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Museums

Vankleek Hill's Murals


Four Historic Murals, painted by local artists Elizabeth Skelly and Odile Têtu, depict scenes of past importance to the "Hill".

The first, painted in 1990 on the West wall of a building at the corner of Main and Home, and the second (1992) in continuation of the former, depict businesses operating in Town a century ago.

The third (1995) on the North wall of Methot's General Store on High Street depicts the old Town Hall demolished in 1967, originally a church, then a dance hall and movie theatre before becoming the Town Hall.

The fourth (2000) on the South wall of a building at High and Main is a patchwork quilt showing the character of townspeople and events, past and present, including the ice storm. [ more... ]

The Bestiary #1 Mural, on the West wall of the Farmer's Supply building on Main Street in Vankleek Hill, was designed by local artist Susan Jephcott.
The mural is a celebration of the "Hill" and its artistic community using a whimsical theme of animals. Fifteen people in all painted together for this cooperative effort that took four or five weeks to accomplish. [ more... ]

Sacré Coeur Convent


The Couvent du Sacré Coeur, a peaceful haven located east of St-Grégoire Catholic Church, in Vankleek Hill, was built in 1886 and used as a convent for Les soeurs de Sainte-Marie de Namur and as a girls' boarding school for many years. it is a stately three storey brick building with landscaped grounds and beautiful fragrant gardens surrounding it.

Higginson Architecture


Higginson's Round Barn: On Highway 34, the century-old (built 1893-1894) barn was designed and built by Thomas Tweed Higginson to facilitate central feeding.

The mowed hay stocked above and the stable below were built around a central silo. In 1936 a storm ripped off many hand-made wooden shingles from the original roof which was then replaced with aluminum.

A working barn until the mid-sixties, it now houses some farm implements and vehicles- and many of Ms. Frankie Higginson's memories. Visits at no charge, by appointment only.

The Higginson Tower (by Arbor Gallery) was constructed in 1829 by Thomas Higginson as a windmill for grinding grain. Winds, not constant enough to power the windmill, caused its disuse.

In 1865, when the Irish Republicans in the United States began raiding British-held Canada, the windmill was referred to as a "lookout tower". The fans of the windmill were removed and the stone structure became a base for an extended wooden tower.

By the end of the 19th century, the tower was used for astronomy studies by the members of the Higginson family and local students.

L’Orignal Old Jail (1825-1998)


In 1823, discussions were held in order to build a court and a prison at L’Orignal for the Ottawa District. Jacob Marston, a prominent local citizen, offered two acres of land to erect such a building. In 1825, a beautiful stone construction designed in the Neo-Loyalist style was inaugurated. This building was added to a number times, one being the West wing in 1850 and another the East wing in 1862. The administrative offices of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell were added in 1962. Even though the oldest prison in Ontario was decommissioned in 1998, the second story was taken over by the Court. Topped by a distinctive orange roof and a remarkable dome or cupola, this unique building remains the most significant in L’Orignal, which is now part of the Township of Champlain.

The importance of this heritage building reaches far beyond the territory of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell. Indeed, this is the oldest judiciary building still in operation in Ontario and one of the few existing buildings used as government offices before the enactment of the Municipal Act of 1849. This building stands as a witness to every step in the development of the regional government and in the evolution of the judiciary system in Ontario since 1825, thus spanning nearly two centuries

In addition to being the oldest building in the United Counties, this complex remains one of the most significant in Ontario, particularly for the Franco-Ontarian Community. When this institution was closed, it was the only Francophone correctional centre in Ontario. L’Orignal Prison was recognized for the excellence of the educational, spiritual and health programs and services it offered in French. In short, this place is a testament to a strong Francophone presence in Ontario