Get in the Holiday Spirit at the Museum!

The annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Run/Walk presented by Dysart Recreation is returning for its fifth year on November 26th and the museum is where all the fun begins! Come early to put some finishing touches on your sweater before taking a jaunt around Head Lake starting at 11am! There are prizes to be won for the most creative sweaters at this all ages event! Also, this year, to mark the fifth anniversary of the event, there will also be a scavenger hunt to add to the fun on the trail!

Ugly Sweater

After the run, join us back at the museum for an afternoon of Nostalgic Christmas celebrations with refreshments, crafts, kids’ activities and fun for the whole family! The event is free, but donations to the Elf Drive in support of our local schools are gratefully accepted. This is the perfect event to get you in the holiday spirit – don’t miss it!


Watch History Come to Life!

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On July 29th and 30th, we invite you join us for a very special theatre event! Presented in partnership with Rural Rogues Productions, Re-Generation: A Haliburton Tale tells the story of 150 years of Haliburton and Canada’s history as seen through the eyes of one very special family. The play will travel to four different locations around the museum’s grounds, providing a unique theatre experience. Tickets are just $20 and they’re available from the museum as well as other great locations around the County. Click on the poster above for more details!

Mark Your Calendar for Jazz at the Museum V featuring Avery Raquel!

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This summer, we are delighted to welcome Avery Raquel to the museum for our fifth Jazz at the Museum show! This incredibly talented songstress will take the stage at the museum on Saturday, July 22nd at 7:30pm. Spots are limited, so make sure to reserve your tickets today – tickets are $30.00 and are available by contacting the museum or Canoe FM Radio. For further details, please click on the poster above.

Important News re. Bayshore Road Access

Due to a washout on Bayshore Road earlier this month, access to the museum is slightly changed – we can now be accessed via Industrial Park Road. From Industrial Park Road, make a left hand turn onto College Drive and then follow that road all the way up to the Haliburton School of Art and Design. You then have the option of parking at the college and walking through the park (maybe checking out the Haliburton Sculpture Forest on the way!) or you can actually drive right through the park to the museum (the gates have been opened on either side). Whichever option you use, please keep your eyes open for both pedestrians and vehicles in the park. We’ll post here as soon as Bayshore Road re-opens. We thank you for your understanding and look forward to welcoming you soon!

Get Ready to Party Like It’s 1867!

2017 marks an incredibly important year for Canada as we mark the country’s sesquicentennial, but it is also an important local anniversary, as the year marks 150 years since the incorporation of Dysart et al, our township. In fact, the township was established almost six months prior to Confederation with the local Council’s first meeting being held on January 7th, 1867. By this point, the village of Haliburton was starting to become established, with the settlers who had been lured by the promise of good agricultural land by the Canadian Land and Emigration Company having carved out their new homes and more settlers arriving all the time. Throughout 2017, the Municipality of Dysart et al will be celebrating this year’s important birthday with a series of celebrations, kicking off with a party in and around the AJ LaRue Arena on January 7th, starting at 4pm and carrying on into the evening. Join us for outdoor games, local food and drink, a trivia night, a fire and light show, outdoor games, a free public skate and so much more – we hope to see you there!

Maple Magic!

We invite you to spring at the museum this March Break! Maple syrup and maple sugar we incredibly important sweeteners for early settlers to Haliburton because the white and even brown sugars that are so commonly used today had to be imported from tropical climates which, with Victorian transportation, made them rather pricey. Maple products, by contrast, were fairly commonplace – in fact, in the Haliburton lumber camps, corn syrup was a much more coveted sweetener! That said, maple syrup is undoubtedly a labour of love as it takes 40 litres of sap to produce a mere litre of syrup! Every year we tap approximately 25 of our maple trees on the property and make syrup just as the settlers would have in huge metal sap kettle over an open fire. We’ll be open every day of March Break for you to check out the process (and taste the results!) as well as enjoying kids’ crafts, other tasty treats and fun contests. On the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of the break, we’ll also have other extra special kids’ programs – check out our event page for more details!

FREE Children’s Workshops at the Museum!!

We’re incredibly excited to share the details of these fantastic workshops taught by senior mentors in the community! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn traditional skills from people who are masters in their fields!

Workshop #1

 Tatter (Delicate Lace)-Basic/Beginner Level

Workshop Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 – 10-12pm

Workshop Participants: Open to ages 12 and up; maximum # of participants is 5

Workshop #2

Oil Painting-Basic/Beginner Level

Workshop Date: Tuesday, August 4, 2015 – 10-12pm

Workshop Participants: Open to ages 10 and up; maximum # of participants is 3-4

Workshop #3

Hand Spinning-Basic/Beginner Level

Workshop Date: Thursday, August 6, 2015 – 10-12pm

Workshop Participants: Open to ages 8 and up; maximum # of participants is 8-10

Workshop #4

Knitting-Basic/Beginner Level

Workshop Dates: Tuesday August 11 & Wednesday August 12, 2015 – 10-12pm

Workshop Participants: Open to ages 6 and up; maximum # of participants is 6


Workshop #5

Embroidery-Basic/Beginner Level

Workshop Date: Tuesday August 18, 2015 – 10-12pm

Workshop Participants: Open to ages 10 and up; maximum # of participants is 5

Workshop #6

Yarn Dyeing-Basic/Beginner Level

Workshop Date: Saturday, September 5, 2015 – 10-12pm

Workshop Participants: Open to ages 8 and up; maximum # of participants is 4-6

Workshop #7

Jam Preserve Canning -Basic/Beginner Level

Workshop Date: Saturday, September 19, 2015 (tentative date, please call to confirm)

Workshop #8

Crochet-Basic/Beginner Level

Workshop Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015 – 10-12pm

Workshop Participants: Open to ages 8 and up; maximum # of participants is 6

Registration: Space is limited!! Please register by contacting Kate Butler at

(705) 457-2760, or by email at

Heritage Is Happening!

This image from the 1890s of Dorothy, Phyllis and Marjorie Clarke taking tea won a prize from the Toronto Camera Club.

Victoria Day weekend is drawing to a close, but we’re still super busy at the museum getting ready for all our upcoming summer activities! We’ve been researching topics as varied as traditional pottery techniques, Victorian fashion and the journals of early surveyors as we plan this year’s Heritage Happenings program. The program starts as soon as school ends and runs every Wednesday and Friday morning. It’s a drop in program for kids aged 6-12 and we warn you, it’s addictive – kids definitely become regulars around here which makes us extremely happy!

Celebrating the Victorian Way!

What the Dickens are you doing on December 21st? We invite you to come to the museum and join us for a special reading of that classic holiday tale of transformation and the holiday spirit(s): A Christmas Carol. Dickens wrote the novella in the lead-up to Christmas 1843 at a time when the interest in celebrating Christmas was starting to be rejuvenated by Queen Victoria and her young family, but its content was reputedly inspired by the plight of many families Dickens had encountered who had been touched by the Industrial Revolution in Britain. People of all ages were being forced to move to urban centres in search of employment and the work that they found often involved poor pay and long hours, even for children. In his depiction of the miser Scrooge’s enlightenment at the hands of a variety of spirits, Dickens hoped to inspire all his readers to take better care of their fellow man.


A Christmas Carol proved to be such a sensation that Dickens took it on the road and began public readings across Britain and further afield. He shortened and condensed the text to make it more suitable for a public presentation and it’s that script that we’ll draw from on the 21st. You can join in the reading or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the story. We’ll kick off the reading at 2:00pm. Holiday refreshments will be served and everyone is welcome – what better way could there be to spend the shortest day of the year than with a story that warms the heart? 🙂

It’s Harvest Time!

It’s hard to believe that another summer at the Haliburton Highlands Museum has flown by and that autumn is upon us! For early settlers to the Haliburton area, this was an incredibly important time of year, as all the crops were coming in off the fields and needed to be preserved for the coming winter. In an era before refrigeration, there would be a mad scramble to can, pickle, dry and salt everything you could.


We’re used to pickled cucumbers, but how about pickled cauliflower and beans gracing your table? The settlers wouldn’t have had the modern canning equipment we have today, so they would have employed different techniques to seal their preserves, including using animal bladder to cover the jars! The dried bladder would be soaked in water to bring back its elasticity and then stretched over the top of a jar and tied with string. Once it dried it would become an airtight seal, almost like the top of a drum. Another technique involved soaking heavy paper in egg white, then stretching it over the jar – when the egg white dried it would provide an airtight seal. Now, aren’t you glad that we can simply go to the store and buy a jar of jam these days?