Photo: The Old Stone Mill National Historic Site by Ken Watson
At these must-see museums in Rideau Lakes, you can immerse yourself in the history of our area and learn more about local historic sites. A special open house is planned annually by the Leeds County Heritage Network.
Lockmaster's House Museum at Chaffey’s Lock
The Lockmaster’s House Museum is operated by the Chaffey’s Lock and Area Heritage Society in the building that served as home to lockmasters and their families from 1844 until 1967. The Museum opened in 1982, and over the years has featured many different exhibits containing a variety of local artifacts. This year a new exhibit will showcase early cottages in the area.
Visitors may also watch short videos highlighting the area’s past and can purchase items from the small gift shop.
The Museum is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, from late June until early September. Admission is free, and donations are gratefully accepted.
The Old Stone Mill
Located in Delta, this majestic stone building is the only surviving pre-1812 stone grist mill in Ontario and is a National Historic Site of Canada. You can have a guided tour of the Mill or explore the space on your own. The most impressive part of the exhibit is the 200 year-old millstones! Still operable, the on-site miller grinds heritage wheat into flour each summer, which you can buy in the gift shop. Keep your ear to the ground for the upcoming opening of the Drive Shed, a newly refurbished exhibit space curated to tell the story of blacksmithing at the Mill.
Open on Weekends from Victoria Day Weekend through to June 30 and then DAILY from July 1 to Labour Day weekend (Monday) from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free Admission. Donations welcome.
Red Brick School
In Elgin, this historic schoolhouse features a small garden with benches dedicated to the teachers and students of the school, which was active from 1887 to 1964. Open on occasion, the architecture can be enjoyed from the garden year- round. Character defining elements that express the heritage of this red brick gem include the yellow brick quoins, three tall multi-paned windows on the north facade with yellow brick segmented heads, stone window sills on the front facade, wood frame dormers above the doors located on the east and west facades, the enchanting roof line and brick gables above each of the three windows on the north facade, and the central gable with a stone label, inscribed “school”.
Rideau District Museum
Opening May 21st for the 2022 season, this regional museum located in the village of Westport provides an inside perspective on the early history of Rideau Lakes through artifacts, imagery, and stories. The most amazing artifact in the collection is the statue of Justice 1844. Called "Sally Grant”, she stands eleven feet tall and was carved in 1844 from a single white cedar tree!
Open in June—Wednesdays through Sundays 9:30-4:30 July until Labour Day Sunday—Daily 9:30-4:30 September and October—Wednesdays through Sundays 9:30-4:30 Final day of the season: Thanksgiving Sunday. A nominal admission fee applies.