History

Contact

The Museum first opened to the public in 1972 in a heritage home at 84 Oxford Street known as the "Murray House".  Through the efforts of Museum staff and a dedicated Board of Management, the Museum played a vital role in preserving and promoting the heritage of Strathroy and area from this location, and undertook a range of educational programs and exhibitions.

The elegant Murray House was retrofitted over time to provide improved visitor amenities and ample gallery space. However, after thirty-five years of intensive use, the Museum outgrew its facilities for collections, exhibitions, and public programs. Added to this were the difficulties of operating in an isolated location in a residential area, and the increasing cost of maintaining and operating a historic building. Relocating emerged as a priority for the Municipality and the recently restructured Museum Advisory Committee.

New Direction

In January 2004, Township of Strathroy-Caradoc Council provided the Museum Advisory Committee with the direction to relocate and revitalize the Museum to better serve the needs and interests of the community. The Museum Advisory Committee determined a new location for the Museum in the downtown core of Strathroy, complementing the Municipality's commitment to revitalizing the historic commercial district. The new location also met the Museum Advisory Committee's desire to increase public access and visibility to the Museum and its collections.

The new location was achieved through a unique partnership with the County of Middlesex, integrating the Museum with the local public library and art gallery facility. This integration was realized through a combination of new construction for a dedicated Museum collections storage building and work space (located behind the Strathroy Public Library), and renovations to accommodate a new Museum display gallery in the Strathroy Public Library and Art Gallery facility. This new direction addressed the objectives of the Museum, complementing the renewed focus on community integration and partnerships.

The Museum was part of further renovations to the 34 Frank facility that took place over 2011-2012.