The Lambton Heritage Museum celebrates the history and heritage of the communities that make up Lambton County. We have had the pleasure of seeing over half a million visitors go through our doors since the museum opened May 13, 1978. Attracting approximately 17,000 visitors per year, the Museum is a popular destination for tourists and local residents of Lambton County.
The museum’s original collection is based on the contribution of two private donations:
- Peter Eisenbach of Grand Bend had a special fascination for the past from an early age. He gathered and saved rapidly disappearing tools and equipment until his personal collection filled four buildings on his property, including a chapel, log smokehouse and barns. In 1960 Eisenbach opened a small museum in Grand Bend, which he left as a gift to the County of Lambton.
- Fred Walden of Forest was a keen collector who acquired local harvest equipment, crockery, pressed glass and hand-coloured lithographs. Walden played a large role in encouraging Lambton County Council to fund the building of the Lambton Heritage Museum.
The museum collection has continued to grow and now encompasses an extensive 50,000 square foot complex that is home to more than 25,000 artifacts and 10,000 photographs depicting the history of Lambton County. The Museum is also home to Canada’s largest collection of pressed glass water pitchers.
Visitors can discover the only horse-drawn ambulance in Ontario, explore historical buildings including a blacksmith shop, pioneer home and nineteenth century schoolhouse, or walk by the steam engine which supported the largest industry in Bosanquet for most of the last century. Visitors will also discover a rare stump puller produced by the Peterson Foundry in Sarnia; it is the only one of its kind remaining. The museum’s antique engines and stoves include models not known to survive in any other collection, private or public.
As well as providing many entertaining hours for visitors, the Lambton Heritage Museum provides a secure home for thousands of heirloom artifacts and photographs that tell the story of the development of Lambton County.
This is the work and lifeblood of an active community museum – to gather, document and preserve unique items of local heritage significance.