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History of Smiths Falls

As the ground slowly thaws and the sun brings us all back to life, leaving the house is finally starting to sound like a good idea again. Around this time of year, we’re all looking for something to do that doesn’t involve shovelling snow, so now’s the best time to check out some of what Smiths Falls has to offer!

The history of Smiths Falls is a huge part of our culture. We have a great deal of historical attractions, heritage homes and many elements of historical significance that we can be proud of. So, dust off your Spring jackets and learn some history about our town!

Here are just a few of the ways that you and your family can explore our town’s history!

HERITAGE HOUSE MUSEUM – Located on the Rideau Canal, the museum is housed in a restored Victorian home with two unique features; a mirror image facade and a 2 storey privy. Tour the museum’s eight period rooms, enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens or visit the gift shop. The museum is open year round and features changing exhibitions and art shows, special events and educational programs. The Heritage House Museum is located across the road from Lower Reach Park. This park offers a myriad of sporting venues and a splash pad with public bathrooms. The museum’s facilities are also available for group tours, meetings, wedding ceremonies and photographs. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.smithsfalls.ca/heritagehouse.

LANARK COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY –  Housed in the Heritage House Museum, the Lanark County Genealogical Library is a treasure trove of genealogical resources. The library includes family histories, censuses, cemetery and church records, the Hillcrest database,newspapers, general history, telephone directories, newsletters and other research aids, along with the Alice Hughes collection. This library is operated on a self-serve basis with a librarian on site by appointment. For more information: www.globalgenealogy.com/LCGS

SMITHS FALLS PUBLIC LIBRARY – Built in 1903 with a grant from famed philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the historic Smiths Falls library is located in beautiful downtown Smiths Falls. Described as the “handsomest small library” he had ever seen by Carnegie himself on a visit to the town in 1906, the interior of the library is visually stunning with its vaulted ceilings, columns, archways, fireplaces, and ceiling medallions. In addition to paper and electronic media, the library also houses local history and genealogy resources. Children’s programs run every weekday in the summer, and the library off ers monthly memberships for visitors/cottagers. For more information, visit the library’s website at www.smithsfallslibrary.ca.

THE HERITAGE TRAIL – Follow the heritage of Sensational Smiths Falls through the downtown core and along the beautiful Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A series of 16 pedestals mark the path off ering glimpses into the stories of the people and places that have shaped our community, like Ryan’s Park Racetrack, our postwar housing, the Frost & Wood Co. and “the Falls” of Smiths Falls. Take a stroll across town and discover for yourself.

WALKING TOUR – Take a self-guided heritage walking tour of Smiths Falls and discover some of the fi nest examples of historic architecture in Eastern Ontario. Go back in time and uncover the beauty and history of Smiths Falls, from the private residences of Smiths Falls’ wealthiest forefathers to the churches where they worshipped and the stores where they shopped. Copies of the heritage walking tour brochure are available at any of our visitor centres and museums.

RAILWAY MUSEUM – Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the CN Railway Station a National Historic Site that now houses the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario. In 2012 the museum will be showcasing an exhibit on the history of railroading in Smiths Falls. The museum’s regular collection includes a variety of unique locomotives and cabooses, as well as a snowplow and the last dental car in North America. You’ll also find over 10,000 artifacts, archival and library materials. Enjoy special events, programs and workshops offered throughout the year. Guided and self-guided tours are available. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.rmeo.org.

RIDEAU CANAL – The Town of Smiths Falls welcomes you to the Heart of the Rideau Canal waterway! The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2007), the only one in Ontario, and a National Historic Site. It is also the best preserved slack water canal in the world and the only one from the great canal building era of the 19th century which still operates along its original watercourse with original structures intact.

SMITHS FALLS BASCULE BRIDGE – The Smiths Falls Bascule Bridge was built in 1912-1913 by the Canadian Northern Railway to carry their main line over the canal. This Scherzer Rolling Lift Bascule Bridge is a novel concept in movable bridges. The rolling lift system was introduced in 1895 by Chicago engineer William Scherzer and built by the Dominion Bridge Company. Despite being a steel bridge, very little power was required to operate it due to the unique rolling lift action that almost eliminates friction and the overhead concrete counterweight. Now a National Historic Site of Canada, the Smiths Falls Bascule Bridge stands permanently raised.

Source: Town of Smiths Falls

 

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History of Smiths Falls

As the ground slowly thaws and the sun brings us all back to life, leaving the house is finally starting to sound like a good idea again. Around this time of year, we’re all looking for something to do that doesn’t involve shovelling snow, so now’s the best time to check out some of what Smiths Falls has to offer!

The history of Smiths Falls is a huge part of our culture. We have a great deal of historical attractions, heritage homes and many elements of historical significance that we can be proud of. So, dust off your Spring jackets and learn some history about our town!

Here are just a few of the ways that you and your family can explore our town’s history!

HERITAGE HOUSE MUSEUM – Located on the Rideau Canal, the museum is housed in a restored Victorian home with two unique features; a mirror image facade and a 2 storey privy. Tour the museum’s eight period rooms, enjoy a picnic lunch in the gardens or visit the gift shop. The museum is open year round and features changing exhibitions and art shows, special events and educational programs. The Heritage House Museum is located across the road from Lower Reach Park. This park offers a myriad of sporting venues and a splash pad with public bathrooms. The museum’s facilities are also available for group tours, meetings, wedding ceremonies and photographs. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.smithsfalls.ca/heritagehouse.

LANARK COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY –  Housed in the Heritage House Museum, the Lanark County Genealogical Library is a treasure trove of genealogical resources. The library includes family histories, censuses, cemetery and church records, the Hillcrest database,newspapers, general history, telephone directories, newsletters and other research aids, along with the Alice Hughes collection. This library is operated on a self-serve basis with a librarian on site by appointment. For more information: www.globalgenealogy.com/LCGS

SMITHS FALLS PUBLIC LIBRARY – Built in 1903 with a grant from famed philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the historic Smiths Falls library is located in beautiful downtown Smiths Falls. Described as the “handsomest small library” he had ever seen by Carnegie himself on a visit to the town in 1906, the interior of the library is visually stunning with its vaulted ceilings, columns, archways, fireplaces, and ceiling medallions. In addition to paper and electronic media, the library also houses local history and genealogy resources. Children’s programs run every weekday in the summer, and the library off ers monthly memberships for visitors/cottagers. For more information, visit the library’s website at www.smithsfallslibrary.ca.

THE HERITAGE TRAIL – Follow the heritage of Sensational Smiths Falls through the downtown core and along the beautiful Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. A series of 16 pedestals mark the path off ering glimpses into the stories of the people and places that have shaped our community, like Ryan’s Park Racetrack, our postwar housing, the Frost & Wood Co. and “the Falls” of Smiths Falls. Take a stroll across town and discover for yourself.

WALKING TOUR – Take a self-guided heritage walking tour of Smiths Falls and discover some of the fi nest examples of historic architecture in Eastern Ontario. Go back in time and uncover the beauty and history of Smiths Falls, from the private residences of Smiths Falls’ wealthiest forefathers to the churches where they worshipped and the stores where they shopped. Copies of the heritage walking tour brochure are available at any of our visitor centres and museums.

RAILWAY MUSEUM – Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the CN Railway Station a National Historic Site that now houses the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario. In 2012 the museum will be showcasing an exhibit on the history of railroading in Smiths Falls. The museum’s regular collection includes a variety of unique locomotives and cabooses, as well as a snowplow and the last dental car in North America. You’ll also find over 10,000 artifacts, archival and library materials. Enjoy special events, programs and workshops offered throughout the year. Guided and self-guided tours are available. For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.rmeo.org.

RIDEAU CANAL – The Town of Smiths Falls welcomes you to the Heart of the Rideau Canal waterway! The Rideau Canal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2007), the only one in Ontario, and a National Historic Site. It is also the best preserved slack water canal in the world and the only one from the great canal building era of the 19th century which still operates along its original watercourse with original structures intact.

SMITHS FALLS BASCULE BRIDGE – The Smiths Falls Bascule Bridge was built in 1912-1913 by the Canadian Northern Railway to carry their main line over the canal. This Scherzer Rolling Lift Bascule Bridge is a novel concept in movable bridges. The rolling lift system was introduced in 1895 by Chicago engineer William Scherzer and built by the Dominion Bridge Company. Despite being a steel bridge, very little power was required to operate it due to the unique rolling lift action that almost eliminates friction and the overhead concrete counterweight. Now a National Historic Site of Canada, the Smiths Falls Bascule Bridge stands permanently raised.

Source: Town of Smiths Falls

 

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