Sunday, April 22, 2018
About Dufferin County Museum Historical Buildings
Historical Buildings

When the DCMA was planned, the decision was made to incorporate many historic components into the overall design of the facility, to “build in” some of Dufferin’s history. This included parts salvaged from demolished buildings and materials such as the stones in the building’s foundation that were found and gathered from old fences and stone piles on farms in the local community.

The largest of these components are three heritage buildings, carefully restored and re-erected inside the DCMA facility, which include a one-and-a-half storey pioneer log house built in 1852, the Rich Hill Orange Lodge hall built in 1861, and “Crombie's Station,” a Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway flag station built in 1882.  All three of these structures were originally preserved by the Dufferin County Historical Society during the 1960s, and for many years, were located at its museum site in Hyland Park, Shelburne, Ontario.  As part of arrangements made to construct the DCMA facility, the three structures were disassembled, moved and stored.  They would be rebuilt inside the new museum. The original Knight / McCutcheon log house was lost when fire destroyed its temporary storage facility.

The magnificent log house you discover on entering our facility is an actual home, built about 1852 by Nancy (Dodds) and James Eccles on Lot 9, Concession 1, EHS (East of Hurontario Street), in Mono township.  Currently, the interior of the house is appointed and furnished with artifacts from the DCMA Collection to reflect the period of the County of Dufferin's incorporation in 1881.  Even the interior wall coverings were sourced to this period.  A brief study of the home’s exterior and, in particular, the girth of the logs that form its impressive walls will give visitors a sense of how large the trees in this area were when European settlers first arrived.  Imagine, too, that it was pure “person power” and a few hand tools that felled those trees and that shaped them into the structure you see today.
Built in 1882 by the Toronto, Grey & Bruce Railway, Crombie's Station was originally located just north and west of the intersection of the 3rd Line (County Road 11)  and 20 Sideroad of Amaranth township.  Residents from the area who wished to catch a train north (to Owen Sound) or south (to Toronto) would use the station as a shelter in which to wait for the train.  As an unstaffed facility, would-be travelers had to wave a green and white flag to signal a train to make a stop.  Crombie’s Station was moved to a museum site in Shelburne in 1969, and then to its current location at the DCMA in 1993. Unlike the other two structures inside the Museum (Dufferin House and Rich Hill Orange hall), Crombie’s Station was dropped onto the floor area all in one piece using a crane, before the facility’s exterior walls were in place.  The station's interior colour scheme dates back to 1926. The exterior colours are historically correct and true to Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) specifications which absorbed the Toronto, Grey & Bruce in 1884.

This single room Orange hall was constructed of tamarack logs in 1861 in its original location lot 20, Concession 1, Amaranth township, northwest of Orangeville.  The land was donated by the Spence family of  Rich Hill farm, but there was one important condition attached: no alcohol could be consumed on the premises.  The building also served the community as a school house and church.  It was moved to a museum site in Shelburne, Ontario in 1966.  Rich Hill Orange hall was dismantled and reassembled inside the DCMA facility in 1993. The Lodge is regularly used by the DCMA for exhibits, meetings, and art shows, but please, do not enter with your glass of wine!

Historic Corbetton Church is a quaint country church that was relocated from the community of Corbetton in Melancthon Township to the grounds of the Dufferin county Museum in 1999.  Its relocation and subsequent restoration represents one of the largest preservation projects undertaken by the DCMA, and paid for exclusively through donations of funds, time and materials; no tax dollars were used to cover the project’s $250,000 price tag.  Today, Historic Corbetton Church proudly stands on the north end of the DCMA grounds, as both a fine example of early rural church architecture, and what can be achieved through community co-operation and involvement.

Historic Corbetton Church is now non-denominational, and used regularly for a variety of special events, programs, lectures and ceremonies, including weddings, memorials and baptisms.  Historic Corbetton Church is available to rent by the public.

Click here for more information on renting Historic Corbetton Church Facility Rental
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