Museums and Archives highlight the development of Elgin County through collections of artifacts, documents, and photographs.
Gay Lea Dairy Heritage Museum
48075 Jamestown Line, RR#2, Aylmer
Owned and operated by Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Ltd., the museum offers a wide variety of dairy and agricultural artifacts for people of all ages. Displays include information about the rich agricultural history of Southern Ontario, sleigh and vehicles, blacksmith and barrel-making corners. Seasonal hours, off season tours by appointment.
Port Burwell Marine Museum & Historic Lighthouse
20 Pitt Street, Port Burwell
Off Season: 519-866-5521
This Museum is located across from the 1840s historic Lighthouse in Port Burwell. The Marine Museum houses one of the finest collections of lighthouse lenses on the Great Lakes. On-going activities are hosted throughout the summer. Seasonal hours, please check website.
Elgin County Archives
450 Sunset Drive, Lower Level, St. Thomas
Phone: 519-631-1460 ext.154
Preserves and provides access to Elgin County municipal records, photographs and other records of Alma College, Scott Photographic Studio, Andersons Department Store, Elgin County Women’s Institutes, St. Thomas Times-Journal, Ford St. Thomas Assembly Plant, hundreds of maps and plans, and resources for tracing family history. Open year round.
*Photo Courtesy of Elgin County Archives.
Aylmer - Malahide Museum and Archives
14 East Street, Aylmer
March Tundra Swan Line: 519-773-7926
This community museum preserves, promotes, and presents the history of the town of Aylmer and Malahide Township. The museum offers educational lessons, archives and special events. There are rotating exhibits, displays, public programs and publications.
Seasonal hours. Archival appointments please call ahead.
Ye Old Forge and Anvil Museum
46316 Sparta Line, Sparta
Built in 1827, this cob (clay and straw) building was a blacksmith’s shop. It now houses the Sparta and District Historical Society’s museum of artifacts from the community. Learn about pioneer skills as you watch weavers, spinners and others demonstrate their knowledge and skills. Seasonal hours, please call ahead.
Elgin County Museum
4th Floor, 450 Sunset Drive, St. Thomas
Phone: 519-631-1460 x160
The museum annually mounts a series of exhibitions and programs based on a permanent collection of artifacts which illustrate the history of Elgin County.
Sparta Church Museum and Cultural Centre
6073 Quaker Road, Sparta
Sparta’s newest museum presents a series of changing exhibits from April to October. It also features special events throughout the year and is available for weddings and special celebrations. Seasonal hours, please call ahead.
Backus-Page House Museum
29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown
This restored Georgian style 1850s house is a museum located amidst the beauty of John E. Pearce Provincial Park. Adults $5.50, Students/Children $2.00. Contact us to book your own tea, picnic, reunion, or wedding.
Dowler - Karn Museum
43841 Talbot Line, St. Thomas
The “Karn Collection” consists of over 10,000 pieces, including oil paintings and local memorabilia collected for the past 50 years by Jack, Joyce, John, Barb and David Karn.
Open every Wednesday from 10am - 4pm or by appointment for tours or groups.
Edison Museum of Vienna
14 Snow Street, Vienna
Off Season: 519-866-5521
The Edison Museum of Vienna features many authentic Edison artifacts and furniture. Some of the furniture and artifacts displayed in the Edison Museum were donated by the late Mrs. Nora Edison Coombe. Nora was a first cousin of the inventor Thomas Alva Edison and the last remaining descendant with the Edison name to live in Vienna, Ontario, Canada.Seasonal hours, please call ahead. PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE EDISON MUSEUM OF VIENNA IS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS
Elgin County Railway Museum
225 Wellington Street, St. Thomas
Visitors to the Elgin County Railway Museum have the opportunity to see firsthand the inner workings of a real locomotive shop. Stop by to view an impressive collection of artifacts, or visit during one of the museum’s various events throughout the year, including the immensely popular Day Out with Thomas! Please check website for hours of operation.
North American Railway Hall of Fame
750 Talbot Street, St. Thomas
The Canada Southern Railway Station is a dynamic, highly visible, beautifully restored station, functioning as the catalyst to St. Thomas’ overall downtown revitalization. Thousands of people each year come to admire this unique historical structure in the heart of downtown St. Thomas. Open year round, and available for rentals.
Elgin Military Museum
30 Talbot Street, St. Thomas
The Elgin Military Museum was formed in 1979 to recognize the contribution of Elgin County citizens who were called upon to face the extraordinary circumstances of war. Visitors will gain behind-the-scenes insight into life in military service from the War of 1812 to the present and the impact local citizens have had on Canadian history.