Meet our new summer students!

Next time you visit the museum, there will be two new faces to greet you; Danielle & Tori. Thanks to the Young Canada Works grant through the Canadian Museum Association and the Canada Summer Jobs grant, we were able to bring these two students aboard to join our team of Lucan & Area Heritage and Donnelly enthusiasts! These two ladies have already been at the museum for several weeks, and have become more and more familiar with everything that we have to offer at the Lucan & Area Heritage and Donnelly Museum!

Danielle will be starting her first year at the University of Western Ontario in the fall, in Nutrition and Food, and Tori will be entering her second year at UWO in Political Science. Both girls attended Medway High School in Arva and graduated in 2010. While Tori has only become a Lucanite in the past 5 years, Danielle has lived her whole life in the area!

So next time you visit the museum, feel free to introduce yourself to the newest members of our team!

Published in: on June 23, 2011 at 2:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The installation of the exhibit begins!

After spending the  past months researching, interviewing, and identifying artifacts for this year’s exhibit, we have finally begun the exciting task of putting this hard work into action.  It’s great fun to come to work and use that creative side to produce something which will ideally be enjoyed by many!

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Join the Lucan Area Heritage & Donnelly Museum on Twitter, Facebook, and/or linkedIn!  Keep current on our activities, view photos, and join discussions!  We want to hear what you have to say!

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 9:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Official Opening May 1, 2010

Opening Day is just two months away, and I am excited. This is when things start to really happen, to take fruition!
I encourage everyone to join us at the Museum, Saturday, May 1, 2010 from 2 – 5 pm, for the Official Opening of the Museum. We have refreshments, cake and entertainment planned for the afternoon.
Now that I’ve got your attention by mentioning cake, let me remind you that on this day we will be presenting Ray Fazakas’ Donnelly Collection. This collection has never been seen by the public, and we are so thrilled to share it with you.
This summer we will be presenting a ‘Founding Families’ exhibit. This will be a phenomenal experience to learn not only about the well-known Irish settlement of the area, but of the Black families who settled the Lucan area prior to the arrival of the Irish.
Come August, we’ll be installing the ‘Hometown Heroes’ exhibit in which we’ll pay homage to the men, women & families in Lucan who made tremendous sacrifices in past wars.
Finally, for those of you who have never been to visit, we also have the ‘Donnelly Cabin’ and Hearn’s Barn on site wherein we’ll give you a tour in a unique environment that will take you into the past.

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 7:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Well, it’s been awhile since any blogs were made, and I have to admit, I take full responsibility. My name is Laura, and I’m the new Manager/Curator of the Museum. Having never spent any time on blogs, I have been a little intimidated.
Today we attended the Middlesex County Tourism Symposium, where guest speaker Donna Messer inspired me and challenged me to become more connected. I accept the challenge and put all fears aside!

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 7:14 am  Leave a Comment  

London Free Press – Huge Donnelly Collection Loaned to Lucan Museum

LUCAN — A huge collection of artifacts from Canada’s most infamous, unsolved mass murder arrived at the Lucan Area Heritage and Donnelly Museum in a dramatic way.

In a snowstorm, as if the Donnellys themselves had stirred up the angry winds.

“It was wild,” curator Laura Garner says of the journey of Ray Fazakas’ Donnelly collection along snow-clogged back roads to Lucan from Hamilton.

The collection is on indefinite loan to the museum.

The museum is preparing for a May 6 unveiling of its Donnelly exhibit — the first time this large a collection of Donnelly items has been assembled for public display anywhere — and for a retelling of the story of vengeance and intrigue.

On Feb. 4, 1880, five members of the Donnelly family were killed by a vigilante mob after a feud that spanned two continents and generations.

None of the six men accused of the killings were convicted.

“It’s one of those stories that has just the right amount of scandal, just the right amount of mystery, the lack of justice,” Garner says of its enduring interest to historians, playwrights, poets, scholars and scandal-seekers.

Fazakas, a retired lawyer, has studied the case since 1962.

“Even though the Donnellys were bad in many respects, it’s not right to go out and massacre a family — there’s an injustice there,” he said.

His collection fills several shelves at the museum. His research fills six four-drawer filing cabinets and also includes about 70 rolls of microfilmed documents and 300,000, cross-referenced index cards with information about the Donnellys and early Lucan- Biddulph Township.

“Some people collect coins. Some people collect stamps. I collect information about the Donnellys,” Fazakas said.

He said the decision to part with the collection wasn’t an easy one, but the time and place — the museum opened officially less than a year ago — are right for this homecoming.

“Most of this stuff came from Biddulph and it’s only appropriate that it go back to Biddulph.”

“The Donnelly story, as far as Lucan is concerned, was underground for 100 years.”

But during recent years, the silence has broken and the story has become almost a cottage industry with tours and banners with the Donnellys’ likenesses.

Items in Fazakas’ collection, appraised at $250,000, include:

Handcuffs used by a local police constable of the time. It’s likely they held some of the oft-jailed Donnellys in their grip.

A photo of the 12 jurors who acquitted the accused. Its wood frame, with carved butterflies and stylized arrows, was crafted by one of the jurors.

Shoe heels excavated from the burned Donnelly home.

A replica of the original cemetery monument to the Donnellys. So many treasure- seekers chipped off pieces that it had to be replaced.

A wooden crown and anchor from a horse-drawn hearse that carried John Donnelly’s body.

The museum is closed until the exhibit opens in May. It’s located at 171 Main St., Lucan, and online at http://www.donnelly museum.com.

deb.vanbrenk@sunmedia.ca

Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 7:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Fundraising Barbeque

In August, Lucan Area Heritage had a fundraising barbeque for the museum at Clarke’s Variety Store on Main Street, Lucan. On hand were many of our dedicated volunteers, serving up hotdogs and hamburgers. Many thanks to Clarke’s Variety for donating all the supplies for the fundraiser! Community support is the backbone of our museum!

August 21 & 22 at Clarke's Variety Store: L-R Pat Hodgins, Barbara Carter, Carla Revington, Don Froats, Bonnie Froats and Orville Evans.

August 21 & 22 at Clarke's Variety Store: L-R Pat Hodgins, Barbara Carter, Carla Revington, Don Froats, Bonnie Froats and Orville Evans.

Flipping burgers! Joan Goddard, Dave Goddard and Orville Evans.

Flipping burgers! Joan Goddard, Dave Goddard and Orville Evans.

Taking a well deserved break! Carla Revington, Barbara Carter and her grandson, Don Froats.

Taking a well deserved break! Carla Revington, Barbara Carter and her grandson, Don Froats.

Published in: on October 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hector MacIsaac!

Well for all of you who went to see the “Legends of the Black Donnelly” show it was great! We were privileged at the museum to have the band come and play for us on Saturday night before the show and it was great fun. We had a super potluck dinner thanks to the Lucan Area Heritage volunteers and then over two hours of fabulous music, even though the band had travelled from Nova Scotia that morning!

Hector and a Parcel of Rogues in front of the Donnelly cabin, August 29, 2009.

Hector and a Parcel of Rogues in front of the Donnelly cabin, August 29, 2009.

Lined up for supper!

Lined up for supper!

Enjoying the meal inside the museum.

Enjoying the meal inside the museum.

Starting practice.

Starting practice.

Warming up!

Warming up!

Hector MacIsaac and a Parcel of Rogues at full throttle! The sound was amazing and they were wonderful!

Hector MacIsaac and a Parcel of Rogues at full throttle! The sound was amazing and they were wonderful!

Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reflections!

As you know the Lucan Area Heritage Society supports the museum through hosting a number of successful fundraisers throughout the year, a tremendous amount of work, year in and year out. This year, Lucan Area Heritage is bringing “Reflections: A Vision of Yesteryear” to our community! What is Reflections? It is a musical Revue with wonderful singing and dancing. Best of all, the dancers and singers are beautifully dressed in authentic costumes which match the time the songs were first played. Rehearsals were conducted at the museum after hours. It was absolutely thrilling to hear Jeff Culbert singing one of his famous Donnelly songs, watch the dancers practising and the gentleman who sings “Give My Regards to Broadway” has an amazing voice! Best of all tickets are only $25.00 for a show that is over 2 hours long and you actually get a snack during intermission. Look forward to seeing you at the show and thanks so much for supporting the museum!

One of the wonderful costumes that will be at the show.

One of the wonderful costumes that will be at the show.

Flappers anyone? This woman is an amazing dancer!

Flappers anyone? This woman is an amazing dancer!

Museum supporters standing with our Reflections Mannequin on Main Street!

Museum supporters standing with our Reflections Mannequin on Main Street!

Barbara Carter, one of our great volunteers, promoting the Reflections show outside the museum.

Barbara Carter, one of our great volunteers, promoting the Reflections show outside the museum.

Jeff Culbert, with his smokin' hot guitar!

Jeff Culbert, with his smokin' hot guitar!

Jeff Culbert singin' and playin'! The museum was awash with the sounds of fabulous music. Can't wait to see the show!

Jeff Culbert singin' and playin'! The museum was awash with the sounds of fabulous music. Can't wait to see the show!

Crooning out an oldie but goodie!

Crooning out an oldie but goodie!

Practising the dance sequence.

Practising the dance sequence.

Feet were flying and the music was playing. Practising the flapper routine.

Feet were flying and the music was playing. Practising the flapper routine.

Singing!

Singing!

Published in: on September 28, 2009 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Johanna- A Great Museum Employee!

Well, as summer draws to a close , the museum loses our summer employees. Johanna Loriaux has been with the museum for two summers now and many of you have met her as she welcomes visitors to the museum, or offers a tour of the cabin or rings through purchases in the gift store. We’ll miss her sunny smile and wonderful storytelling. Have a great winter Johanna and we hope to welcome you back next year!

Sheila Hodgins farewelling Johanna Loriaux

Sheila Hodgins farewelling Johanna Loriaux

Johanna with Lucan Area Heritage members (l-r) Bonnie Froats, Jackie Martens, Johanna, Donna Atkinson, Muriel Culbert and Sheila Hodgins

Johanna with Lucan Area Heritage members (l-r) Bonnie Froats, Jackie Martens, Johanna, Donna Atkinson, Muriel Culbert and Sheila Hodgins

Published in: on September 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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