Huronia Museum description

History

On July 1st 1947, the Huronia Museum first opened in a large wooden frame building that had been the family residence of James Playfair 1860-1937, a prominent Midland businessman. The current museum building was Midland’s Canada Centennial project and officially opened on July 1st 1967 in Little Lake Park adjacent to the Huron/Ouendat (Wendat) Village.

Exhibits

In 1976, the Historic Art of Huronia Gallery in the museum building opened and presently displays art by David Milne, Homer Watson, Manly MacDonald, Franklin Arbuckle, Hilton Hassell, Mary Hallen (Victorian era watercolours), William J. Wood, Thor Hansen, Group of Seven artists (A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, J. E. H. MacDonald) along with contemporary art, native art and archaelogical collections of Ouendat and Ojibway First Nations. Other exhibits are about Georgian Bay lighthouses, shipwrecks, maritime and military heritage. There is also an extensive photographic collection of the work of Midland’s long-time professional photographer, John W. Bald.

Huron Village

The Huron Village represents what Huron life was like between AD 1500-1600, just prior to the arrival of Europeans. The village has the following components: shaman’s lodge, wigwam, masks, fish racks, longhouse, sweat lodge, corn field, bone pit, fur drying rack, burial rack. The Huron Village was created by W. Wilfrid Jury (1890-1981), Director of the Indian Archaeology and Pioneer Life at the University of Western Ontario in London. The village is modelled on Jury’s work on the excavation of the pre-contact Forget site near Midland. The village originally opened in 1956. In May 2007, a fire destroyed part of the village. Reconstruction is underway, and the village is now open to the public.