Huron County Museum and Archives
The Huron County Museum, located in Goderich, has a mandate to engage the community to preserve and share the cultural heritage of the region.
This fall, the museum will have an exhibit that organizers are hoping not only interests the public, but also gets them helping them to solve a few mysteries.
The area has been home to many photographers over the years, operating studios out of the towns and villages all over the county. The museum has an impressive collection of studio portraits in its archives, but sadly a large number are of people who have never been identified.
The Huron County Museum hopes that sharing unidentified photos from the collection will allow public input to match some of these anonymous faces with names, but it is also a chance to go behind the camera and focus on the commercial photographers who captured these striking moments of history. Forgotten: People & Portraits of the County will open Sept. 27 and be the featured exhibit this fall.
There are also permanent exhibitions that feature early settlement, agriculture and military history. The main street galleries are a popular destination, providing a slice of Huron County through storefront exhibits that surround a full-size steam locomotive central to the building. (And who can’t resist a full size train engine indoors?)
Although the museum has had to adapt its operations due to COVID-19, the facility is normally bustling with activities and events. Watch its website for updates and for a variety of innovative digital resources.110 North St., Goderich. www.huroncountymuseum.ca
Huron Historic Gaol
One of the most popular attractions in the region is the unique octagonal stone building that houses the Huron Historic Gaol. The Gaol operated from 1841 until it closed in 1972. At the time of construction it was viewed as a model of humanitarian prison design. In addition to inmates imprisoned for crimes from misdemeanors to criminal convictions, including three men who were hanged for crimes of murder, it also provided shelter as the house of refuge for the ill, destitute and mentally ill. Men, women and children all spent time in the Gaol throughout its history.
As the weather cools and the nights lengthen, there’s nothing like a good ghost story to chill you. Since all tours of the Gaol require guides due to COVID-19 restrictions, it seemed only fitting that some of the spookier stories would begin to appear during the fall months. Throughout the month of October, the Gaol is planning on hosting ghost tours on Friday evenings. If you think you can handle it, it is best to book early as the tours fill up quickly. Tours will run Fridays in October at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. (Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29). Spots on these guided tours are very limited because of space restrictions. Recommended for ages 12 and up at parents’ discretion. The price is $11 plus HST for general admission and $7 plus HST for students and museum members. 181 Victoria St. N., Goderich. www.huroncountymuseum.ca