145th Anniversary of the House of Industry and Refuge

Join us at Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA) for several events in 2022 dedicated to celebrating 145 years of the Poor House!

Photo Gallery: WCMA_145 Anniversary interior will appear here on the public site.

 Important Events:

 The Poor House Book Launch (Thursday, June 9)

image, front profile of Susan Dunlop Join us as we celebrate the launch of our new book, If These Walls Could Speak: The Story of the Wellington County House of Industry and Refuge with author Susan Dunlop, past-curator of WCMA. Purchase the book, meet the author, and experience tours only at WCMA! Doors open at 6:00 pm.

 “The story of the rural Houses of Industry and Refuge has been a forgotten part of Ontario's early history. This book explores how the issues of poverty laid the foundations of our modern social welfare policies, told through the experiences of the women, men and children who passed through the doors of the Wellington County Poor House. “ – Susan Dunlop


  • 6:00 pm - Doors Open, wine and cheese.
  • 6:30 pm - Presentation by Susan Dunlop (also available on Zoom by Wightman).
  • 7:30 pm - Guided tours and book signing.

Please click the link below to join virtually on Zoom:

Watch Author Presentation

Passcode: 973968

Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): Canada: +1 647 374 4685  or +1 647 558 0588  or 855 703 8985 (Toll Free)

Webinar ID: 837 2646 6412

Author presentation will be available virtually on Zoom brought to you by

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New Exhibit on the Poor House (opening June 9)

A new exhibit featuring artifacts and photographs from the Poor House coincides with the book launch event on June 9. This expansion to our award-winning “If These Walls Could Speak” exhibit brings inmate stories and Poor House history to life.

The Poor House Event on September 24 

Join us as we take part in the re-enactment of the original opening of the Poor House. Speeches will take place, in costume, on the front steps, followed by a vignette showcasing what life was like in the Poor House in 1877. Tours will be provided.

Stay tuned for more updates! 

House of Industry and Refuge Resident Database  (coming September 24)

Check out our new online database this fall! It is centred around the House of Industry Admission Register. This database will unveil the residents who lived in the House during the period from 1877 to 1922. 

Details coming soon!

© 2022 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909