Visit Us

COVID-19 Protocols

As of Monday, September 27:

Proof of vaccination is now required for entry to the Wellington County Museum and Archives.

  • Patrons 12 years of age and older wanting to enter the Museum or Archives will be asked at the door to provide valid government ID along with one of the following documents:
    • Proof of Vaccination - a valid document from the Government of Ontario in your name that shows that you received a second dose at least 14 days prior to entry.
    • Proof of Medical Exemption - an official note from a physician or registered nurse that includes your full name with a statement that you are exempt from being fully vaccinated for medical reasons. (Please note that we will never ask you for medical details about your exemption.)

Masks are still required at all County facilities and patrons will be asked to provide information for contact tracing when entering the building.

Assistance with printing proof of vaccination:

Vaccinated patrons who do not have proof of their vaccination status can visit the Archives to print their documentation for free. This service is available Monday through Saturday only, as the Archives is closed on Sundays. Archives staff are available to help if you need it.

  • Let staff know at the door that you are vaccinated and have come to the Archives to print your proof of vaccination.
  • If you need assistance, please let staff know. If possible, please call the Archives ahead of time to arrange the best time so that we can ensure we have a computer and a staff member available to assist you.
  • Staff have been instructed, as per the Government of Ontario website, to not alter documents in any way, which includes shrinking the font, as this could render the document invalid.
  • Please note: staff are not able to offer laminating services at this time.

Admission and Hours

Museum: A maximum of 40 visitors are allowed inside the Museum at one time. You do not need an appointment to visit the Museum. For donation inquiries, please contact Museum Curator Hailey Johnston at 519.846.0916 x 5226.

Archives: The Archives is currently open by appointment with a maximum of 5 visitors allowed inside the Archives at once. Retrieval services are available. The use of personal laptops is encouraged inside our facilities, and computer, microfilm reader, and printer services are available by appointment. Please call 519.846.0916 x 5225 or email Karen Wagner to make an appointment.

General admission is by donation.

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

Our regular hours of operation are:

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

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

The WCMA will be CLOSED on the following days.

Monday, February 15, 2021 CLOSED

Friday, April 2, 2021


Sunday, April 4, 2021


Monday, April 5, 2021


Monday, May 24, 2021


Thursday, July 1, 2021


Monday, August 2, 2021


Monday, September 6, 2021


Monday, October 11, 2021


Thursday, November 11, 2021


Saturday, December 25, 2021


Sunday, December 26, 2021


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

Julia Eccelestone - Museum and Archive Admin. Assistant

519.846.0916x 5221


Karen Wagner - Archivist

519.846.0916 x5235 

Lisa Harrison - Archivist Assistant

519.846.0916 x5237

Kyle Pugh - Archivist Assistant

519.846.0916 x5234


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!

Call, email or visit us to join today.

Individual Membership

Annual: $25 (+HST)

Lifetime: $140 (+HST)

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

Annual: $40 (+HST)

Lifetime: $250 (+HST)


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

© 2021 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909