About the Museum

History of the Wood House
The museum’s stone building was built by the Wood Family.  United Empire Loyalists, Jonas and Sarah Wood, arrived at the future site of Cornwall in 1784.  Here, along with hundreds of other Tory refugees, they drew lots for their new homesteads, replacing the property they lost in the former 13 Colonies.  In 1806, son, William Wood, with his wife, Sarah Dixon, purchased 200 acres just west of Cornwall, facing the St. Lawrence River and bordering the river road.  There, they first built an inn, then, around 1840, constructed the present house from stone that was either from the Cornwall Canal, or meant for a British fort that was never built.  Three generations of the Wood family lived in the house until 1952 when Walter Wood, a bachelor, died.  Several years later, it became Cornwall and the United Counties’ first museum.  A wealth of information about the Wood family and other pioneers are housed within the museum.  We invite you to come and see the unique beauty of this building.  Each step you take will echo those taken by the many who lived in or visited this significant site.
Photo ( L-R): Willam Dixon Wood (1872 - 1931), his great nephew William David Wood, his uncle Walter J. Wood, and his son Harold Grant Wood.

Photo ( L-R): Willam Dixon Wood (1872 – 1931), his great nephew William David Wood, his uncle Walter J. Wood, and his son Harold Grant Wood.

More information on the people, places and events that shaped Cornwall is waiting for you at the museum. Discover the history of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Research Cornwall’s industries such as Cortaulds, Flack and Van Arsdale, Chalet Glass, Beach Furniture. Look into the lives of famous people such as Lionel Chevrier (Mr. Seaway), Premier John Sandfield Macdonald and Sir John Johnson, or into your own family history. Find out about the earthquake that shook Cornwall and more! Our staff is always pleased to assist.  Come and join our exploration of Cornwall and Eastern Ontario’s past!

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