A visit to the Oxford County Museum School is like embarking on a personal journey through local history. A reminder of Ontario’s educational heritage, the Museum School provides students, educators, and the general public a unique, hands-on experience. The Museum School has recently returned to its original name, the Oxford County Museum School. This reflects its mandate of collecting educational material from Oxford County.
The Museum School is also pleased to announce its new location. We have been welcomed to the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum, where we have taken up residence on the site in a building that we have begun to turn into a replica of a rural schoolhouse. Our exhibits, the educational programs, and the activities have begun, including Canadiana Challenge. Our extensive collection including the archives is housed at the Town of Ingersoll Town Hall, located at 130 Oxford St.
Our original location, the Thames Valley Museum School, was a Baronial-styled, two-room, red brick schoolhouse was constructed in 1905. Formerly known as S.S. #3 North Norwich, this elaborately designed structure was the fourth school built in the community and faced south to direct maximum sunlight across students’ desks.
After serving the community faithfully for decades, modernization signaled the school’s closure. One and two-room schoolhouses across rural Ontario suffered a similar fate in the 1960s, as centralized facilities, school bussing, and larger structures became the norm. In 1976, through the efforts of the Oxford County Elementary Principals’ Association and the former Oxford County Board of Education, a new chapter was written for S.S. #3.
Created on the belief that knowledge and awareness of the past are important to understand the present and to plan for the future, the Museum School was charged to house and to display educational artifacts and to provide an authentic historical teaching centre for area students. Today, the not-for-profit Friends of the Oxford County Museum School is responsible for the operation of the Museum School. Its mission is to preserve, exhibit and interpret artifacts and archival material reflecting the educational history of Oxford County and Ontario.
This mission continues in our new location.