Our main museum building has two floors and features a variety of frequently changing displays. Current displays include a collection of delightful children’s toys (with not a battery in sight), as well as a display of prehistoric pottery with details on the techniques used to create it. “Every Inch a Lady” showcases the baubles and frills without which a lady was once not fully dressed, while our lumbering exhibit pays tribute to the men who spent months at time in the camps in the woods, dreaming of the day when they could get back home. Our newest exhibit showcases our stunning collection of clocks and timepieces, many of which have never been on display in the museum before.

Main Museum Building

Reid House, the jewel in the museum’s crown is open from Victoria Day weekend until Thanksgiving. Dating from 1882, the house was the museum’s first home, and it has been referred to as our “largest artifact“. The house was built by John Russell Reid Jr. around the time of his marriage to Janet Clinkscale and it remained in the Reid family until 1967. The house has been restored to the turn of the twentieth century when John Reid would have been living in the house with his wife Janet, and their three children, Russell (age 17), Charlotte (age 15) and Agnes (age 13). The house has been brought back to life through the use of period furnishings and artifacts, as well as through activities, such as historic cooking.

The Reid House

Down the lane, close to the Haliburton School of the Arts, sits our farmstead. Many early settlers who came to the Haliburton area hoped to take advantage of the vast unsettled pieces of land for farming, but they discovered the terrain made agriculture much more of a challenge than anticipated. In short, rocks were the prime crop to be raised! Many families turned to other pursuits, and even more made their way to Manitoba and other western provinces. Our farmstead captures that era before the railway arrived in 1878. The log cabin likely dates back all the way to the 1870’s and it reflects the kind of life a family of modest means settling in Haliburton would have had. Our barn houses the kind of equipment they would have used trying to clear the land and eke out a living from agriculture. In the summer months, a peek in our forge will often reveal a blacksmith tinkering away…

The Homestead