The Beaverton Thorah Eldon Historical Society exists for the purpose of preserving the history of the community through research, collecting items of historical interest and for the preservation of municipal and family history. The Historical Society through the Beaver River Museum is also involved in outreach to the community. The Meeting Place houses a large meeting and display room, archives, curator’s office, collection storage, and a video-editing studio. Annually, about 1000 people enjoy touring the buildings from late May to the end of September.
In October of 1976, a group of interested citizens met to discuss the formation of a historical society. The Beaverton Thorah Eldon Historical Society was born at that first meeting. The Society established the Beaver River Museum on the border of Centennial Park. The first meeting of the new society was held in January 1977. Four years later, in June 1981, the first building opened, the brick century house built in 1884 by William Brain. It is furnished with 1900 era artifacts to illustrate how the Brain family lived. In 1982, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable John Aird officially opened the second building, the log cabin. These buildings were joined by the Meeting Place and the old stone jail dating from the 1840s which moved to museum in 1995 and opened officially on July 1, 1997. The Meeting Place houses a large meeting and display room, archives, office, collection storage, and a video-editing studio.
The museum complex is the result of thousands of hours of volunteer labour, many donations of artifacts and money, and grants from both the Federal and Provincial Government.
The four unique buildings attract both residents and visitors to our community. Our commitment to developing and maintaining our museum, historical resources and outreach activities requires an extensive input of volunteer hours, donations, and fund raising to support it. The majority of our income is raised by activities such as the Antique Show and quilt raffle.
Maintenance of the museum and collection is an ongoing responsibility. In recent years we have been fortunate to receive grants from the South Lake Community Futures Development Corporation and from The Trillium Foundation which allowed us to make extensive upgrades to our buildings and equipment including new roofs, painting, foundation work, windows, sunscreen film on windows, microfilm reader/printer, a computer, and scanners.
As a source for genealogy research, we answer many e-mail and letter inquiries as well as helping visitors research their family histories. Our archives contain resources pertaining to both family and municipal history that have been researched, collected, organized, and indexed over the years.