We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Heritage House Museum

21 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.

Heritage House Museum

21 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
21Reviews1Q&A
Traveler rating
  • 8
  • 10
  • 1
  • 1
  • 1
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
Brit C wrote a review Oct 2020
Delta, British Columbia, Canada32 contributions10 helpful votes
We were time pressed (only 30 minutes) and wish we had a bit more time. It was very good. As advertised, we got to see the two-tiered privy. I loved that the community donated all of the old items (not to mention the stories for some of the key items). They even let us try out the “old school” projector (Which they sanitized between us - much appreciated). Our host was very knowledge. I also picked up some nice cards from their little “gift shop”. I recommend it.
Read more
Date of experience: October 2020
Helpful
Share
Kaveh H wrote a review Jun 2020
London, Canada1,581 contributions15 helpful votes
+1
In the early 1850’s the lure of plenty of water power and the promise of railway development attracted Joshua Bates, founder of nearby Farmersville (now Athens), to a site beside the roaring waters of Old Sly’s Rapids on the Rideau Canal. Bates built two mills on property leased from the Crown and promoted the development of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway Company. After suffering considerable losses in his milling operations and investing heavily in the now-bankrupt railway company, he began construction of his large frame house in 1861. Despite his optimism for the future, fate did not allow Joshua Bates to recoup his fortune or to enjoy his new home. He died in debt on January 1st, 1864. His home and mills were acquired by his business competitor Truman R. Ward, eldest son of Abel Russell Ward, a founding father of Smiths Falls. After many years of neglect, the Corporation of the Town of Smiths Falls purchased the once dignified country estate from the Gleeson family in 1977 for use as a community museum. Today Heritage House Museum functions as a community museum and historic house, depicting the upper-middle-class life of the Bates Family circa 1865-1875 and featuring a permanent collection of Smiths Falls artifacts, traveling exhibits, and art shows. A visit offers unique mirror-image facades, an indoor brick bake oven, period rooms, exhibition galleries, and a famous two-story privy. The grounds are located on the picturesque Rideau Canal waterway at Old Sly’s Lock Station and offer the perfect backdrop for an afternoon picnic, nature respite, or family gathering. Ask us about our great rates for group bookings, meetings, and weddings! Family researchers should also note that the Lanark County Genealogical Resource Centre is located on-site. Library access is $5 per day or $20 per year and can be purchased at the Museum.
Read more
Date of experience: July 2019
Helpful
Share
Ryan wrote a review Aug 2019
Mississauga, Canada731 contributions640 helpful votes
Heritage House Community Museum (Heritage House) is the former residence of Joshua Bates, founder of nearby Farmersville (now Athens). On land he leased from the crown, Bates built two mills (now gone) beside the roaring waters of Old Sly’s Rapids on the Rideau Canal. He began construction of the large-frame house in which the museum resides in 1861 after suffering considerable losses in both his milling operations and the bankruptcy of the Brockville and Ottawa Railway Company. Bates died in debt on January 1, 1865. His home and mills were acquired by Truman R Ward. Ward was Bates’ business competitor and the eldest son of Abel Russell Ward, a founding father of Smiths Falls. Later, after many years of neglect, the Corporation of the Town of Smith Falls purchased the former Bates estate from the Gleeson family in 1977 for use as a community museum. Heritage House, with its permanent collection of local artifacts, depicts the upper-middle-class life of the Bates family during the 1865-1875 era. Site highlights include mirror-image facades on the home, an indoor brick bake oven, period rooms, and a two-storey privy. Look for Heritage House at 11 Old Slys Road. During the summer months (June through October), it is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon. Admission is $5.00 for adults, $4.50 for seniors/students, and $4.00 for youth (6-18). Parking is free. Note that Heritage House is also home to the Lanark County Genealogical Resource Centre. Access is $5.00 per day or $20 per year. The museum also hosts traveling exhibits and art shows. Budget about 90 minutes to fully appreciate everything Heritage House has to offer.
Read more
Date of experience: August 2019
Helpful
Share
Mitch67 wrote a review Jul 2019
Renfrew, Canada63 contributions25 helpful votes
Although no actual artifacts from the original home remains, the house is well decorated with period pieces. Unlike many similar sell museums, you're allowed to sit on chairs and such. Makes for nice photos.
Read more
Date of experience: July 2019
Helpful
Share
Beaubaygirl wrote a review Jul 2019
Winnipeg, Canada10 contributions1 helpful vote
Staff members Aidan and Siena were especially welcoming and helpful to us even though we arrived when they were busy with a children's program. My husband enjoyed the museum and I spent a fruitful couple of hours in the genealogy library. Well worth a stop.
Read more
Date of experience: July 2019
Helpful
Share
Previous
Frequently Asked Questions about Heritage House Museum