The story of the settlement and historical development of Lennox & Addington County is highlighted in a number of themed exhibits displayed within the old County Gaol.
Artifacts from the textile, furniture, domestic arts, tools and equipment collections of the Museum & Archives are showcased on a changing basis. Occasional guest exhibitions are also presented.
A Place to Call Home
Life in Lennox & Addington County
This long narrow strip of country that we call home has many stories to tell. Shaped through its history, geography, people, towns and industries, this exhibit promotes a feeling of belonging as it introduces you to the significance of Lennox and Addington County.
This historical journey through the County will answer questions about what, where, why, and how the County came to be and explore the diversity ofthe land and life in Lennox and Addington today.
This brand new semi-permanent exhibit establishes a new look and tone for exhibit development at the museum. This engaging exhibit lets you discover the County’s history, biodiversity, agriculture, and industry through the use colourful maps, photographs, anecdotes, and artifacts. Lennox and Addington really is Our Place To Call Home.
Tales of Fantasy
Exhibited from June 14 – September 4, 2021
This special exhibit, travelling from the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science, is sure to leave your imagination soaring.
“Once Upon A Time” was the first means of literacy for people. Oral legends created from one teller to another, they travel and evolve as time goes by. Over the past few years, storytellers, authors and musicians have contributed to the revival of oral traditions. They are bringing back to life a whole spectrum of our cultural heritage. This now allows these forgotten legends and myths of our nations to come back to life and be recognized.
The exhibition dives at the heart of legends and myths, through stories captured from the Quebec, Canadian and natives’ heritage. Visitors will be able to leave reality for a moment to explore uncharted territories created by the various storytellers’ imagination. This exhibition will focus on a world inhabited by weird and scary creatures, strange phenomenon and characters with strange magical powers...
Thank you to the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Museum Assistance Program who have partly funded this exhibition.
Spiritual Echoes of Northern Lennox & Addington
Carla Miedema, Artist
Exhibited from April 26th – August 20th 2021
The Lennox and Addington County Museum is proud to showcase the artwork of Carla Miedema. With every brush stroke, Carla’s love of Northern Lennox and Addington, nature, and the environment are reflected.
Nature is her inspiration. Bark, seeds, flowers, grasses, and other bits of material found in nature become part of her paintings using acrylic and mixed media on canvas. These elements create a sculptural relief effect. The layering and glazing of the paints and other materials reflects the constant changes and the cycle of life in nature. Wetlands and Bon Echo Park have been a focus on many of her paintings.
Over the past few years her paintings have become more expressionistic as she experiments with different art & collage materials on various mediums such as canvas, yupo (tree-free paper) and watercolour papers.
About the Artist:
Carla Miedema was born in the Netherlands but has spent 47 years living in the Cloyne area near Bon Echo Provincial Park on the edge of the Canadian Shield. She recently moved to Kingston. Her art is often focused on Bon Echo Provincial Park.
In her pursuit to create a local awareness of art, Carla initiated and chaired the Mazinaw Country Studio Tour and the Bon Echo Art Exhibition & Sale, and was on the board of Cloyne Showcase. Carla’s art work has been published in books and featured in newspapers. Her art has received awards and prizes, and can be found in collections in Canada, Europe, and the United States.
"Confederation Era Entrepreneurs"
By the 1860’s, the population of the County had grown to allow Lennox and Addington to become independent and a new Court House and jail were built in the mill reserve. Napanee, at the head of the falls, became the County Town. John Stevenson, Napanee’s Reeve, was also the first County Warden. Confederation, the forging together of the provinces of British North America, passed almost unnoticed in the local press. The County’s First Warden became the first Speaker of the new Ontario Legislature. In the post Confederation era, Italianate styled houses began to dominate Napanee architecture. William Miller, an East Ward merchant, built a new Italianate styled house near the Court House. Proximity to the Court House and the railway station made East Street a desirable area.
Inside the houses were well furnished. In 1868 when young William T. Gibbard joined his father, John, in the business, elaborate carved sideboards became a defining product of Gibbard and Sons.
William Miller’s carved game sideboard and Renaissance Revival Gibbard bedroom suite are on display in the Gibbard gallery.
"The Horse and Buggy Age"
The years after Confederation to the Great War which erupted in 1914, were the decades when the “Horse and Buggy Age” was at its height. Each farm family possessed one or two light carriages of which the buggy was the most important, and the democrat, a rig with two or three benches, was almost as important. Although the blacksmith remained essential in rural communities, the small foundries and factories strung along the County’s rivers began to build versions of the most popular new inventions.
It was also a great wheat period and a time of hearty work in the fields. The pace of farming quickened with improvements in farm machinery. New foundries, mills and manufacturing plants were built taking advantage of water power sites along the Napanee River. D.B. Stickney’s Newburgh foundry built reapers and Joseph Connolly in Yarker produced a variety of ploughs. The Benjamin Wheel Manufacturing Company in Yarker produced rims and spokes for wagon and buggy wheels.
A Connolly democrat, a C.H. Finkle cutter and a Stickney reaper are featured in the Horse and Buggy Age.