The old

George Tracy house

St. Marys Museum as it looked in 1902.

The Castle in the Bush

The community museum for the Town of St. Marys is located in a lovely old home sitting on a hilltop in a park at 177 Church Street South. It was constructed from locally quarried limestone in 1854. When George Tracy, an early settler to St. Marys, built it for his family, it was by far the largest home in the small village of log shanties. Almost immediately, it was nicknamed the Castle in the Bush. It has been the location of the St. Marys Museum since 1959.

Visitors interested in 19th-century construction are welcome to visit at any time throughout the year. They will see exhibits and materials on local history and can also explore the interior of the house itself. Although it has not been restored to any fixed historic period, it contains a great number of original features from 1854: pine flooring, four fireplaces, plaster crown moldings, high ceilings and strange sets of small rooms off larger chambers.

The new

Interior of archives wing

Community archives opened in 2006.

Local history research

A popular feature of the St. Marys Museum is the area for research into local history. A new wing for this community archives was opened in June 2006. The addition to the north of the original building is completely accessible and is well used by researchers throughout the year.

As well as municipal records, census indexes, listings for area cemeteries, local marriage, birth and death records, maps, photographs, family and community histories, this archives features St. Marys newspapers dating back to 1857. The newspaper archival materials were officially donated to the Museum in March 2007 by their last private owner. In recognition, the research area has been named: R. Lorne Eedy Archives.

Friends of the Museum

Amy Cubberley, Chet Greason and Krissy Nickle pose in period costume at the Roaring ’20s Garden Party

Amy Cubberley, Chet Greason and Krissy Nickle during a photo session at the Roaring ’20s Garden Party.

Summer season off
to a roaring start

The summer season is off to a spectacular start with a great Canada Day celebration in Cadzow Park and a successful Roaring ’20s Garden Party in early July. And there is much more to come before Labour Day!

Something Borrowed,
Something Blue

The main summer exhibit features beautiful wedding dresses from a range of time periods. It highlights some favourites from past displays and some new additions to the Museum’s impressive collection of bridal outfits. The exhibit also explores the origins of some wedding traditions and how they have evolved – an intriguing review of social history.

Melodies at the Museum

This popular concert series returns for its third season on Wednesday evenings in August. Those attending bring lawn chairs or blankets and enjoy a variety of music on the Museum’s west lawn. Although everyone is counting on pleasant summer evenings, this year all performances will be held regardless of weather – a backup, indoor venue has been reserved. Watch local newspapers and Facebook for more information about the performers and their music.

Meet the summer staff

Three students are working at the Museum this summer: Calie Schaefer, Olivia Mills and Astrid Busby. Come in and say hello and learn more about their special projects and activities and the contributions they are making during this busy season.