North Lanark
Regional Museum
 Virtual   Exhibit
Our Collections
  Oral   Histories
Genealogy and Books
   About Us     & Location

North Lanark Historical Society Executive  2012-2013

President Ed Wilson
Secretary Brian Tackaberry
Treasurer Jennifer Armstrong
Membership Rita Cornell
Museum Manager Doreen Wilson
Directors Brian Armstrong, Jim Lowry, Norma Paul, Eleanor Wright
Town of Mississippi Mills Council Representative Alex Gillis
Museum Technology Project Co-ordinator - to be hired

The North Lanark Historical Society owns and operates the Museum.   New members are always very welcome.  If you wish to join the Society, Click Here image description   to download and print our membership form.

We welcome donations of any artifacts that have significance to the history of North Lanark area.
Or, should you wish to make a financial donation to the museum, we can issue charitable tax receipts.

Our History

Appleton Schoolhouse The North Lanark Historical Society dates back to the 1960s when a group of residents became interested in their local history. As time progresses history is easily lost or forgotten, so these residents decided to form a historical society. The North Lanark Historical Society was formed in 1965 with the goal of preserving the history of the Ramsay, Beckwith and Lanark Township Areas.

With the amalgamation of local schools in the late 1960s, the Historical Society had the opportunity to purchase a local landmark. The S.S. #11 Ramsay School House in Appleton held its last classes in December 1969, and the Historical Society took ownership in 1970. This beautiful two room, red brick building became the home of the first museum in Mississippi Mills.

On June 23, 1971 the North Lanark Regional Museum was officially opened. The museum featured a school room exhibit as well as displays showing the history of the area. For several years this museum served as the focal point for local history and developed a large artefact, photograph and archival collection. In addition to operating the museum, Historical Society members diligently researched the local history and produced several history books.

Tragedy struck on July 19, 1979 when the museum was destroyed by fire. The carefully preserved documents, photographs and artefacts were almost all completely lost. Only a few items remain were salvaged from the fire and the building was completely demolished. Left with almost nothing the Historical Society was determined to rebuild and received strong community support.

With the support of the Drummond family of Almonte, a new building was located and transported to the museum site. A foundation was build and the new building was installed. New artefacts were donated by local families and the museum was reopened in July 1980. The museum continued to receive strong community support throughout these early years as the Historical Society collected more local artefacts and began researching the local cemeteries and family genealogies.

In 1985 the museum expanded to include a pioneer log cabin showing settler life in the 1850s. The log cabin was transported by the Drummond family from the Thurston property north of the Almonte roundabout to the museum grounds. A great way to immerse yourself in the pioneer times, the log cabin has become a highlight for many a visitor.

During the 1990s and the 2000s the Historical Society continued to expand the museum collection, develop a large genealogy library and continue its research into the local history. The Historical Society also worked with the Appleton Women’s Institute to run a Tea Room on Sunday afternoons. The Tea Room closed in about 2009.

The museum continues to be a staple for local history in Mississippi Mills. It’s a great place to visit during the summer and an amazing source of information for any local researchers. The museum is children-friendly and offers a week-long summer camp.

The museum is open daily during the summer and has reduced hours during the fall. The genealogy library is open year-round by appointment and group tours are encouraged throughout the year. The Historical Society is also available to make presentations to schools and community groups.

Website Documentation