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Museum Hours

Monday 10 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday 10 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday 10 AM - 5 PM
Thursday 10 AM - 5 PM
Friday 10 AM - 5 PM
Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM
Sunday 1 PM - 5 PM

Archives Hours

Monday 10 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday 10 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday 10 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday 10 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday 10 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday 10 AM - 12 PM and 1 PM - 4:30 PM
Sunday Closed

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Individual $8.00 + HST
Children (4-12) $4.00 + HST
Student $6.00 + HST
Senior $6.00 + HST
Archives $6.00 + HST
Children (3 & under) FREE

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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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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.


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

The Wreck of the Cavalier

Home | Stories & Artefacts | The Wreck of the Cavalier

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Mast head from Cavalier. Man's face with crown.The fateful night for the schooner Cavalier was Friday August 31, 1906.  A crew of five, led by a Captain Glass were transporting cedar lumber on Lake Huron when a storm blew up.  While making its way to Southampton’s harbour the schooner was driven against the rocks/reef on the north side of Chantry Island, tearing its hull and sank rapidly.


The Cavalier’s crew clung to the rigging and spars of the ship through the night and were rescued the morning by Captain William McGregor Lambert, the lightkeeper of the Chantry Island Lighthouse.  Luckily no lives were lost, however the “crew during the night did suffer from wet and exposure”, according to the Port Elgin Times.  The ship itself was a total loss, but much of the cargo was saved.



Painting depicting rescue of Cavalier crewFor his lifesaving efforts, Captain Lambert was awarded a bronze medal from the Royal Canadian Humane Society and was awarded in front of a large crowd at a public meeting December 17, 1906.  The medal was presented to Captain Lambert by John M. McNabb.  The painting seen here was done by Captain Lambert’s wife, Elizabeth Mary Parsille in 1906, and is thought to depict the lifesaving measures of Captain Lambert to the crew of the Cavalier.  Through time, salvaged pieces of the Cavalier have become part of the museum’s collection, including the mast head, which was donated in 1954.


The wreck of the Cavalier once again brought home the need for Southampton to have a life-saving station. In the aftermath of the wreck the town once again petitioned to government to set up a station.  This petition was successful and the life-saving station was completed in 1908, two years after the wreck.

To explore more shipwreck related items in the online collection, Click Here

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Lifesaving Medal
Plying the waters of Bruce’s shores have always posed many dangers and the vast amount of shipwrecks stand as a testament to that fact.