The old

George Tracy house

St. Marys Museum as it looked in 1902.

The Castle in the Bush

The community museum for the Town of St. Marys is located in a lovely old home sitting on a hilltop in a park at 177 Church Street South. It was constructed from locally quarried limestone in 1854. When George Tracy, an early settler to St. Marys, built it for his family, it was by far the largest home in the small village of log shanties. Almost immediately, it was nicknamed the Castle in the Bush. It has been the location of the St. Marys Museum since 1959.

Visitors interested in 19th-century construction are welcome to visit at any time throughout the year. They will see exhibits and materials on local history and can also explore the interior of the house itself. Although it has not been restored to any fixed historic period, it contains a great number of original features from 1854: pine flooring, four fireplaces, plaster crown moldings, high ceilings and strange sets of small rooms off larger chambers.

The new

Interior of archives wing

Community archives opened in 2006.

Local history research

A popular feature of the St. Marys Museum is the area for research into local history. A new wing for this community archives was opened in June 2006. The addition to the north of the original building is completely accessible and is well used by researchers throughout the year.

As well as municipal records, census indexes, listings for area cemeteries, local marriage, birth and death records, maps, photographs, family and community histories, this archives features St. Marys newspapers dating back to 1857. The newspaper archival materials were officially donated to the Museum in March 2007 by their last private owner. In recognition, the research area has been named: R. Lorne Eedy Archives.

Friends of the Museum

Volunteers Wayne Norris and Marvin Arthur examine an old model of a log shanty

Volunteers Wayne Norris, left, and Marvin Arthur examine a very old model of a log shanty that will be part of the new exhibit, “A Log Cabin Christmas.”

Open House features ‘Log Cabin Christmas’

The Museum is pleased to announce its December exhibit, “A Log Cabin Christmas.” It opens officially Sunday afternoon, December 6, during the annual Christmas Open House and will remain in place until early January. The exhibit features special food, decorations, presents and holiday entertainment in early Ontario homes.

December is a very busy month with many school classes visiting to enjoy seasonal programming. Other visitors are welcome too – and should not be alarmed if they have to work their way around rows of small winter boots at the doorway. There’s room for all!

Gift shop

The Museum gift shop is the place to pick up local history books, photo postcards, seasonal greeting cards, historic prints and other items for holiday gifts. Featured this year is The Fallen, a book published in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the beginning of World War I. This fascinating book presents brief biographies of all the men named on the war memorials in St. Marys and Blanshard Township. Photographs of those who died are included with each biography.


A membership in the St. Marys Museum is another gift suggestion – a great stocking-stuffer for friends or relatives. At the cost of $10, it is valid for a year from date of purchase. Members receive four newsletters per year with updates on all Museum activities, invitations to special events and discounts for seminar presentations.