The Glengarry, Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum seeks to promote interest, knowledge, and appreciation for local history. We preserve a variety of historic objects, which illustrate the United Empire Loyalist migration to Glengarry County and the Glengarry partners of the North West Company.
The Museum is housed in the old Williamstown schoolhouse, a Georgian style brick building erected in 1862. In 1967, as a Canada Centennial project, the Glengarry Historical Society opened the Nor’Westers and loyalist Museum to commemorate Canadian and Glengarrian history.
Today, the museum proudly depicts the story of Sir John Johnson and his Loyalist followers who settled here after the American Revolution in 1784, and the Glengarry partners of the North West Company. The Nor’Westers Company, an active competitor of the Hudson’s Bay Company for the fur trade, explored and opened up much of western Canada and the United States. Some of the principal partners of the North West Co., such as David Thompson, Hugh McGillis, John McGillivray, and Duncan Cameron lived in the area. You will find a rich array of historic objects illustrating the beginnings of Glengarry history, preserved in our “little gem.”
Glengarry History is a new, image and organization continuing the tradition of its predecessor, the Glengarry Historical Society. The Glengarry Historical Society was founded in 1959, and incorporated in 1962, with the following goals:
- To stimulate interest in local history among residents of the county by holding meetings with lectures, displays, papers and discussions.
- To discover and collect materials which will help to preserve and illustrate the history of the county.
- To provide for the preservation and display of such materials and for its accessibility, as far as may be feasible, to all who may wish to examine or study it.
- To promote the preservation and restoration of historical areas, buildings, monuments and markers in Glengarry county.
Glengarry History has been formed with these similar goals, but also with the intent of acting as a liaison and partnership group for other organizations active in the area of preserving the history of Glengarry. Glengarry History also aims to integrate it’s operations with those of the Nor’Westers and Loyalist Museum in Williamstown. The Glengarry Pioneer Museum has been established an entity separate from Glengarry History. Glengarry History has become a partner in the establishment of the new Glengarry County Archive located in Alexandria. The archives of Glengarry History have been placed on permanent loan in the GCA. Efforts will be increased in the areas of new membership, membership retention and community outreach to make more of the local young people aware of the rich history of Glengarry.