Visit Us


The Wellington County Museum and Archives has resumed regular business hours (Monday - Friday from 9:30 am - 4:30pm, Saturday - Sunday from 1:00pm - 5:00pm). Please note, mandatory screening procedures will be in place at the entrances of all County buildings, and visitors will be required to wear a face covering and respect physical distancing protocols at all times inside our facilities. 

Museum: A maximum of 20 visitors allowed inside the Museum at one time. You do not need an appointment to visit the Museum; however, if you are coming with a larger group and want to make sure you are able to come inside with our 20 maximum restriction in place, please call us at 519.846.0916 x 5221 to set up a time for your group to visit!

The Heritage Barn and some Museum galleries (including interactive and high contact exhibit components) will remain closed. Donations to the WCMA collection can be made by appointment. Contact Museum Curator, Hailey Johnston or Archivist, Karen Wagner

Archives: A maximum of 7 visitors will be allowed inside the Archives at once. Retrieval services will be available, but the public will not be permitted to browse the collection at this time. The use of personal laptops is encouraged inside our facilities, and computer and microfilm reader printer use will be available by appointment. Call 519.846.0916 x 5225 or email Karen Wagner.

Programming: Check our calendar for fall and winter 2020 programming. Staff are also available for guided group tours and outreach. Please call 519-846-016 x5224 or email Kyle Smith.

Facility Rental: WCMA event spaces are open and available for rent. Total capacity, per event, per space both indoors and out, will be determined by WCMA staff, based on the maximum 30% capacity restriction, the total number of attendees, social circles, physical distancing, COVID-19 restrictions and protocols. Please contact 519.846.0916 x 5221 for more information.

Virtual WCMA: Do not forget to visit us online! The WCMA has lots of great activities, online exhibits, photo galleries and digital databases!

Share Your Story
The WCMA needs your help in documenting this unprecedented moment in history. How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your life? Create a diary, video, or take photographs and consider donating your records to the Museum and Archives. For more information, please contact WCMA Archivist, Karen Wagner.

Admission and Hours

General admission is by donation.

Admission fees may apply to special events, programmes and guided tours.

  • Monday to Friday: 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Saturday and Sunday: 1:00 - 5:00 pm

The Museum and Archives are open daily throughout the year, except on government and statutory holidays. The 1877 Heritage Barn closes seasonally from November through April.

About Us 

Sepia photograph of railroad bridge with House of Industry in backgroundThe Wellington County Museum and Archives is a National Historic Site located in the building that stands as the oldest remaining House of Industry and Refuge in Canada.

Built in 1877 as place for the poor, homeless, and destitute people of Wellington County, it operated as a Poor House and Industrial Farm until 1947. It then served as the County Home for the Aged until 1974, when it became the Wellington County Museum and Archives. An Archives wing was added, opening in 2010.

Our Mandate is to serve as a cultural centre, providing resources, programmes, exhibits, support and services for the historical, educational and artistic interests of the communities of Wellington County. The Museum tells the stories of the people and places of Wellington County through professionally curated exhibits displayed in nine galleries.

The Archives features a spacious public reading room with microfilm reader and printers, public computers, free Wi-Fi, and free access to - everything for the family historian or local history researcher!

Plan Your Visit

For information on activities, events and exhibit openings at the Museum and Archives, visit our Calendar of Events

Winter visitors will enjoy the free outdoor skating rink, snowshoe rentals, and Toboggan Hill. Come into the museum and discover the history of the National Historic Site inside and out! 

The trails, buildings and outdoor exhibits all help tell the story of the Wellington County Poor House.


The Museum and Archives buildings are fully accessible.

The Victorian Garden, Poor House Cemetery, 1877 Barn, Aboyne Trail and surrounding grounds feature sloping, uneven ground and stairs.

Reserved accessible parking spaces in close proximity to main entrances.

Accessible washrooms on the main level.

Elevator access to all levels.

Holiday Hours and Closures

Monday, November 11, 2019


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

9:30am - 1pm

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


Thursday, December 26, 2019


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

9:30am - 1pm

Wednesday, January 1, 2020


Monday, February 17, 2020


Friday, April 10, 2020


Sunday, April 12, 2020


Monday, April 13, 2020


Monday, May 18, 2020


Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Monday, August 3, 2020


Monday, September 7, 2020


Sunday, October 11, 2020


Monday, October 12, 2020


Monday, November 11, 2020


Contact Us

General Inquiries

For visitor information, reception desk, hall rentals and all other general enquiries, call 519.846.0916 x5221 

Staff may be reached by entering the extension number after reaching our automated directory.

T. 519.846.0916  |  T.F. 1.800.663.0750  |  F. 519.846.9630 

Staff Directory

Please click on the departments below to get a list of staff contact information.



Jana Burns- Administrator

519.846.0916 x5222

Paul Nixon - Maintenance Supervisor

519.846.0916 x5228

Kym Drinkwater - Museum Office Clerk

519.846.0916 x5221


Karen Wagner - Archivist

519.846.0916 x5235 

Jennifer Georgiou - Archives Assistant

519.846.0916 x5239

Lisa Harrison - Archives Assistant

519.846.0916 x5237

Kelsey Grant - Archives Assistant

519.846.0916 x 5234


Hailey Johnston - Curator

519.846.0916 x5226

Patty Whan - Conservator

519.846.0916 x5227

Phil Dietrich - Museum Technician

519.846.0916 x5223

Amy Dunlop - Curatorial Assistant

519.846.0916 x5232

Lindsay Woelfle - Curatorial Assistant

519.846.0916 x 5242

Education and Programming

Kyle Smith - Activity Programmer

519.846.0916 x5224  

Emily Foster - Programming Assistant

519.846.0916 x5233

Katie Clarke - Programming Assistant

519.846.0916 x5231



Wellington County Museum and Archives

0536 Wellington County Rd 18

Fergus, ON N1M 2W3


Map: Link to Google map

GPS Coordinates: Latitude: 43.692617 | Longitude: -80.403755


Become a Museum and Archives Member today!

The Wellington County Museum and Archives values the support of its members and volunteers.

Individual and Family Membership privileges and benefits include:

  • Free general admission (excludes special events)
  • 10% discount on gift shop purchases
  • Discount on selected children's programmes
  • Monthly CIRCA newsletter
  • Supporting the valuable work of the award-winning WCMA team! 
Individual Membership

Annual: $25 (+HST)

Lifetime: $140 (+HST)

Family Memberships
Two adults plus one or more children, living at the same address.

Annual: $40 (+HST)

Lifetime: $250 (+HST)

Download the Membership Brochure for more information. 

Call, email or visit us to join today.


The Museum and Archive's monthly CIRCA newsletter provides information about upcoming and current events, programmes, and exhibits.

View and download the latest CIRCA newsletter.


The Wellington County Museum and Archives relies on the efforts and dedication of community volunteers. There are many ways to participate.

Volunteer positions include:

  • School Programme Volunteer
  • Special Event Volunteer
  • Youth Volunteer

Training and evaluation is ongoing throughout the year, and there are regular group training sessions and individual learning opportunities. The WCMA is pleased to recognize the efforts of their volunteers through a variety of Volunteer Appreciation events including provincial awards programmes, social events and day trips.

For information about volunteer opportunities contact Activity Programmer, Kyle Smith x5224

© 2020 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909