Visit Us

Admission and Hours

Archives: Appointments to visit the Archives are encouraged, but not required. Retrieval services are available. The use of personal laptops is encouraged inside our facilities, and computer, microfilm reader, and printer services are available. Please call 519.846.0916 x 5225 or email Karen Wagner to make an appointment.

Museum: 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.

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: 11:30 am - 4:00 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.

COVID-19 Protocols

Visitors are no longer required to wear a mask or face covering or provide proof of vaccination in order to visit the Museum and Archives.

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.

Friday, December 8, 2023


Saturday, December 23, 2023


Sunday, December 24, 2023


Monday, December 25, 2023


Tuesday, December 26, 2023


Sunday, December 31, 2023


Monday, January 1, 2024


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 Ecclestone - Museum and Archive Admin. Coordinator

519.846.0916x 5221


Karen Wagner - Archivist

519.846.0916 x5235 

Kelsey Lindinger - Assistant Archivist

519.846.0916 x5239

Christine VanderHeide - Assistant Archivist

519.846.0916 x5234

Sophia Grande-Lawlor - Assistant Archivist

519.846.0916 x5237


Hailey Johnston - Curator

519.846.0916 x5226

Emily Benedict - Conservator

519.846.0916 x5227

Julia Barclay - Museum Technician

519.846.0916 x5223

Amy Dunlop - Assistant Curator

519.846.0916 x5232

Lindsay Woelfle - Assistant Curator

519.846.0916 x 5242

Education and Programming

Katie Clarke - Museum Programming Supervisor

519.846.0916 x5231

Serena Lowery - Assistant Museum Programmer

519.846.0916 x5224

Mike McGill - Assistant Museum Programmer

519.846.0916 x5233


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)
  • Free general admission to the Guelph Civic Museum, McCrae House, Waterloo Region Museum, Doon Heritage Village, Joseph Schneider Haus and McDougall Cottage.
  • 10% discount on gift shop purchases
  • Discount on selected children's programmes
  • Supporting the valuable work of the award-winning WCMA team!

Call, email or visit us to join today.

Individual Membership

Annual: $50 (+HST)

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

Annual: $80 (+HST)


Corporate Membership

Annual: $500.00 (+HST)

© 2023 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909