Grey Roots Museum and Archives

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Grey Roots Museum and Archives
Grey Roots Museum and Archives began as a county museum in 1955. Since then it has taken a large role in preserving the history and promoting the heritage of Grey County. The current facility is located just south of Owen Sound on Grey Road 18. It was opened in 2004, constructed from materials that characterize the development of the county. The building houses the county museum, archives, and tourism offices. There is also a Heritage Village adjacent to the main building, with volunteers and buildings portraying the development of Grey County from the 1850s to the 1920s.

The Museum Committee began to borrow artifacts for temporary exhibits in 1955, but a permanent museum was founded in 1959 with the help of the Grey County Historical Art Society as an art gallery and museum. A more spacious arrangement was made in 1967 with the help of the city of Owen Sound, and the new Grey County-Owen Sound Centennial Museum was opened. The museum would grow at this site, developing its own heritage village, until 2004. As the Grey County Museum and the Grey County Archives both faced a shortage of space to expand, new property was acquired off Highway 18, and both museum and archives were moved to this site. Six of the buildings from the Heritage Village were moved to the new site, with plans for a total of twenty buildings upon completion.

The logo is a multi-coloured sheaf, each colour representing a different element of Grey County. The green symbol takes the outline of a tree, representing forestry. The gray symbol represents the rock wall of the escarpment. The red symbol represents fireworks, or celebration of people. The yellow represents grain, because of Grey County's agricultural heritage, and the blue represents water, because of Grey County's many waterfalls.

Facility and Village
The Grey Roots building is based on a natural theme, as is the logo and main gallery. Construction materials include concrete, stone, maples and cedar wood, all significant materials in the economic development of Grey County. The building incorporates all elements of the logo, including a limestone exterior, a timber framed entrance reminiscent of a Grey County barn, and even a small waterfall in the foyer. The Moreston Heritage Village, located just beside the main building, spans a time period from the 1850s to the 1920s. There is an 1850s Log Cabin and Blacksmith Shop open for tours, as well as an 1880s Log House and a 1920s Farmhouse. There is currently a 1920s Garage, Sawmill, and Schoolhouse being prepared for opening, with future plans for twenty buildings. The village is named Moreston after the generous donation of the 20-acre (81,000 m 2) property by Barry More and the More family, and is open in the summer months.

The Museum collections have been gathering since 1955, with artifacts ranging from pre-settlement to present time. All artifacts are isolated, cleaned and repaired if necessary, and stored in either acid-free boxes or on ethafoam. The Archives contains over 400 collections, including land abstracts, municipal records, and private collections. All artifacts and collections are stored in areas with temperature, light, and humidity controls.

The Museum and Archives have permanent, current, and virtual exhibits available. One permanent exhibit focuses on the effects of the environment on local settlement. Another showcases the local heroes of Grey County- including Billy Bishop, Tom Thomson, and Agnes Macphail. There are a number of virtual exhibits, ranging from a focus on Women's Institutes to Black History. These are available on the Grey Roots website.

Grey Roots offers a variety of children's programs, including school tours and summer camp. Summer KidsCamp focuses on natural history and current exhibits, while school programming focuses on local history and genealogy. A number of cultural events are also held at Grey Roots, including the Owen Sound Celtic Festival and the Emancipation Festival and Art Show.