The Pontiac Historical Museum came into being in 1973, when an Opportunities For Youth grant was wrapping up its Historical Record project. Members of that project discovered that the Shawville station of the Canadian Pacific Railway was being sold and dismantled. The station had been closed and boarded up for several years, since passenger service had been discontinued. Historically-minded community members banded with the young people, and quickly formed a committee to raise funds to retain the building for a museum, dedicated to preserving artifacts of early life in Pontiac County.
The railroad wanted the building removed from its railside location, so a spot at the corner of the Shawville Fairgrounds was secured. Funds were raised to move the building, and to set it onto a new foundation. Local tradespeople and volunteers replaced the roof, scraped and repainted the exterior, and cleaned and renovated the interior. Artifacts, donated or loaned, were gathered and arranged to form the exhibit; they included farm and household tools, clothing and housewares, schoolroom and country store furnishings. These exhibits form the backbone of the museum to this day.
The Pontiac Historical Society maintains and operates the museum, and welcomes visitors on weekends during the summer, on Canada Day, and during the Shawville Fair. The Society meets on the third Monday of every other month. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in local history. Donations of money or artifacts are gratefully accepted, and charitable tax receipts are available.
A view of part of the one room exhibit.
Open during summer on weekends, on Canada Day (July 1); and during the annual Shawville Fair www.shawvillefair.ca.