The story of the settlement and historical development of Lennox & Addington County is highlighted in a number of themed exhibits displayed within the old County Gaol.

Artifacts from the textile, furniture, domestic arts, tools and equipment collections of the Museum & Archives are showcased on a changing basis.  Occasional guest exhibitions are also presented.

On Exhibit

Anne FrankAnne Frank - A History for Today

A Travelling from the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
Run Length: October 10 - November 21, 2019
Viewing Times:

- Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays from 10am - 5pm
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 2:30 - 5pm (to accommodate school group viewings)

Exhibit Opening Event is Tuesday, October 15th at 7pm. [ Find Out More ]

Anne Frank – A History For Today tells the story of Anne Frank against the background of the Holocaust and the Second World War. Anne didn’t just keep a diary. She also wrote tales and planned to publish a book about her time in the Secret Annex. After the war, Otto Frank fulfilled her wish. Since then, Anne Frank's diary has been translated into more than 70 languages. Discover the story behind the diary of Anne Frank.

With this exhibition the Anne Frank House aims to:

  • Inform visitors about the history of the Holocaust from the perspective of Anne Frank and her family;
  • Show visitors that cultural, ethnic, religious and political differences between people exist in every society. In many countries there are groups who consider themselves superior and deny others the right to equal treatment. Such views can lead to discrimination, exclusion, persecution and even murder;
  • Challenge visitors to think about concepts such as tolerance, mutual respect, human rights and democracy;
  • Help visitors to understand that a society where differences between people are respected does not come about by itself. Legislation is of course necessary, but people also have to make a personal commitment.

This international exhibition has travelled all over the world, and is presented more than 300 times per year.  Join us at the Lennox and Addington County Museum to learn more about this courageous family during the darkest times of World War Two. Find out more.

Fred Brown PhotoThe Cycles of Life: A Photographic Exhibition

Fred Brown, Photographer
Exhibit Length: September 23, 2019  - February 1, 2020

Erland Brown (1877-1968) was an amateur photographer from Wilton. Fred owned a bicycle shop and the Yarker Rural Telephone Company. His bicycle and his work took him around the back roads of Ernestown where he became familiar with the landscape and its people. On many of his visits, he carried with him a large, bulky camera where he took images and created glass plate negatives. 

The crystal clear images capture a sense of a settled rural life in the pre-World War I era and contain a variety of subjects from schools to barns, railway cars, churches, road work, interiors of stores, friends in front of his house on Fred Brown Road and photographs of his family. The photographs were digitized from glass plate negatives which were first used in the 1850’s before photographic film. 

This vast collection includes 661 glass plate images. Our Archivists have selected images that will delight and give you sense of rural life in Lennox and Addington County at the turn of the 20th century.  

Museum at Play

A museum is defined as "a building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited". In the strictist terms this is what a museum is, however a museum in today's world is so much more than static objects behind glass. Museums can capture a sense of wonder, imagination, creativity, and fun all the while educating about the past.

Our newest exhibit "Museum @ Play" introduces the sense of fun and learning that happens at the museum. Museums are building a reputation of becoming hubs for the community and giving people a better sense of place and connection.

Museums are about hands on learning - touching, smelling, hearing, and tasting. Exhibits and events lean on these senses to make experiences memorable. Inspired by the museum collection and communal traditions, "Museum @ Play" will showcase that sense of place and play created by our museum visitors and local collectors.


The NutcrackerMuseum @ Play Series 4: Crazy for Crackers!

On Display from December 2nd – January 11th

At Christmas time, stores fill their shelves in the Yuletide section with wooden toy soldier nutcrackers depicting the character so loved in The Nutcracker ballet, first performed in Russia in 1892. This ballet is imprinted into our imaginations – a girl who falls asleep holding her newly gifted nutcracker and dreams of a fairyland where the Mouse King is her enemy, her nutcracker is alive and becomes her prince, and sugar plum fairies bring her to safety. This ballet adapted from Alexander Dumas’s Nutcracker Story (1844) has been cherished in our hearts for over 130 years and has sprung several collecting interests in our homes. 

While the soldier nutcracker speaks to our memories of Christmas, a nutcracker (decorative or not) in our home serves a very utilitarian function.  These nutcrackers can carry a memory of family gatherings, cooking in the kitchen, or conversations with our grandparents. Most of these crackers will not be shaped like a soldier but tell a wonderful story too.  Nutcrackers big and small, soldier or not will be displayed for all to enjoy.  

The museum is “crazy for crackers” this holiday season. This happy display of Nutcrackers is the 4th installment in our Museum @ Play series.  A variety of nutcrackers from private homes will be exhibited for the month of December.  Be sure to explore the exhibit and participate in the variety of nutcracker themed programs taking place during this time. 

If you are crazy for nutcrackers or even its just one special cracker and would like to include it in the exhibit please email the curator at Your story can be part of this fun exhibit.

The Seaway Of YesterdayThe Seaway of Yesterday: O.C. Madden, Artist

The Seaway collection can be enjoyed until December 12, 2019.   The remaining Madden paintings and vignette will be displayed until Spring 2020.

2019 commemorates 60 years of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  In 1956, Madden took his easel and paints up and down the St. Lawrence River, sketching and painting places of historic interest that were slated to disappear in the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway (also known as the lost villages). Madden used some artistic license to paint the scenes intermingled with a historical perspective of what life was like long before the flooding. 

The Seaway of Yesterday as depicted through oil paintings is a vivid portrayal of early days in Ontario’s small towns including Bath, Morrisburg, Iroquois, Aultsville, Dickinson’s Landing, and Cardinal. Sadly much of their main streets, surrounding farms, and harbours were lost with the flooding.  This summer we are fortunate to have a portion of Madden’s Seaway collection on display.  

This art exhibit hangs in conjunction with A Day On The River, an exhibit that features a life size sculpture of Madden, nestled on a riverbank with his paint box, an apparent favourite past-time.  Other Madden paintings from the Lennox and Addington Archives collection will also be displayed throughout gallery spaces at the museum this summer. 

The Seaway collection can be enjoyed until August 30th, 2019.   The remaining Madden paintings and vignette will be displayed until Spring 2020.

About The Artist

Orval C. Madden was born in 1892 at Napanee.  In his early 20’s, he moved to Toronto to study art at the Ontario College of Art. Madden’s strength was in landscape painting where he used a style reminiscent of and much influenced by the Group of Seven.  O.C. was very interested by views from the historic past, particularly in Lennox and Addington County. He worked from old photographs and his paintings often reflected vanished aspects of life in the country.  

A Special Note

The Madden life-form and shoreline were designed by artist Clelia Scala. Scala is often found in Toronto theatres designing sets and props.  She is currently teaching Theatre Arts at Queen’s University. The “Seaway” collection along with Madden’s paint palette and easel are on loan to the museum for the summer, courtesy of Madden’s nephew. 


Standing Exhibits

Confederation Era Entrepreneurs"Confederation Era Entrepreneurs"

By the 1860’s, the population of the County had grown to allow Lennox and Addington to become independent and a new Court House and jail were built in the mill reserve. Napanee, at the head of the falls, became the County Town. John Stevenson, Napanee’s Reeve, was also the first County Warden.  Confederation, the forging together of the provinces of British North America, passed almost unnoticed in the local press. The County’s First Warden became the first Speaker of the new Ontario Legislature. In the post Confederation era, Italianate styled houses began to dominate Napanee architecture. William Miller, an East Ward merchant, built a new Italianate styled house near the Court House.  Proximity to the Court House and the railway station made East Street a desirable area.

Inside the houses were well furnished.  In 1868 when young William T. Gibbard joined his father, John, in the business, elaborate carved sideboards became a defining product of Gibbard and Sons. 

William Miller’s carved game sideboard and Renaissance Revival Gibbard bedroom suite are on display in the Gibbard gallery.


Museum Horse and Buggy Age"The Horse and Buggy Age"

The years after Confederation to the Great War which erupted in 1914, were the decades when the “Horse and Buggy Age” was at its height. Each farm family possessed one or two light carriages of which the buggy was the most important, and the democrat, a rig with two or three benches, was almost as important. Although the blacksmith remained essential in rural communities, the small foundries and factories strung along the County’s rivers began to build versions of the most popular new inventions.

It was also a great wheat period and a time of hearty work in the fields.  The pace of farming quickened with improvements in farm machinery. New foundries, mills and manufacturing plants were built taking advantage of water power sites along the Napanee River.  D.B. Stickney’s Newburgh foundry built reapers and Joseph Connolly in Yarker produced a variety of ploughs. The Benjamin Wheel Manufacturing Company in Yarker produced rims and spokes for wagon and buggy wheels.

A Connolly democrat, a C.H. Finkle cutter and a Stickney reaper are featured in the Horse and Buggy Age.