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, Trisha McKibbin and Councillor Tony Winter at the Doors Open information table

Amy Cubberley, left, Trisha McKibbin and Councillor Tony Winter at the Doors Open information table in front of St. Marys Town Hall on September 26.

More ‘Murder
and Mayhem’

“Murder and Mayhem” was the intriguing title of the first seminar of the 2015–2016 season on September 17. Led by Ken Telfer, well-remembered for last season’s very popular presentation, “Set ’Em Up, Barkeep,” this seminar explored the dark and criminal side of Victorian St. Marys. The first session sold out, and so the committee quickly set dates for two more presentations. “Murder and Mayhem” will be presented again on Thursday, October 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. and for the final time on Saturday, October 24, from 9 to 11 a.m. With October 31 approaching, these presentations will be enhanced with the addition of a few mayhem-causing Halloween pranks.

November seminar

The presentation of wedding traditions through the ages, featuring the beautiful dresses from the Museum’s collection, has been changed to Thursday evening, November 19. Because it is close to Remembrance Day, there will be extra emphasis on wartime weddings and war brides. Watch this website and Facebook for current information about all upcoming seminars.

A successful Doors Open

Doors Open St. Marys was held on September 26, a beautiful autumn day with the town looking its best. As well as local participants, sites reported visitors from Michigan, Washington, D.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Timmins, London, Kitchener-Waterloo, St. Catharines, Toronto, Hamilton and other locations throughout Ontario and beyond.