Bonnechere Museum | Eganville Ontario

Wish List


"I got to go home with the lad who brung me." Liza Boland of Killaloe remembers hearing this local expression at a dance in Germanicus. Liza was one of several who contacted me about Ottawa Valley expressions. Irene Foran Dooling sent a wonderful booklet of expressions used in her family. I'll just put a few fornenst one another here or you'll be wonderin' what kind of riggin' I am altogether for not sharin'. I'm sure you'll twig to each one. At Christmas dinner, if someone says "I bar the right leg", you'll know that that person has placed dibs on a turkey leg and you are honour-bound not to claim it for yourself. If you are told to "Take off your hat and stay a while," it's not referring to a teenager wearing his cap backwards in imitation of his southern brothers, but instead a welcoming invitation to visit.


The people, the displays, the donations and the entertainment made the November 25 Preview Opening of Bonnechere Museum a great success and an indicator of how a visit to the future museum should be a welcoming experience. Everyone seemed pleased with the new décor and the temporary displays. Residents and visitors alike were in an upbeat mood and responded very positively to those presenting donations, and enjoyed the performing of both the singers and the actors. Although a separate thank you to individuals and to groups and businesses has already been published in the Eganville Leader, I want to emphasize that it was a concerted effort that made the day a success. The donations of $4325 were very much appreciated; and, in the next week, the additional $4000 from the Eganville Rotary Club and $400 from Valley Savings guaranteed that work on the next phase is underway. Thanks are due to all individuals and groups for their generous support. Rotary has specifically targeted display cases. Materials have been sourced and will provide the much needed four foot and six foot display cases; as well, these cases include drawers for storage space. The Front Runner display fabric and moldings for the walls are on order. The cost of these major installations will match the current donations.

Interior Display walls

It is the time of year for wish lists and I have been asked if the museum has one. Yes, it does, but equipment will be included only as funds allow. What else would help to make the museum a welcoming place? As mentioned, the walls and display cases have been assigned $8000; there are still the interior wall panels which will increase the display area. These need wood and fabric and wheels; about $4000 will assemble them. They need to be moveable for performances which also need risers and lighting. The main desk needs a register and copies of temporary receipts, gift forms and documentation forms? Some records must be hand written; but there should be computer copies too.


Starting in the last two weeks of January, the museum will ask for artifacts. Apart from our First Nation people and then fur traders, Europeans came to this area in pursuit of timber. The museum will need artifacts related to the pineries and lumber camps. Since agriculture followed timber, farming artifacts are needed too. Settlements, and businesses and professions and services followed. All of these should be represented in artifacts as well. Some artifacts are old, some new. A sawmill may have photos of the founding members and some of the present family who still run the business. Post Office artifacts are especially needed. It would be great to have the original wall of mail boxes, and the instrument used to cancel stamps. We do have a post master's chair. John Sterling, whose family lived in the upstairs apartment, will provide an historical summary. It is the intention of the museum to have scheduled programs and scheduled rotations of groups of artifacts. Businesses and families should take note of this rotation and make sure each is represented as part of the community's roots and heritage. Another helpful piece of equipment is a costume cabinet, one with wide, deep drawers so that each drawer can have the layout for a complete ensemble. Several people have already expressed an interest in displaying period clothing or individual styles with accessories. Fluorescent lighting contributes to the decay of artifacts; the present lighting will eventually need to be replaced.

The Wars

The museum would be incomplete without acknowledging those who served in wars. Families and, of course, the Eganville Legion are sources for both artifacts and guidance in making such a commemorative display.

Handicapped access and upstairs

There is new legislation regarding access facilities for the handicapped; our main floor needs a wheelchair ramp and modified washroom ready for spring opening. Presently, the upstairs would benefit from donations of 2 x4's, gyproc, joint plaster, nails, trim and moldings and paint; these materials would keep volunteers busy for the winter. Access to the upstairs is a longer term project.

Family History Centre

There is interest in having a family history centre, which needs a computer and internet access; Windows XP on a Pentium 4 with a read-write CD ROM would offer stability, file access control and up-to-date equipment for several years. Eventually, there should be a projector for image files stored on the computer. Other electronic equipment for music and voice will eventually be required; for instance a DVD - digital video player. A microfilm reader and shelving for family resource materials and books on the area and census copies would enhance this service area. A microfilm copy of the Leader's files would be an asset costing about $1500. The museum wish list has many short term and long term items. However, if you really believe in the dream, it will come true. Now, I had better whisht and skedaddle. May the peace and joy of Christmas be yours. If you travel, safe home

Donations: cash or cheque - birthday, Christmas, anniversary, in memoriam, bequest

Bonnechere Museum c/o Bonnechere Valley Township,
49 Bonnechere Street East,
P.O. Box 100, Eganville ON   K0J 1T0.
Phone: 1 613 628 3101 | Fax: 1 613 628 1336