WCMA Commemorates 145th Anniversary of the House of Industry and Refuge

Posted On Monday September 12, 2022

ABOYNE – On September 24, Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA) commemorates the 145th Anniversary of the Wellington County House of Industry and Refuge, or “Poor House”. The museum facility was built in 1877 and operated as a place of refuge for local poor, homeless, and destitute people until 1947.

“While the Wellington County House of Industry and Refuge could never be described as a happy place, its story, and the stories of those who lived within its walls, are an important part of Wellington County’s history,” commented Kyle Smith, WCMA Activity Programmer. “This event honours that history and the lives, struggles, and perseverance of the men and women who once lived here.”

The 145th anniversary event is open to the public from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm with admission by donation. Programming includes:

  • 11:00 am - Re-enactment of the Poor House opening ceremonies held in 1877
  • 11:35 am and 1:30 pm - Theatrical performances based on the life of House of Industry and Refuge residents (performances have an audience capacity of 50)
  • 12:00 pm – The Museum’s Nicholas Keith Room will be transformed into the House of Industry and Refuge dining room for a historical lunch, featuring stew, warm bread, and beverages.
  • Unveiling of a database with the names and background information on the people who lived at the house from 1877 to 1922.

“Archives staff and volunteers have spent more than 2 years documenting the men, women, and children who lived at the Wellington County House of Industry and Refuge,” said Karen Wagner, Archivist. “We’re excited to unveil the Admissions Register database and invite feedback from anyone with additional information about former residents.”

For more information, visit www.wellington.ca/museum.


Media Contact:
Kyle Smith, Activity Programmer
519.846.0916 x 5224

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