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Huron County Museum

110, North Street, Goderich, Town of, Ontario, N7A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/11/03

Of note is the central gable and symmetrical windows.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Southwest Corner, Huron County Museum, 2007.
Featured is the relocated log cabin.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Log Cabin, Huron County Museum, 2007.
Of note are the projecting gables and chimney.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Northwest Corner, Huron County Museum, 2007.

Other Name(s)

Huron County Museum
Goderich Central School
110 North Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1983/01/01 to 1989/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/10/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Huron County Museum, located at 110 North Street, is situated on the east side of North Street between Bruce Street and Trafalgar Street in the Town of Goderich. The property consists of a two-storey brick school building that was constructed in 1856 and a relocated log cabin, originally built in 1875.

The property was designated by the Town of Goderich in 1982 for its historical or architectural value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 62 of 1982).

Heritage Value

The Huron County Museum is housed in one of the oldest standing public buildings in the Town of Goderich and the Province of Ontario. Constructed in 1856, the grand structure was built to house Goderich's Central Public School. The property was purchased by the Town of Goderich in 1948 and became home to the Huron County Museum which opened in 1951. The museum exhibits the history of the Town, the County and the influence of the Canada Company on settlement in the Huron Tract. The Canada Company was a British land development company which owned and helped populate a significant portion of land in Upper Canada including the Huron Tract, which is present day Huron County.

The first curator of the Museum was Joseph Herbert (“Herbie”) Neill, a resident of the nearby Village of Gorrie. Neill had developed a well-known private collection of Huron County relics which was purchased by the Huron County Council to become the first feature of the Huron County Museum. In addition to providing the museum with his precious collection, Neill also became its first curator. Neill was so dedicated to the museum and the history of Huron County that he moved to the museum grounds. A log cabin, which was built in 1875 in the Turnburry Township, was moved to the museum and reconstructed to act as an exhibit and Neill's home.

The collections of the Huron County Museum eventually outgrew the small schoolhouse and necessary structural repairs provided a prime opportunity to expand the museum. The construction, which lasted from 1983 to 1989, saw a sympathetic addition on the old schoolhouse built around a steam locomotive engine purchased from the Canadian Pacific Railway (Engine 6275). Today the museum displays an enchanting collection of artifacts detailing the rich history of Huron County.

The Huron County Museum is a fine example of the rarely seen Elizabethan architectural style in the Town of Goderich. Built of warm local orange bricks, the two-storey former schoolhouse displays civic grandeur through its height and outstanding façade. Typical of the Elizabethan style, the symmetrical façade is composed of 8 over 16 windows and features a bold gabled frontispiece with a central entranceway. The north and south elevations continue the elegance of the façade with their protruding twin gables and protruding tall rectangular brick chimneys. The three main elevations are connected through the use of stone in the banding, window frames, and corner quoins.

Adding to the historical interest of the site and acting as a major exhibit is the log cabin located south of the museum. The log cabin was formerly located in the nearby Turnberry Township but relocated to the museum in 1951. The two-storey cabin is constructed from various woods native to Huron County including hemlock, pine, cedar and basswood. Twelve inch hand hewn logs are mortised tightly together to form the walls of the cabin.

Located on North Street in the Town of Goderich, the Huron County Museum is a recognizable landmark in the town. The museum contributes to the historic streetscape as it is situated in an area of early Goderich homes.

Sources: Town of Goderich, By-Law 62 of 1982.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Huron County Museum include:
- orange-brick construction
- gable roof
- symmetrically placed 8 over 16 windows
- frontispiece with central entrance and transom
- protruding twin gables on the north and south elevations
- rectangular stone chimneys on the north and south elevation
- stone banding, window frames and quoins
- dentil trimmed cornice
- local wood construction
- hand hewn logs
- sparse interior
- relationship to other historic structures
- situation on North Street, a historic streetscape

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Ontario

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date

1982/11/03

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1982/01/01 to 1982/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Museum

Historic

Education
Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer

n/a

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Goderich Town Hall 57 West Street Goderich, Ontario N7A2K5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

HPON08-0033

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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