Member Category: Heritage
Imagine a wheel of cheese weighing 7300 pounds! The Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum shares this story from 1866 along with other interesting tales about the Town of Ingersoll.
First settled by Thomas Ingersoll, the father of Laura Secord, in 1795, the original village of Oxford-on-the-Thames continued to grow. Over the last 200 years, the Town of Ingersoll has been a destination for runaway slaves on the Underground Railway, and has been home to such notables as world-famous evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, the world champion husband and wife racing team of Harold and Lorna Wilson, and internationally renowned wood carver Wilson Jonhston.
The museum brings these stories and others to life through engaging displays and demonstrations. Group tours, educational programs, workshops, special events and hands-on activities are offered throughout the year.
A BRIEF HISTORY
The site consists of seven different buildings including a replica 19th century Cheese Factory, the Sherbrooke Barn, a blacksmith shop and the Ingersoll Community Museum. The Cheese Factory building was the first structure to be erected in 1977 to commemorate the importance of the dairy and cheese industry in and around Ingersoll. It was this industry that went on to establish the town of Ingersoll as a thriving commercial and industrial base during the latter half of the 19th century.
The other buildings are home to a wide selection of early farm implements, some of which are used for working demonstrations throughout the summer.
The blacksmith shop holds a working forge and throughout the summer visitors can enjoy demonstrations on how early metalworking was done. The Community Museum displays various artifacts and memorabilia related to household, business and community history, and includes a 150 year old barn loom and a bicycle that has travelled around the world.
The Museum also maintains the Sports Hall of Fame which exhibits various photographs, memorabilia and awards from many of Ingersoll’s local athletes like former Olympic diver Ken Armstrong and NHL linesman George Hayes. The hall pays tribute to their local, national and even international accomplishments and achievements. The current fundraising campaign will help us score the goal of featuring the Hall of Fame in a new wing to be built onto the main museum building.
A satellite museum of hydro-electric artefacts is situated at the Ingersoll campus of Conestoga College.
The main site at 290 Harris Street in Ingersoll is also the new home for the Oxford County Museum School. Relocated from Burgessville after 38 years of operation, the “new” Oxford County Museum School was officially opened on August 24, 2012. You can tour the one-room classroom and school displays while visiting the Cheese Museum. Simply ask the staff or volunteers on duty to assist.