Archives Artefacts Carleton County CCHS Connell House Connell Stamps Events Membership
Newsletter Old Court House Papers People Publications Woodstock
In an ideal world, a museum's collection of artefacts would serve to illustrate every facet of life in the community or area it serves, from pre-history, through earliest settlement and down the years to at least the beginning of living memory.
Such a dream is, of course, both impossible and impracticable.
In some areas, the Society has achieved quite a degree of success. For example, the collection of period clothing is second only to that of the New Brunswick Museum, and includes, in addition to civilian costume, military uniforms and even a few specimens of the garb of some fraternal organizations — uniform parts from a Prentice Boys' Band member, for instance.
The hand tools of various trades are represented, at least to some extent, although never as completely as might be desired. As an illustration, some 60 wooden carpenter's planes contrast the lack of frame- or bow-saws, and cooper's tools are conspicuous by their absence, although this necessary craft was practiced widely in the County. The artefact collection also includes some of the paraphenalia of the dental, nursing and medical professions, even extending to some quack medicine material.
In addition to the usual spinning wheels, swifts and yarn winders, some "labor saving" devices that purported to relieve a housewife's burdens are represented by a variety of hand-cranked or lever-operated washing machines and treadle-operated sewing machines.
Jugs, bottles, food containers, kerosene lamps, clocks, eyeglasses, cameras, baskets, toys, invalid chairs, odd pieces of silver and china, desks and chairs in various states of repair, consume all available space and demand more. Yet furnishing the parlors and bed chambers of Connell House, or properly setting table in the dining parlor, is presently not possible.
In an area settled initially by disbanded soldiers from Loyalist regiments, it is surprising that the artefact collection contains only a single, very damaged musket. But given the strong military tradition of the County, it does not seem at all surprising that the Society possesses a collection of scale-model lead soldiers, numbering over 1,000 individual pieces.
Scale models are usually of interest, particularly those representing vessels such as the woodboat shown at right. Another, not depicted on this page, is a rare architectural model of a Gothic church design promoted by Bishop John Medley.
The collection attempts to provide visitors with views of life in earlier times, tools, china, utensils, housewares, etc. Occasionally, an article is at a surprising variance with preconceived ideas. A beautiful little lady's spittoon falls in this category.
While Connell House is undergoing restoration, the bulk of the archives and artefacts are in storage, and work in these areas has been suspended. The records of nearly 6,000 aretfacts has been entered in a computer database, but the records of a great many more must be postponed until this work can be resumed. Selected articles from that database are illustrated by the thumbnail images at the sides of this page. Clicking a thumbnail will lead to a related page with a larger image, description and history.