Sunday, April 22, 2018
About Dufferin County Museum What's Outside

Perhaps the most beautiful thing about the DCMA gardens and grounds is the view. Each garden area commands a different view of the surrounding hills and rural countryside. Go into the museum building and go to the top of the silo, you get a unique opportunity to view gardens as the birds see them!

The plants and trees on the DCMA grounds are groomed to compliment a rural barn so the gardens are less formal than if the buildings were in an urban setting. The plant types are historic, including the apple orchard and rose bushes. Most of the plant materials were transplanted from abandoned farmsteads throughout Dufferin county when the building was constructed in 1994. They provide colour and smell to the outdoor space throughout the season. A special rock berm is featured to serve as an outdoor gathering area for students when we are teaching about the natural history of the area. A working windmill, stonework, fences, art and abandoned farm equipment are placed about the 5 acre site to encourage our many visitors to explore the outside as well as the inside of the Dufferin County Museum and Archives. Outside paths are accessible for wheelchairs and picnic tables are available.

Entrance Gates
History comes out to greet you as you first enter the DCMA grounds through our magnificent iron gates,. They were originally erected in 1928 as part of the improvements at Shelburne Cemetery.

Stone/Stump Lifter

Visitors often ask of the contraption located on our grounds near the driveway entrance:  “What is that thing?” It is actually a fine example of a stone lifter, built in the late 1800s and originally from Mono township. It was used by early farmers to remove large stones and stumps to make way for farming or building.  This handy rig would be manoeuvred over top of the offending stone or stump, chains and hooks from the picker would be clamped down onto the stone or stump, and then a horse or an ox would power the capstan, to lift the stone usually with the help of men with shovels and crowbars to loosen the stone.  Once lifted, a team or horses or a yoke of oxen would move the lifter and the dangling stone to a fence row or stone pile where it could be deposited out of the way.

Drystone Wall
The first section of dry stone wall, completed by waller Eric Landemann of East Luther in 2011, is a memorial to Gandier United Church and the folk of the  Keldon community in East Luther township.  The wall is built in the traditional fashion of selecting and fitting the stones without using mortar.

Rail Fence
The “Cameron” cedar rail fence was built around the church during 2009 by Donald Cameron of Holstein. The fence is self-supporting and sits on the ground, rather than relying on postholes.  The cedar rails were salvaged from other fences.  Once a basic requirement of managing livestock on pioneer farms, the art of splitting cedar logs into 4 metre rails has been lost. 

Limestone rocks and berm (south end of grounds)
The rocks were gathered from property along the Niagara Escarpment at Mono Centre and moved here to create our own little escarpment “outcrop.”  Visitors get to experience the pleasure of clambering over the rocks or simply sitting and sunning themselves.  The sheltered area also serves as an outdoor programme area. Sumachs and other plants are naturalizing this environment.  

Scrap Sculpture collage, building entrance
During the construction of the DCMA, part of the collection of our forerunner, the  Dufferin County Historical Society, was destroyed by fire.  Some metal items were retrieved from the ashes.  John and Albert Endeman, Ironworks, Mono Mills, created these two collages to pay tribute to many donors who lost family pieces in the fire. 

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 Historic Corbetton Church.
Click here for more information on renting Historic Corbetton Church.
Click here to send an inquiry or rental request to us.
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