HISTORY OF GRENVILLE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY INC.
The Grenville Pioneer and Historical Society was founded in 1891. The qualification then for membership was "a descendant of an ancestor resident in Canada in 1792." First president was F.J. French, a lawyer and Queen's Counsel, who was born in Burritt's Rapids in 1847. By 1914 women were allowed to become members as well. The membership fee was "10 cents in 1891" and it had changed to "50 cents for males and adults and 25 cents for ladies and all persons under 21" by 1914. In 1922 the name of the society had changed, and was listed in their records as the Grenville Pioneer Society. The Society was disbanded by 1924 and all the material that had been collected was picked up from Mr. French's home after his death in 1924 by the provincial Archivist in Toronto.
The Grenville County Historical Society was reorganized in 1959, largely through the efforts of the late Phyllis Stephenson and of Jean Wadds (at that time Jean Casselman, MP for Grenville-Carleton), with the organizing meeting taking place at St. Mark's School in Prescott on Dec. 1, 1959, with Edward McNally sworn in as president. The first official meeting was in January 1960 and this is shown in the photo at right.
GCHS originally stored the artifacts and paper materials that were collected, in the Grenville County Registry Office and in the homes of members, until given the opportunity of moving to Room 36 in the Prescott Municipal Building. That room also became too small for the collection. The holdings were moved in 1980 to the second floor of Homewood Museum, and it served as an archives, resource centre, and office for the society while they administered the operation of the museum for the Ontario Heritage Foundation. The museum interpreted the history of the Solomon Jones family. In 1991 GCHS moved to the west wing of Homewood and operated the Archival Resource Centre, as well as continuing to operate the museum, until the collection moved once more in 1995, this time to Crane House at 439 Edward Street, Prescott. Our last move took us to the the old Grand Trunk Railway Station at 500 Railway Avenue in Prescott in 2007. We are particularly proud of our new quarters, as our members have restored the station and made extensive renovations to accommodate our collection. Hopefully we will have a long stay here.
MISSION STATEMENT OF THE SOCIETY
If you or someone you know would be interested in becoming a volunteer for the Grenville County Historical Society, please contact us either by phone at (613) 925-0489, by e-mail, or drop in during our open hours Tuesdays from 10-4 at 500 Railway Ave, Prescott, Ontario.
All volunteers will be very welcome.