We are preparing to welcome visitors back with a gradual reopening.  On August 10, 2020 members are welcome to reserve a time to explore again.  Then on August 24, 2020 the general public may also reserve to explore Bruce County history once again. 

Museum
Beginning on August 10, 2020

Monday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Tuesday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Wednesday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Thursday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Friday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Saturday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Sunday Closed

Archives & Research Room
Beginning on August 10, 2020

Monday Closed
Tuesday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Wednesday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Thursday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Friday 10 am - 12 pm & 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

General Admission

Individual $8.00 + HST
Children $4.00 + HST
Student $6.00 + HST
Senior $6.00 + HST
Archives $6.00 + HST

Membership & Passes

Enjoy the many benefits of Membership. Not only will you receive FREE admission for a whole year, but so much more!

Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre​

33 Victoria Street North (in the town of Saugeen Shores)
Southampton, ON Canada N0H 2L0
Toll Free: 1-866-318-8889 | Phone: 519-797-2080 | Fax 519-797-2191

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Donations

Our success is made possible, in part, by the support we receive through our strong relationships with you, our donors. Your generosity ensures that we will continue to inspire, educate and remain the premier destination of choice for exploring our history.

Volunteer

Volunteers are the building blocks of our Museum. All our activities and programs depend on the assistance of dedicated volunteers.

Sinclair’s Mystery Chair

Home | Artefacts | Sinclair’s Mystery Chair

In 1965, the large ornate chair, pictured here, was donated to the museum as part of the Sinclair Estate. According to the Museum’s register, it was the Speaker’s Chair from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.  Within the donation file a photocopy of a newspaper article describing the donation of the chair to the museum and purporting it to be the one used by Donald Sinclair while he served as Speaker of the House during his time representing North Bruce.  A wonderful addition to any museum.  As such, the chair was chosen to be part of an exhibit and wanting to fill information gaps, staff began researching Sinclair and his time in parliament. 

Sinclair was elected M.P.P. for Bruce North from 1867 to 1883. During that time, he served on many committees however, according to Parliament records, Sinclair never served as Speaker, though the Bruce South representative, Rupert Mearse Wells did.  If the chair was the Speaker’s, did it originally belong to Wells?  If so, how did Sinclair come to have it?  What was the source stating the chair was not only Sinclair’s, but the Speaker’s?

Thanks to the Bruce County Genealogical Society Surname Collection, an answer was found.  An article from the Walkerton Herald Times gives an account of the Sinclair family after the passing of his daughter Mary (May) in 1965, the last of the family.  The article states a letter was received from a distant relative of Sinclair’s from British Columbia. Her letter, parts of which were printed verbatim include the following: “Donald Sinclair was Speaker of the Ontario House of Parliament for several years and was presented with the Speaker’s Chair upon his retirement.  This chair has occupied an honoured place in the parlour of the Sinclair home on Jackson Street for three-quarters of a century, a museum piece.” 

An excellent piece of family lore to say the least, but is any of it true?  We know Sinclair did not serve as Speaker.   Also looking through images of the early legislatures, the Speaker’s Chair is more elaborate; the Museum chair resembles more closely that of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, even in modern times.  This raises more questions.  Is the chair not even the Speaker’s, but that of the Clerk?  And if so, why was this chair awarded to Sinclair upon his retirement?  That is the next mystery staff will be undertaking.

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