Changing Exhibits 
 Indoor Changing Exhibits
Wellington County Collects


Travelling Exhibits
 Permanent Exhibits
Outdoor Exhibits and Features 


 We Will Remember Them Display

 To commemorate the contributions of the fallen (from WWI to Afghanistan from Wellington County),  503 memorial markers will be placed on the front lawn at the Wellington County Museum and Archives (WCMA).

More Information Wellington County Remembers Database

 1877 Barn


The Museum and Archives was presented the 2013 Business Beautification Award by the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce for our work on the 1877 Barn and on the House of Industry and Refuge cemetery.

The Barn was built in 1877 as part of the House of Industry and Industrial Farm. The Barn served an important function in the effort to make the House of Industry as self-sufficient as possible.

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 House of Industry Cemetery

The Museum and Archives was presented the 2013 Business Beautification Award by the Centre Wellington Chamber of Commerce for our work on the House of Industry and Refuge cemetery and the 1877 Barn.

Many of the inmates of the 'Poorhouse' were admitted because of poor health or advanced age and had no one to care for them. At the edge of the property, a one-acre cemetery was established for those who had no family to claim their remains at death. There are 271 men, women and children buried here. It is a cemetery like no other.

Learn More   Death Certificates


Here to Stay - Recent Donations

 The majority of the items in our collections have been donated to us. If you have something of interest that is connected to the people, places or organizations of Wellington County, please contact the Archivist or the Curator to discuss a possible donation.

A meeting with staff is usually arranged to determine if we will accept the donation or not. Staff will make house calls and will come out to your home or business, at your convenience, to discuss a possible donation to the collection.

All donations are carefully documented and catalogued so that a permanent record is kept detailing the history of each donation. Donors are asked to sign gift forms releasing ownership.

Click here for our current "Wish List" of items that we would like to acquire.

Items that are accepted into the collection are appraised by an independent appraiser at the end of each calendar year. The donor will receive an income tax receipt for the appraised value of the item.


Recent Donations:1917 revolver with gold lanyard

1917 Webley Mk VI Revolver with original lanyard.

The WCMA is thrilled to announce the repatriation of an important piece of Wellington County history from the USA!

This 1917 Webley Mk VI revolver belonged to Oliver Nickle (1883-1957) of Harriston during the First World War.  It is in excellent shape with clear markings, including the broad-arrow stamps which identify it as British military property.  While somewhat frayed, the original lanyard is still present.

Oliver Nickle was born on May 3, 1883 to James Nickle (1841-1926) and Eliza (Kinnell) Nickle (1856-1940), who married in Mount Forest in 1874.  Oliver married Lottie May Gowan (1887-1980) on May 24, 1909, the daughter of Edward Gowan and Mary Ann Henry.  Together they had three children: Wallace, Harold, and Olive.

Oliver served for sixteen years with the 30th Regiment, Wellington Rifles, rising to the rank of Lieutenant. In 1915, he joined the 153rd Wellington Battalion, which sailed to England from Halifax on April 29, 1917.  Upon reaching England, the 153rd Battalion was disbanded and its men were transferred to reinforce other units. 

part of revolver

Lieutenant Nickle was transferred to the Canadian Forestry Corps (CFC) on July 12, 1917.  The CFC supplied the massive amounts of timber needed to fight the war on the Western Front.  Wood was needed for duckboards and shoring in trenches, for corduroy roads and railways to move soldier and equipment, and land had to be cleared to build runways and airfields for the Royal Flying Corps.

Lieutenant Nickle received the French Croix-de-Guerre on April 18, 1918 and was hospitalized for influenza later that year.  He was discharged in 1919 with the rank of Captain, and rejoined the Wellington Rifles when he returned home.  He served as the last Commanding Officer of the regiment when it disbanded in 1936, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

When the Second World War broke out, Oliver was in his fifties but still volunteered for military service.  He spent the war as a supply officer at Royal Canadian Air Force stations Trenton, Fingal and Camp Borden.  Oliver died on May 28, 1957 and is buried in Harriston.part of revolver

Although this revolver was assembled in 1917, some of the components may have been manufactured earlier. The '16 stamped on the barrel indicates that it was made in 1916.

All parts of the revolver are stamped with the broad arrow mark, indicating British military property.

The Wellington County Museum and Archives is grateful to Oliver's grandson, Terry Nickle of Tennessee for the donation of this revolver.


© 2019 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909