Efforts to relocate artifacts and archives from the Argenteuil Regional Museum are progressing slowly. Fortunately, the funding also helps the museum’s efforts.
According to curator Lyne St-Jacques, Parks Canada has not yet cleaned up the objects stored at the museum’s former location in the Carillon barracks. The barracks were flooded in the spring of 2019 and the Argenteuil museum and the national historic site have since closed.
The materials must all be cleaned before they can be moved to new storage. St-Jacques said museum officials met with Parks Canada on July 20.
“Unfortunately, they are very slow and it is also the summer vacation period,” observed St-Jacques.
The museum’s curator said a likely federal election campaign could also slow down the process, as the government is limited in its activities during campaigns. Parks Canada is responsible for cleaning up the artifacts as they were kept in a facility it owns.
St-Jacques said luckily, the humidity and mold from the 2019 flood did not reach many of the items, or did not have a serious effect on them.
The artefacts will be partly transferred to the former Christ Church (Anglican) located nearby, in St-André-Est. The municipality of St-André d’Argenteuil took possession of the building in 2020 to make it a museum exhibition space. The archives will be temporarily kept at the Harrington Community Center. St-Jacques said moving the museum and archive of 15,000 artifacts to storage is just the latest hurdle for the institution to overcome.
“It will be a challenge, but it will not be our first,” she noted.
On July 19, the Government of Quebec announced that $ 35,000 in funding from the Religious Heritage and Architectural Protection Program would be used to repair the foundations, masonry and windows of Christ Church, a building classified heritage.
“There is money to restore the interior,” said St-Jacques.
She explained that the interior design of the museum had to be done with care to maintain the heritage of the building. Some of the church pews have been left in place to maintain historical integrity.
The MRC d’Argenteuil also provided approximately $ 40,000 to assist the museum in its relocation efforts.
St-Jacques said the support from local municipal governments was greatly appreciated.
“They know how important our collections and archives are to the people of the region. “
The Christ Church building is not open to visitors at this time. When it opens, the exhibitions currently housed in the Carillon barracks will be located there.
And then there is Maude
The Argenteuil Regional Museum was founded in 1934 by the Société historique du Comté d’Argenteuil.
One of its founders was the famous physician and feminist Dr. Maude Abbott, originally from St-André-Est. She was also a first cousin of Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott, who was Prime Minister of Canada from 1891 to 1892. Her father, the Reverend Joseph Abbott, was an Anglican priest who served in St-André-Est and Grenville.
Sir John Abbott and his wife Mary Bethune were the great-grandparents of actor Christopher Plummer. Mary Bethune was also related to Dr. Norman Bethune, famous for providing medical assistance to Mao Tse-tung’s soldiers in China. Dr. Maude Abbott is buried in Christ Church Cemetery.