“You won’t know if you don’t go”, a true enough statement, and one that should be remembered when groups put on a function with the anticipation that it will be well attended. To that end, the Wellington County Historical Society executive traveled to Harriston for their August meeting. Seven members were hosted by their sister society which has display rooms on the third floor of the Carnegie Library. “We’re trying to start a tradition”, said one member, “where we as a board visit other societies to see what they do rather than just hear about it in emails or reports”. This is the second time the county board has been summer-hosted by Harriston.
After the meeting the seven member team viewed various displays in the Harriston Society’s John Webb Room, and the three-room exhibit, in the Art Gallery, of artifacts and memorabilia depicting the 160 years of the Harriston Fall Fair. The county board was amazed at the numerous collections that had been accumulated for this two month display. The Harriston group is very fortunate to have both a permanent display room plus storage area. As one visitor put it, “you have all this, and all we have is a few totes in a corner of a storage room at the Museum”.
All were particularly impressed with the creativity and layout of the Fall Fair display which has little niches mimicking the various categories of a real Fair.
After a quick impromptu meeting the Harriston Society was presented with a donation. This fulfills part of the society’s mandate of fostering public awareness of the history and heritage of Wellington County. “With the hundreds of 8x10” pictures you have on display, and the inordinate amount of printer ink and photo paper you have gone through, this will help defray your stationery expenses” said Wellington society treasurer Kathy Bouma as she presented a cheque to Harriston Co-Chair Willa Wick.
The conclusion was a jaunt around town where the group saw the murals, vintage themed store window displays, and many of the original buildings as portrayed on the new brochure Downtown Harriston Historical Tour. This represents a self-guided walking tour, and was a summer project of the Historical Society with support from the Town of Minto and the Harriston Rising Committee.