The Port Colborne Historical and Marine Museum and Heritage Village is the focal point of many special events throughout the year.
During the spring, this active museum hosts a Pie Social, History Fair and Antique Road Show and every summer draws thousands to its annual Canal Days. In December people gather from far and wide to celebrate a Grand Old Christmas Festival and enjoy a taste of traditional Christmas Pudding in Arabella’s Tea Room.
The Museum and Heritage Village features a century of heritage buildings in a landscaped setting of historic gardens, pathways, trees and flowers, picket fences, and a memorial pavilion with picnic tables and benches.
The Village includes the original 1869 Georgian-revival style Home and Carriage House of Arabella Williams which houses the main exhibit galleries, Humberstone’s first log schoolhouse where School Tours are held, the 1850 log home of John and Sally Sherk, the F.W. Woods and Sons 1880 Marine Blacksmith Shop, a 1915 Edwardian Cottage which is the home of Arabella’s Tea Room where volunteers serve Afternoon Tea of hot homemade tea biscuits and preserves, a Marine Exhibit Lighthouse a reproduction of the parapet of Port Colborne’s Lighthouse which displays marine artifacts and ship models, and a Heritage Resource Centre which holds the Museums Reserve Collection and is open for research by appointment.
The Museum interprets and exhibits the history of Port Colborne and the Welland Canal. Marine artifacts include the Wheelhouse from the Yvon Dupre Jr. Tug Boat, the anchor from the Raleigh and a Lifeboat from the S.S. Hochelaga.
The Museum is the home of Canada’s Century Car, the 1901 Neff Steam Buggy, one of Ontario’s oldest existing automobiles, built by Benton Neff at the Neff Foundry in Humberstone, which is part of Port Colborne today.
This little steam buggy had a 100-year adventure across North America, before returning home to Ontario on Sept. 8, 2001, exactly 100 years to the day it was put on the road Sept. 8, 1901.
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