North Lanark Regional Museum – A Special Visit

leaves outside NLRM

A colourful carpet of leaves, stretching as far as the eye can see, reminds us that we are in Lanark County’s maple-country.  The sweet, delicate, liquid, flows from the maple trees each spring, one drop at a time, and after boiling, becomes the legendary Lanark County Syrup, drawing tourists to the area, year after year.

Today, we are visiting the North Lanark Regional Museum, a former one-room school-house.  At one time, many decades ago, this long-established building served the children from the local community of Appleton.

NLRM building

This well-kept building holds an abundance of historical treasures from the past within its walls; silent echoes of the pioneers settlers who cleared the land, built their homes, and laid the foundations for future generations.

Our visit began with a delightful private tour of the collection, given by Ed Wilson, President of the North Lanark Historical Society.  Our first stop on the tour was a vintage telephone switchboard, complete with chair and headset. This relic from the past highlights just how far our technology has advanced, since the early days of switchboards, and multi-family party lines.

NLRM switchboard

Our next stop was the Post Office, where Ed pointed out a couple of highlights, like the list of former Post-Masters, and an old set of scales that showed the prices to mail an item, according to its weight.

NLRM Post Office

Appleton Postmasters from 1857 – 1970

NLRM list of Postmasters

A beautiful Communion Table, crafted in wood, is preserved at the museum; donated by the Appleton United Church.

NLRM Communion Table

A country museum would not be complete without an exhibit showing a typical General Store.

NLRM General Store

This General Store features a large collection of vintage glass bottles.   Ed mentioned that he was an avid bottle collector, a hobby that is becoming popular around the world.  It was particularly interesting for us to see bottles from the former Wampole factory in Perth.

NLRM bottle collection

Some people say they can never own enough shoes! It was interesting to see the types of shoes that were available in days gone by, and how styles have changed over the years.

NLRM Shoe display

The variety of vintage tools and farm implements on display, is a fine example of  the types of materials that were used in the crafting of these every-day items.  Rather than being mass-produced, many were hand-made using a hammer and forge.

NLRM tool display

To keep the tools, axes, and knives sharp, a grinding wheel was used –

NLRM Grinding wheel


When our tour of the museum was over, it was time for my presentation on using Genograms in your family tree.


Genograms outline

NLRM Arlene talking about Genograms

Personality traits such as leadership, negotiation skills, or even creativity, are sometimes influenced by our birth order in a family.

Genograms slide 2

In my presentation I showed examples of how musical ability, athletic ability, medical conditions, and even I.Q may be passed from one generation to the next.

Below, is one example of a family tree genogram, showing I.Q as a genetic trait, being passed on from generation to generation, in the family of Marie Curie, double Nobel-Prize winner.

Genogram slide 3

After the presentation, the museum provided some tasty refreshments, and many returned to the sweets table more than once to sample the variety of tasty offerings.  Many stopped by my book table, and picked up a signed copy for themselves, or for gifts.  It was a pleasure to chat with so many, and learn a bit about their family histories.

NLRM Arlene at book table

Before we headed home, Brian Tackaberry, of the North Lanark Historical Society, kindly presented me with a special gift, and thanked me for my visit to the museum.

NLRM with Brian

What a lovely visit to the museum!  Their collection is truly impressive. They are preserving precious artifacts from the past for future generations, and have displayed them generously, for all to enjoy.

Many thanks to Brian Tackaberry, Ed Wilson, and to all of the members of the North Lanark Historical Society for your kind hospitality.  It was a pleasure meeting you, and also to meet Melissa Alexander who has assisted me in the past with research. A special thanks to former neighbour Grant Chaplin for stopping by!

Thanks also to those of you who came to hear my presentation, and to stop by my book table.  It was a packed house, and so nice to see the extra chairs being brought in, and fill the space to capacity.  Thank-you!

Until next time…..

maple leaves for NLRM

(our visit to the museum took place in October 2017)

The museum is currently open by appointment.

For more information on the North Lanark Regional Museum and links to their virtual exhibit:


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