A village in rural Ontario with a picturesque mill and dam.new_waterdam The 1845 mill, 1861 octagonal cottage, 1881 Grand Trunk Railway Station are all restored. Also included on the tour is the site of the 1856 African Methodist Episcopal Church and restored cemetery and a 1916 Gothic Anglican Church featuring a Casavant organ and beautiful stained glass.

A tour of the Old Mill Village is not offered at this time, oddy_webpage_16975_12283_006but was in the past, and featured a delicious home cooked luncheon served in Woodlawn, our 1861 Octagonal Cottage. The house was built in 1861 and was in danger of being lost to decay when a local citizens group became interested. The house was moved from Milldale and restored. Located at the west end of the village, it now resides on an historical site once occupied by a Quaker meeting house and between two genealogically interesting cemeteries. It is now used as an adult community center and is ideal for small family events.

blk_cemetary_4714_096In 1982 during the 175th celebrations of the community, a plaque was placed at the African Methodist Episcopal Cemetery to commemorate the Black Settlement of freed families who made their homes in this area. At one time the group was large enough to maintain a school and a church. When the slaves were freed after the American civil war many returned to the U.S.A., others left later for urban centers to find employment.

Saint John’s Church – This impressive gothic style building is the result of the generous bequest of a local family who came in 1845. The Bullocks invented the first carpet sweeper and produced them in a factory, which later became the Otterville Manufacturing Company, producing numerous items sold nationwide The Anglican church and rectory were built as a memorial to the parents Catherine and Edward Bullock. During a tour the organist is present to play the Casavant organ. The church contains many beautiful stained glass windows.

Otterville Mill – Built in 1845 by Edward Bullock
mill_webpagemill09The mill is run by water power supplied by a dam on the river. The South Norwich Historical Society, on a lease basis, maintains this historic site and offers tours on request. A beautiful setting in the center of the village, the mill and its surrounding meadow is the site of an annual barbecue.

GTR Station Museum – The South Norwich Historical Society has restored this 1875 Station to its state as a 1881 Grand Trunk Railway station. The waiting room and office are restored authentically, the baggage room is an interpretation room for displays of the area’s history. Permanent displays feature railway construction of the 1880’s with many artifacts of all periods. The Underground Railroad and early Black settlement of the area is another highlight, plus the story of our early Quaker heritage.

station_19078_13528_064The Blacksmith Shop is a replica of an early Springford Blacksmith Enterprise, whose owner also moved many buildings in the area at the turn of the 20th Century. This equipment, plus the first oil heating system for curing tobacco, provides interest to our visitors. The site is open to the public by appointment.


Otterville Park. Just north of the main corner, and through the stone gates, you access by foot-bridge, 10 acres of parklands graced with beautiful tall pines. This park, with its swimming pool, ball diamond, horseshoe pitch, tennis and basketball courts, and children’s playground, is a delight for family or company picnics. It is equipped and maintained by local volunteer groups, who with the Township of Norwich are responsible for the reservations of large groups.

Re-enactment photots of Fenian Raids.

( We are grateful for Topic links on Society history and Society Government, travel and reference museums is particularly strong, and a Wikipedia link is strong on recreation/travel. Visitors to this site, might enjoy next to visit a post on travelling to tour other Ontario museums.)

Further information available at
The South Norwich Historical Society
P.O. Box 149, Otterville,
On Canada N0J 1R0
(519) 879-6804

Latest Posts:

Lundy’s Lane Battlefield Museum

Understanding history is one of the key factors in getting to know any community. In the 19th and 20th century, various parts of the globe underwent massive battles that were part of globalization and liberalization of various communities. In Ontario, Canada, this was no exception and it carries its history in Niagara History museum that is a reflection of the eventualities of war that occurred in July 25th, 1812 in what was known as the Anglo American war.


History of the site

It was on the night of July 25th when around 3,000 Canadian soldiers came face to face with American solders totaling about 2,800. This was in Lundy’s a township in Ontario, Canada. The heated battle that ensured came to the historic books as one of the ugliest incidences that had occurred during the battle that had lasted for five hours in the war that was in existence since the year 1812. The casualties of the battle was estimated to be over 850battlecemetary men from each of the fighting armies. To commemorate this, the federal government built a monument that was 12 meters high in Drummond Hill cemetery which was the center ground of the battle. This was to receive recognition and designation as a historic site from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board in 1937. Over the years various smaller monuments have also been built on the site.


What makes the site more historic?

In the years after the war, the fame of the famous battleground turned to an instant tourist attraction. This was occasioned by the impressive view that was accorded by the view towers built on the site that gave visitors a clear overview of the area. More to this the Drummond Hill Cemetery was the final resting place of the wars most notable soldiers Laura Secord. The equipments used in the war also forms part of the historic attractions present in the museum.


NFhistory2What is there to see?

Lundy’s Lane Battlefield Museum offers a range of historical artifacts that relate toshell_grapestandus the battle that took place in the years of 1814. Among these artifacts are the uniforms used by the forces, the weapons and the equipment. The museum also has in place records as well as adequate information regarding the occurrences of the time. To make the tour to the museum more personalized and to give each and every visitor the best chance, there is in place a personal tour guide pamphlet that allows the visitor to take a tour of the museum without the need for a tour guide.


Where is the museum located?

In order to get access to the museum, it is important to get clear and concise directions to the site. It is located in 5993, Barker Street, Niagara Falls Ontario. When visiting the museum you can get the walking tour brochure from the site’s entrance which covers a distance of approximately 1.7 Km. This can also be downloaded from the museums website and a visit can only be made during some specified weekends when the museum is open. A visit will help you learn more and also see many artifacts from uniforms to weapons that were used in the past, long, long ago, during the battle of 1814.

North American Black Historical Museum

It is a common knowledge that enslaved African-Americans moved from south to the northern states on the Underground Railroad in order to escape slavery. However, many people have never thought of enslaved blacks who decided to travel north american black historical museumto Canada without stopping in the North. Many African-Americans who escaped slavery avoided settling in the North because they could be apprehended and taken back.

After the enactment and subsequent implementation of the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, Canada became a safe haven for enslaved blacks looking for freedom. Even before that in 1833, slavery was abolished in Canada and so areas close to the Canadian border became the ultimate destination for enslaved blacks.

The North American Black Historical Museum has received recognition for its contributions towards remembering former slaves who moved to Canada. The museum was founded in 1975 by Melvin Simpson and his wife Betty Simpson. It was started to promote community heritage and pride. The museum features the achievements of African-Americans from their original African culture 1u2and many the years of enslavement in the United States to their modern achievements. When the North American Black Historical Museum was opened, it was the third museum of its kind in North America that featured black history and attracted visitors from all over the world. Renowned civil rights activist Rosa Parks visited the museum a couple of times.

According to the museum’s curator, Terran Fader, Amherstburg town was the common crossing spot for the Underground Railroad. This is a vital part of the town’s history but not everyone knows this. The town is located about 30 kilometers from downtown Windsor and has a population of over 21,000 people.
amherstburg streets
Amherstburg was first settled in by the British in 1784 and was a major site in the 1812 Warand the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion. It became a town in 1878. It is located along the narrowest point of the Detroit River, between the United States and Canada.

artThe museum has a stationary exhibit on the main floor and moving exhibits upstairs. You can see artifacts, such as shackles that were used to restrain the slaves and a lashing ring where slaves were tied up while being lashed.

In addition to a number of collections that celebrate the lives of former slaves and also takes you through the treacherous history of slavery, there is a log cabin which is known as a historic home. A number of people lived there, including George Taylor, a renowned former slave who also participated in the Civil War. Inside are many artifacts donated by descendants of former slaves.
Another notable feature of the museum is the Nazrey African Methodist Episcopal Church. It was built by free blacks and former US slaves in 1848 and designated as a Canadian National Historic Site in 1998.

For those who are interested in visiting the North American Black Historical Museum, it’s situated at 277 King Street, Amherstburg, Ontario and is open from 12 pm to 5 pm, from Tuesday to Friday, and from 1 pm to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. So if you want to learn the black history, Amherstburg is the place to go.


Royal Ontario Museum

royal ontario museum

vt2_0The Royal Ontario Museum is one of Canada’s finest, and most popular museums. It is also the largest and it includes a vast collection that explores human and the natural world’s past. This museum is also home to some of the most well-known scholars in the world. It hosts several galleries and innovative programs that attract millions of people every year.

urbantoronto-3060-8681The Royal Ontario Museum is found in Toronto. It was established in 1912 after a special legislature act. The museum was first accessed by the public in March, 1914. When the museum was initially opened, it was made up of five individual museums. These museums were dedicated to zoology, paleontology, mineralogy, geology, and archeology. In 1955, these museums amalgamated. The University of Toronto managed the museums until 1968 when it was turned into an individual corporate. It is now one of the Government of Ontario agencies but it still maintains connections with the university.

The building that houses this historical museum was constructed in phases. The initial building, which is now the museum’s west wing, was made accessible to the public in 1914. Two more sections were opened in 1933 including an east wing and center block designed to link the two wings. It was later renovated and reopened in 1982.


This museum offers various public programs including artifacts and specimen identification, dramatic performances, demonstrations, lectures, films, and concerts. Several volunteers conduct tours in the museum.



In 2002, the museum launched a fundraising campaign headed by William Thorsell, its director and CEO at the time. This campaign was put in place to allow the museum to put more of its popular collections on display. The campaign managed to raise several millions of dollars that have allowed the museum to set up new gallery spaces and renovate existing ones. A digital gallery was also set up to offer an interactive experience for the public, students, and scholars. The museum also expanded its retail and restaurant space using the funds collected during the campaign.


4928408994_80a9488656_zOne of the best aspects about this museum is its varied collections. This museum has more than 6 million objects. It has collections related to ethnology, anthropology, Eastern and Asian items, Roman and Greek collections and one of the largest Byzantine collections in history. The collections are obtained from different parts of the world and this makes a visit to this museum a global experience. It also features one of the finest collections of meteorites, rocks, gems, and minerals. Its galleries display science, art, and archeology collections and this has made it one of the most popular destinations for students.


One of the things that make this museum stand out is its role in research. Its curatorial staff is involved in various studies and this offers a strong academic foundation for all the public events that are hosted in the museum. It has a team of archeologists who carry out field excavations in different parts of the world such as Canada, Egypt, Central America, the Middle East, and China. The Royal Ontario Museum’s curators offer consultation services to several provincial, national, and international organizations. Its staff publishes a large number of scholarly and general publications every year.

March 2013 026