it was important for the society to have a working museum in which to display Lanark’s historical artifacts to the influx of tourists and former residents expected during the Centennial year.
The society still plans to rebuild the old Appleton schoolhouse for museum purposes, however, it has resigned itself to the fact it may not realize those plans for several years yet. The new museum building, worth $30,000 in material alone, was re- .cently bought on behalf of the society for $10,000 by Drummond Brothers from Campeau Corporation in Ottawa. The society has, in turn, paid the Drummonds back thanks to two major donations. The first donation has been in the hands of the society *for some time. It’s the $6,000 insurance cheque turned over to the society by the Lanark Board of Education which school museum. The board still owns the property upon which the old schoolhouse stood.
A second donation of $5,000 came more recently from a friend of the society who wishes to remain anonymous. However, the donations alone would not have allowed the society to purchase a replacement building so soon had it not been for the contribution made by the Stewart Drummond family of RR 3, Almonte, particularly, that made by the family’s mother, the late, Doreen Drummond,after whom the society has saw fit to name the new museum. Apparently, in securing the house at a low price for the society, the Drummond brothers, Dave and Gib, were fulfilling a promise they made their mother before she died. According to the brothers, one of the last places their mother visited before she died was the ruins of the old schoolhouse which had burnt down while she was in the hospital being treated for cancer.
After visiting the ruins, the brothers say their mother asked them to promise her that they would do what they could do to help the society rebuild its museum. Mrs Drummond died in October. The brothers began by offering the society to be on the lookout for a portable building it could use as a temporary museum. Their first idea was to get the” society a portable school room which they are often involved in relocating: however; something better became available just a few weeks ago. A portable house used as a sales office by the Campeau Corporation at Barrhaven Meadows was put up for sale. Having been called in to give an estimate on moving the house, the brothers were aware of it going up for sale. At first, they thought of buying the building for themselves and reselling it at a profit, but then they realized the house would make an ideal museum for the society because of its layout. As a former sales office, the 44 by 22-foot house has a number of features that lend themselves to displaying. For instance, the main room takes up three-quarters of the space in the house making for a large display area. The same room is lit by spotlights fitted into the roof and contains a display wall which has spotlights especially trained on it. Other features include washroom facilities, a kitchenette, and a real fireplace.
North Lanark Museum
Moving Appleton Community Hall, photo by Irene Thompson
Courtesy of Irene Thompson
Photographer: Irene Thompson