Doon Heritage Crossroads
is a living history
museum located in Kitchener, Ontario
, Canada which re-creates life in rural Waterloo County
during the year 1914. It's more than 25 buildings and situated on more than 24 hectares (60 acres), adjacent to Homer Watson Park. The museum is owned and operated by the Region of Waterloo.
- August 1952 - Dr. A.E. Dusty Broome returns from visiting the Nederlands Openluchtmuseum in Arnhem, Holland with the idea that a similar museum should be developed in Waterloo County, Ontario.
- September 1953 - The Waterloo Historical Society passes a motion to Astrongly support the establishment of a Pioneer Village in Waterloo County.
- November 1953 - Cressman Woods in Kitchener, Ontario, part of the Old Cressman Farm of Isaac Cressman is identified as the preferred location for the village.
- December 1954 - First meeting of the Ontario Pioneer Community Foundation and election of board of directors.
- January 1956 - An initial parcel of land is purchased adjacent to Homer Watson Memorial Park.
- August 1956 - The Province of Ontario grants the Ontario Pioneer Community Foundation its charter.
- June 19, 1957 - Doon Pioneer Village officially opens with a barn raising. The first peg is driven by the Honourable W.M. Nickle, Provincial Minister for Planning.
- June 1957 - An additional 43 acres of land are purchased.
- June 1960 - Museum building officially opens.
- July 1961 - General Store opens with the financial assistance of A.R. Goudie
- 1962 - Freeport Church is moved to the site by cutting it in half.
- July 1963 - First live demonstration takes place featuring a blacksmith.
- July 1964 - CPR Locomotive 894 is moved to village.
- October 1967 - Recreated Waterloo Township Hall is opened as a Centennial Project in honour of Canada=s 100th birthday.
- 1968 - Expansion of live exhibits with weaving, spinning and threshing demonstrations.
- September 1968 - Agreement with the Grand River Conservation Authority that they will have control over the village's land, and the Ontario Pioneer Community Foundation will have jurisdiction over the day-to-day operations of the village.
- 1970 - Agreement is reached that the Waterloo County Hall of Fame should be located at the village.
- April 1, 1971 - The Grand River Conservation Authority takes over payment of wages and other expenses at the village.
- 1971 - Electricity is installed throughout the village, servicing buildings and grounds.
- June 1972 - Opening of the Waterloo County Hall of Fame.
- January 1, 1973 - Regional Municipality of Waterloo is incorporated.
- 1974 - Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation contributes $8,500 to purchase and move the Peter Martin House from Waterloo.
- 1976 to 1979 - The Ontario Pioneer Community Foundation holds its All Our Yesteryears fund raising campaign to raise money for development of the Doon Pioneer Village site.
- November 19, 1982 - At a Friends of Doon Luncheon, the key to the village is transferred from the Ontario Pioneer Community Foundation and the Grand River Conservation Authority to the Regional Municipality of Waterloo.
- January 1, 1983 - The Regional Municipality of Waterloo assumes ownership and operation of Doon Pioneer Village and Heritage Community.
- 1985 - The village's name is changed to Doon Heritage Crossroads and the mission is changed to reflect rural Waterloo Region in the year 1914.
- 1985 - The Ontario Pioneer Community Foundation donates $20,000 toward the restoration of the Dry Goods and Grocery Store.
- May 1988 - The Peter Martin House is opened to the public after a restoration project involving the Old Order Mennonite community in oral history, research and construction. Many of the tradespeople are direct descendants of Peter Martin who built the house in 1820.
- 1990 - Livestock program is introduced with the addition of horses, cattle, sheep and fowl.
- 1990 - Heritage garden and seed saving program is introduced.
- 1993 - The Ontario Pioneer Community Foundation officially changes its name to The Friends of Doon Heritage Crossroads.
- 1994 - Doon embarks on a five year plan to improve access for visitors with disabilities.
- November 1995 - Waterloo Regional Curatorial Centre officially opens.
- 2000 - Petersburg Grand Trunk Railway Station restored.
- 2004 - A blacksmith shop, modelled on an 1894 building, is recreated in the village.
- 2006 - A new roadway is constructed in the living history village.
- 2006/2007 - CPR Engine 894 undergoes cosmetic restoration.
- 2007 - Doon Heritage Crossroads celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
Structures and exhibits
Doon Heritage Crossroads is comprised of more than 25 structures, including restored buildings donated and relocated from across Waterloo Region and south-central Ontario, and some structures which are reconstructions based on original buildings.
The living history village
Waterloo Township Hall, Petersburg Grand Trunk Railway Station, Peter Martin House, Wagon Drive Shed and Barns, Weavery, Dry Goods and Grocery Store, Harness Shop, Print Shop, Tailor Shop, Post Office, Baechler Sawmill, Blacksmith Shop, Butcher Shop, Repair Shop, McArthur House, Seibert House, Sararas House, Bricker Barn, Freeport United Brethren in Christ Church, Fire Hall
Doon Heritage Crossroads collection supports the 1914 living history village but also includes the Region of Waterloo’s local history collection, spanning from pre-history to the present day. The collection numbers more than 40,000 artifacts and archival pieces. Research collections are stored in the Waterloo Regional Curatorial Centre, located at Doon Heritage Crossroads.
Tivy, Mary. The Local History Museum In Ontario: An Intellectual History, 1851-1985. PhD Thesis, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, 2006.
Region of Waterloo. History's Home for 40 Years - Doon Heritage Crossroads, 1957-1997. Region of Waterloo, Kitchener, Ontario, 1997.
Region of Waterloo. Doon Heritage Crossroads Visitor Guide. Region of Waterloo, Kitchener, Ontario, 1993 (revised 2005).