About Us

The Merrickville and District Historical Society was organized as a registered charity in 1965 in response to the concerns of local citizens that the special heritage of the Village be maintained. They supported the efforts of Parks Canada to restore the Merrickville blockhouse constructed in 1832 by Lt. Col. John By of the Royal Engineers as a key military defense for the new Rideau Canal.

Original Society members appreciated the special character of Merrickville and sought opportunities for maintaining awareness of its history and heritage. Sharing the same concerns, Village of Merrickville arranged to organize and lease the Blockhouse building as a municipal museum to house local artifacts. One of the main functions of the Historical Society has been the operation of this museum in co-ordination with the Village of Merrickville and Parks Canada, which operates the Rideau Canal.

Mary Cook
Mary Cook speaking at the Historical Society annual dinner, 2005
The Historical Society conducts many other activities aimed at increasing awareness of local history and heritage. One of these activities is to organize regular speakers meetings for the membership of the Historical Society and guests. Each speaker discusses various topics of local interest, with an historical or heritage perspective.

Essay Winner
We have established annually for local schools an historical essay contest; news of current events and issues of historical relevance are presented in an Historical Society newsletter; a Merrickville Walking Tour brochure available free from the Museum or this web site supplements numerous publications available from the Museum. The annual Opening of the Blockhouse Museum in June has been a regular occasion that celebrates our local history.

The Merrickville and District Historical Society maintains extensive archival material related to founding families and Village enterprises. It undertook an Archive Restoration and Preservation project during the summer of 2005. This is the first stage of several and thus far more than 1000 images have been photographed. The documents and pictures will eventually comprise a searcheable database which will be accessible for research and duplication.

The Historical Society is a charitable corporation comprised entirely of volunteers. There are some 140 active members who support its projects.


Membership is available on an annual basis at $10 per person or $15 per family. LIFE memberships are available at a cost of $100 per person. While we are appreciative of all memberships paid, everyone is welcome at our regular meetings held in the Village of Merrickville.

To join, send a cheque payable to the Merrickville & District Historical Society, PO Box 294, Merrickville, Ontario, K0G 1N0 Canada

We hold seven monthly lectures meetings per year where you will hear some exciting, fascinating, and interesting tales, both fact and fictional on the history of Upper Canada and Rideau corridor areas. All of our speakers have been well known historians, authors, engineers, archaeologists, museum curators and even a member of the Antiques Road Show. Refreshments are served where you can meet the speakers and pursue any further information or just mindle with other members. We also offer a Newsletter four times a year which features historical highlights.

Besides the lecture series we have a number of actives that you can become involved with, we have our annual Blockhouse clean-up day. We need volunteers to run the Blockhouse on weekends prior to and after the official opening and we need scrutinisers to review and mark the annual Blockhouse Student Essay Contest. We have the Society Archives which continually need cleaning, cataloguing, and filing. All sorts of interesting things for the history buff inside us.

So, please join today and help to support the wonderful heritage of Merrickville and district.

Blockhouse Volunteers
Volunteers playing pioneer at the Blockhouse opening

While the Historical Society relies on membership dues and volunteer efforts to conduct our activities, we are also very appreciative of the response to our appeals to:

  • the Government of Ontario, Ministry of Tourism
  • the Government of Canada through the Canadian Museum Association
  • the Ontario Trillium Foundation
  • the Minto Foundation
  • Heritage Merrickville Foundation
  • the Village of Merrickville-Wolford

Executive and Committees

Executive Committee:
President: Ann Martin
Immediate Past President: Andrew McKay
First Vice-President: Michael Whittaker
Second Vice President: Ellen Hackett
Treasurer: Jacob Dunning
Secretary: Nancy Warr
Committee Chairs:
Membership: Art Hackett   Archives: Nina Donald
Lecture/Program: Marion Fuller & Michael Whittaker   Blockhouse: Bobbie Cardwell
Hospitality: Janet Glaves & JaneAnne McIntyre   Volunteers: Ellen Hackett
Bookkeeper: Sharon Parkinson      

Members at Large:
Gillian Gray      Wayne Poapst     

Reports from the 2015 Annual General Meeting (November 24, 2015):

President's Report - 2015 Annual General Meeting
Treasurer's Report - 2015 Annual General Meeting
2015 Blockhouse Report

Merrickville and District Historical Society
PO Box 294
Merrickville, Ontario K0G 1N0
email: info@merrickvillehistory.org

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