Museums

Old pocket watch

Vankleek Hill's Museum

Visit the Website to learn about local history: it's about life and living.

The museum is open in July and August, Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Vankleek Hill's Museum
95 Main street E.
Vankleek Hill, ON K0B 1R0

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;
  • The second (1992) in continuation of the former, depicts 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. 

The Higginson Tower

The Higginson Tower 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.

The Higginson Tower is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

L'Orignal Old Jail (1825-1998)

In 1823, there was talk of building 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 of times, one being the West wing in 1850 and the other East wing in 1862.

The administrative offices of the United Counties of Prescott and 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 and 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.

Come and visit the oldest jail in Ontario and the second oldest jail in Canada

Contact Us