Museum marks 40 years
Lambton Heritage Museum, south of Grand Bend, is celebrating its 40th year of telling the story of the surrounding county.
The museum opened in 1978 with the goal to “preserve and interpret the history of Lambton County”. And it has. From pre-settler days through the Lambton County oil boom to the county’s early industries, Lambton Heritage Museum has a fascinating story to tell.
While there are plenty of historic buildings and plaques on display along Ontario’s West Coast, most date from the time of European settlement in the mid-1800s. At Lambton Heritage Museum you can learn about the region before the settlers made their way into the area.
The museum’s Lambton Gallery tells the early origins of the area that is now Lambton County. It explains, for instance, the endless battles between plant and wind that shape and reshape the sand dunes along Lake Huron.
Moving on to human habitation, displays explain the early occupation of this area by the Attawandaron people who lived in the region between Lakes Huron and Erie more than 400 years ago. They were known as the Neutrals because they refused to get drawn into ongoing wars between the Huron aboriginal tribes around Georgian Bay and the Iroquois south of Lake Erie. But after the English settlers in the U.S. armed the Iroquois with muskets, and the French from Quebec armed the Hurons, the Iroquois wiped out the Hurons, and then turned on the peaceful, Attawandarons destroying them.
The exhibit goes on to explain the early years of settlement, the farming and household tools, the mills and other early industries including the story of the county’s role in the early oil industry.
But Lambton Heritage Museum is more than just the indoor displays. Out back you’ll find a blacksmith shop, a beef-ring slaughterhouse, a church, a school and a home, all fully furnished for the times, as well as two large implement sheds housing a fascinating assortment of agricultural implements. The outdoor buildings are open mid-April to mid-December.
To mark the museum’s own significant 40th year, a special exhibition 40 Years, 40 Objects, Celebrating Lambton’s Past will be on view until October 8.
Until October 31 the museum, eight kilometres south of Grand Bend, is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students over 13 years of age, $3 for children 4-12 and free for younger children.
Further information on the museum itself and special programs is available on the museum’s website, www.lambtonmuseums.ca/heritage or you can give them a call at 519-243-2600.