Van Egmond House tells story of Huron’s heroic
The Van Egmond House Museum, located
at 80 Kippen Road in Egmondville, is a little piece of 19th century society,
and the former residence of the Van Egmond family.
After immigrating to
Canada from Holland, the Van Egmonds resided in Waterloo County until 1827,
where they met Canada Company Secretary John Galt who had an interesting
proposition for the head of the family, Colonel Anthony Van Egmond.
In exchange for cash
payment and 14,000 acres of land, Colonel Van Egmond agreed to aid Galt in the
construction of a 45-mile-long road between Guelph and Goderich, which Galt
believed would hasten the settlement of the Huron Tract, a 4,000
square-kilometre area in what is now southwestern Ontario.
The road was quickly
finished, and the Van Egmond family soon packed up their things and moved from
Waterloo to Huron County. But the manoeuvrings of the Family Compact which
controlled the province, made it hard for pioneers to prosper. Fed up, Colonel
Van Egmond joined the ill-fated rebellion of William Lyon Mackenzie in 1837. He
was captured and died in jail.
From pioneering to
rebellion, the history of the Van Egmond family was a colourful one, and much
of it can be gleaned from a walk through the old Van Egmond House.
The building has been
refurbished using materials from roughly the same time-period in order to
maintain the appearance of an authentic 19th century manor.
The house will be open for regular hours (Thursday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) July 1 to August 15, at other times by appointment at 519-522-0057.