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Heritage & Museums

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The City of Kawartha Lakes offers a range of very unique cultural facilities throughout our municipality. Members of the community are encouraged to visit the various historical societies and museums available in order to learn more about our background, heritage and history.

Victoria County Historical Society – Olde Gaol Museum

The objective of the Museum and its displays is to preserve the rich history and heritage of Victoria County (City of Kawartha Lakes) and to make it available to the public.  The Historical Society is committing to preserving our heritage and educating and informing the public of the same.

50 Victoria Avenue, North, Lindsay

Horseless Carriage Museum

The Horseless Carriage Museum is a unique, private museum featuring the life-long collection of Richard Bennett. Located on County Road 8, between Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls, it features pre 1914 transportation and memorabilia and a collection of rare and unusual turn-of-the century mechanical antiquities. The 1895 Sawyer & Massey is the oldest operating Steam engine of its kind. The 1899 Stanley Steam Car is the oldest running car in Canada. The 1878 Penny Farthing made by James Starley is the oldest Bicycle in Canada. And now the Horseless Carriage Museum features two of the oldest Canadian-manufactured bicycles, the 1895 Red Bird No.1 from Bradford and the 1897 Evans & Dodge Maple Leaf bicycle from Windsor.

A one hour tour of the museum’s highlights include a delightful and informative demonstration of the mechanical music machines.  Please allow time to browse and explore the Horseless Carriage 1890’s General Store featuring local treats, sweets and a selection of one-of-a-kind gifts. Group and bus tours welcome.

1427 County Road 8, Fenelon Falls

Highlands Cinema & Museum

On the border of the Kawarthas and the Haliburton Highlands, this village of 300 boasts an unusual demographic: More movie theatre seats than people. Highlands Cinemas has 5 unique theatres with a total of 550 seats and has been showing movies to customers from the surrounding area for over three decades. Hidden in the bit of bush, on the bill just outside of the village limits, it looks like an average two-storey house.  The only hint is a small marquee that’s largely obscured.  The large reupholstered seats, the thick velvet curtains and the ornate wall coverings take older patrons down memory lane and give the younger crowd a chance to experience bygone days. The 4000 square foot museum features projectors, clothing, toys, news items, and technology from 1900 to 2010. 

4131 Highway 121, Kinmount

Coboconk Jailhouse

One of the smallest jailhouses to be built in Canada, Ye Olde Jailhouse in Coboconk is a tiny building full of history.  Measuring just over 15’ x 19’m the jailhouse was built in approximately 1884 by Albert Ryckman.  Although some repairs and renovations have been made over the years, the original walls, made using limestone mined from the Coboconk quarry and iron bars are still standing.

Rescued from demolition in 1974 by The New Horizons Club, the building is now home to Ye Olde Jail and Craft Shoppe. Operated on a volunteer basis, the shop displays and sells arts and crafts made by club members.  A unique and important part of our heritage, Ye Olde Jailhouse is an interesting place to visit and learn about the history of Coboconk.

North Water Street, Coboconk

Kinmount Model Railway & Museum

The Kinmount Model Railway and Museum is located in the agent’s office and baggage room of the preserved Kinmount railway station at Kinmount, Ontario. Kinmount was the third major stop on the former Lindsay-Haliburton CNR line, north of Fenelon Falls and Burnt River; 53 km from Lindsay and 35 km from Haliburton.

This model railway group congregates from the surrounding areas. Some of the volunteers are also members of the Lindsay & District Model Railroaders, a club that has some of the same aims as the Kinmount group.

The Kinmount group operates informally, but is uniformly focussed on the maintenance, operation and improvement of the layout on display.  The volunteers contribute their various skills to keep the exhibit going.  Automation of the layout’s operation has enabled the guides on duty to spend more time with the public.  Renewal of the track and scenery is an ongoing project.

Maryboro Lodge Museum

An extensive collection that details the evolution of Fenelon Falls and the surrounding area from pre-settlement to the early 1900’s is exhibited in Maryboro Lodge, an 1837 home in a magnificent park setting on Cameron Lake. Changes in the local environment, the built and natural landscape, and the lives of the inhabitants are highlighted in the exhibits and echoed in displays throughout the sprawling house, Anne Langton Gallery and outbuildings. A busy social centre throughout the summer, the museum hosts musical performances, afternoon teas, pioneer summer school, workshops, and heritage activities.

50 Oak Street, Fenelon Falls

Boyd Heritage Museum

Built in 1889, the building which now houses the museum, was home to The Boyd Lumber Co., The Trent Valley Navigation Co., and the private school for the Boyd children. A 19 year old pioneer, Mossom Boyd, arriving in the ‘back lakes’ of Upper Canada in 1833, becoming The Lumber King of the Trent Valley is explained throughout the Museum.  Tools and log shanties to exquisite textiles and lavish homes, we follow two generations of the Boyd family.

21 Canal Street East, Bobcaygeon

Kirkfield & District Historical Society & Museum

Located at the former St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Kirkfield, the museum chronicles the railway builder Sir William Mackenzie and other prominent families, the Kirkfield Quarry, the historical Kirkfield Liftlock and items from the past including photos. Of special interest is a working model of the old quarry.

992 Portage Road (Highway 48), Kirkfield

Kawartha Settlers’ Village

A ten acre monument to the proud past of Bobcaygeon and the northern Kawarthas, Kawartha Settlers’ Village is composed of 22 historical buildings and over 5000 artifacts dated from 1835-1935.  With various events through the year and summer camps in the summer, Kawartha Settlers’ Village is a great place to visit,

85 Dunn Street, Bobcaygeon

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