The Middleville and District Museum houses a collection of several thousand artifacts depicting the building of a community from early days of settlement through to the Second World War. Your visit begins with local Indigenous artifacts and continues with an actual log cabin. You will see a significant textile display, a farming exhibit and a glimpse of the early domestic life. A dramatic 1911 horse drawn hearse, a 1918 Chev Truck and a 1921 Ford Car are big hits. Early blacksmith and carpenter tools from local collectors are also popular. The old school house, offering books with many signatures of local youngsters, brings back memories of days gone by. Our extensive archival holdings include genealogical records, taxation records, deeds, wills and hundreds of photographs. We are working to put a selection of documents from our collection online and have begun by featuring photos from the Macaulay-Borrowman Collection, indexes of two of our collections and featured videos from our YouTube channel below.
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This Middleville and District Museum video compilation from days gone by begins with a demonstration of some heritage farm equipment in John Borrowman's field in Middleville in 1987. Watch a grain cradle, scythe and flail being used. Listen for the hiss of a steam tractor and see a display of antique tractors including a 1929 Oliver hard crank. Watch local community members try their hand at ploughing behind a team of horses. It might not be as easy as you think. Other features include a display of antique cars, a spinning wheel and some old time fiddle music. People included in the video are: Gordon James, Alex Bowes, Allan McFarlane, Stewart Rodger, Hazel Mitchell, Edwin McKirdy, John Creighton, Ken Manson, Len McKay, Preston Harris, Ernie Giles, Norman Paul, Ken Bowes, Keith McLaren, Bob Reid, Lyall Mather, John Hodgins, Jim McKay, Jim Dobbie, Murray Affleck, Randy McKay, Allan McKay, Frank Stead, Bert Rodger and Sylvia Rodger.
1918 Model T Chev Truck Watch a slideshow showing the various stages as a 1918 Model T truck chassis is transformed to a fully restored truck . This truck, owned and restored by CM Rodger, now resides inside the Middleville and District Museum.
Reverend Alexander Macaulay was a Congregational minister in Middleville, Ontario from 1891 to 1896 and then again from 1905 to 1910. He purchased a 'Sanderson' camera in London, England before coming to Canada and took many pictures of the people and places around the community. When he left the area to return to Scotland, he entrusted the camera to Russell Borrowman, a local youth. Mr. Borrowman continued to take photographs in the community. Between them, they unknowingly created a rich portrait of community life at the time. The negatives were produced by chemical reaction of metallic salts to light on glass plates. The fragile glass negatives could be used to produce many copies of the same image, a remarkable feat for the time. The extensive collection of 300 glass negatives are housed in the Middleville and District Museum. Each of the glass negatives measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 3/4 inches.
Reverend Alexander Macaulay
Below you can view a few photos from the Macaulay-Borrowman collection.