Serving their community for 50 years, by ensuring the local history of Osgoode Township is preserved and protected, a celebration was held at the OTM on Sat., Sept. 23. From the left: OTHS president Douglas Thompson, OTHS founder Michael Daley, executive director James Jensen are seen just prior to the presentations. Thompson Goddard Photo
VERNON – A crowd of close to 200 people visited the Osgoode Township Museum (OTM) in Vernon, Ontario during the museum’s golden anniversary celebrations on Sat., Sept. 23.
There was plenty to see during the event, which featured the chance to view exhibits in the museum and agricultural hall, while socializing with friends and neighbours.
Also, in the afternoon on the museum site, you could see several cars, motorcycles, and antique tractors; 20 cars, 5 motor in the agricultural hall and cars, motorcycles and antique tractors parked on the museum grounds. Following short addresses by OTM president Douglas Thompson, Osgoode Township Historical Society founding member Mike Daley, and Carleton County MPP Goldie Ghamari, and the presentation of congratulatory certificates, there was cake or cupcakes for guests to enjoy.
The first day the museum was officially open to the public was Sept. 21, 1973, following the establishment of the Osgoode Township Historical Society in 1972 by a committee of local residents. Elizabeth Stevens Stuart headed the committee, which received funding from a New Horizon Grant from the Township of Osgoode, explained OTM executive director James Jensen. Members of the executive included: President Elizabeth Stewart; vice president Gerald Hill, secretary Louise Stearns and treasurer Donald McKeracher, with Lawrence Brunton having cheque signing authority. Jensen listed confirmed founding members: Jennie Dow, Frances Iveson, Mrs. Rolland Campbell, Mrs. Alex Campbell, Alice Craig, Mae Shelp, Grace Blair, Vivian Shorey, Arlowa Ferguson, Sarah Lee, Amy Daykin, Connie Sallons, Margaret Robb, Harry and Olive Anderson and Michael Daley.
The OTHS leased the former two-room schoolhouse and surrounding property with the school, the current home of the Osgoode Township Museum and in 1989 a barn structure was built to exhibit and house “large agricultural farming equipment” and in 2013, a Heritage Garden was created on site. “Their purpose in establishing this group was to do research, create interest, collect data, preserve and publish the history of Osgoode Township and the genealogy of its residents,” explained Jensen. He provided a copy of the museum’s current mandate as being “to collect, preserve, display, study, interpret and make accessible the material and cultural heritage of the Osgoode Township’s communities, as a means to further the understanding of its material culture, spirit and significance to the greater Ottawa community as an example of rural and agricultural life.
“Fifty years of serving the community, while adding amenities, is a great achievement for a small museum. The ongoing success of OTM is thanks to the foresight and hard work of those that founded the museum in 1972/73, the combined efforts of board members, volunteers, and staff since then, and to the local community’s support by visiting the museum, taking part in programs, and accessing research resources,” commented Jensen. He continued that the ability of the museum to serve the public over these five decades need financial support and he thanked “all past and present donors and sponsors, and the ongoing significant financial support of the City of Ottawa and the federal government, and the provincial government.”
More information on the OTHS and OTM can be located on their social media pages.
Carolyn Thompson Goddard, grew up in Chesterville and attended North Dundas District High School. After completing her BA in Political Science at Carleton University she has worked as a medical secretary and library technician. In 2020 she graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in Journalism and has been a reporter and column writer for The Chesterville Record for over 10 years.