History of Dundas Museum
In 1941, Dundas Town Council appointed a committee to strategize means of formally preserving the town's history. From that beginning the Dundas Historical Society came to be formed.
The mandate of the Historical Society was to search out, collect, preserve and record historical records and artifacts which told the story of the town of Dundas and its nearby townships. The items were stored
and preserved in the best manner possible. However as the quantity increased it became evident that
a building was needed; one specific to the unique needs of an historical collection.
Property was donated for the project and public subscription was successful in raising the necessary funds for the construction of such a building.
In April of 1956, the Dundas Historical Society Museum was opened. Built to be fire resistant, it was constructed of poured concrete and steel joists, faced in brick. The heating and cooling systems were geared to assure consistent temperatures for the collection. Display cases, as well as appropriate historical artifacts, were donated by the Royal Ontario Museum. The Museum, dedicated to preserving the community's history and with a new building to do it in, was a front runner for community museums in Ontario and across Canada. The collection of artifacts and archives of Dundas and area continued to grow.
Looking back, the following years held particular significance:
- 1962: The Museum was incorporated as a charitable, non-profit organization
- 1963: A second gallery and storage area were added.
- 1974: The ownership of a heritage building which had always served as a Doctor's Office was transferred to the Museum. The office was moved from King Street, Dundas to Museum's property, and restored to its original 1848 style.
Olive Newcombe, Curator of the Museum from 1956 until 2001, was a member of the first slate of officers of the newly formed Ontario Museum Association.
The Museum continues to be an OMA member, and is also a member of the Canadian Museum Association, the Archives Association of Ontario, the American Association of Museums and the American Association for State and Local History.
In celebration of the Museum's 50th anniversary, the exhibit, Cradled in the Valley: Stories of Dundas, opened to the public on April 21, 2006 in the newly renovated permanent exhibit gallery.
Maintaining and celebrating the unique identity of Dundas are very important to the community. Over the past fifty years, with the support of our local community, the Museum has built a diverse and intriguing collection of artifacts and documents which connect visitors and researchers with stories of people and events of Dundas past.