TBT: Happy 65th Anniversary to the Sombra Museum, 1959 – present

Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Dresden Meat Packers:

This week’s Throwback Thursday is from the Sombra Museum.

Here is what they had to say:

In honor of Sombra Museum’s 65th anniversary we take you back to 1957 when the first seeds of our museum were sown.

In the years previous, many had discussed the possibility of a museum for Sombra Township. Then finally in November of 1957, a group of local people formed the Sombra Township Historical Society.

The Society formed a committee to find a suitable building to house the museum, and John Bury’s old house, first built in 1882, seemed perfect.

To purchase and restore the building for $3750, the Society, in large part, depended on donations and local Women’s Institutes’ aid. Letters were even sent to former residents of the Township for support.

Luckily, the Society’s fundraising efforts were rewarded, and they were able to purchase the house for $3000 in April of 1958.

When the Museum Committee purchased the building, it was unpainted with broken windowpanes and run-down porches needing refurbishing. Merchants in Wallaceburg, Port Lambton, Sarnia and Sombra were contacted for material, and roofing, paint and wallpaper were all donated.

Male members of the society plastered, roofed and painted, and fixed the foundation, while the female members cleaned and papered every room. The refurbishing was completed in spring of 1959.

Rae Grant was named as the museum’s Curator, and he, with others, arranged the donated articles for display in cases that were also donated.

Opening day came on June 19th, 1959. Local people and dignitaries, including Sarnia-Lambton MPP and Ontario Minister of Travel and Publicity Bryan Cathcart, gathered for the ribbon cutting at Lambton County’s first museum.

Follow them on Facebook, here.

If you have an old photo, or video, that you would like to see on the Sydenham Current, let us know by sending us an email to sydenhamcurrent@gmail.com.

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