Park House Museum

Park House Museum goes back in time to World War I



By Ron Giofu


The Park House Museum regularly gives visitors a chance to relive the past, but a recent event took people back to 1918.

The Park House’s annual Christmas event was entitled “We’ll be Home for Christmas: A World War One Christmas and Other Edwardian Traditions” this year. Curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak said they went back to 1918 because it is the 100th anniversary of the Armistice and the fact they also had a World War I exhibit this year.

“Every year we host an annual Christmas style open house,” she explained. “We’re cooking recipes that were published in 1918.”

Ben Papak and Adam Walker stand outside the Park House during the museum’s World War I Christmas event.

Food included pork shoulder, meat pies, baked rice custard and war cakes, the latter baked with no eggs or flour.

There were also artifacts and souvenirs on display from World War I and three people dressed in soldiers’ attire. Women and children were also dressed in clothing of that era.

“People really love it,” said Pouget-Papak. “It’s different.”

Jason Papak stands with World War I memorabilia and medals that were on exhibit as part of the Park House Museum’s World War I Christmas event.

The public enjoyed going back into the early 20th Century, she added, and that it also fit in with a World War II Christmas that was held at the Park House Museum a few years ago.

There were also children’s games and tinsmithing demonstrations, the latter being done in the basement of the Park House by volunteer Victor Lavergne.

Victor Lavergne works in the basement of the Park House doing tinsmithing work during the World War I Christmas event Nov. 25.

For more information on the Park House Museum and its programming, call 519-736-2511 or visit, or

The Park House Museum is located at 214 Dalhousie St.

All Hallow’s Eve Festival celebrates local history



By Christian Bouchard


The Park House Museum held their fifth annual All Hallow’s Eve Festival recently.

The local museum, which just recently received a designation as a national historic site, opened its doors to the public from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Stephanie Pouget-Papak, the museum curator, said the public loved the event.

Nicholas Robinson demonstrates how blankets were made at the House Park during the fifth annual Hallow’s Eve Festival.

“We had comment cards and we’re getting nine and 10 out of 10,” said Pouget-Papak. “People are saying they’ll come back to more events so it’s great to see the community support.”

Throughout the day, the public had the opportunity to tour the Park House and take in the history. Some of the attractions included a printing press, which was used to create the very issue of the Amherstburg Echo, a live demonstration of how lanterns were created and even learning the process of creating blankets straight from scratch.

In the kitchen, the Pouget-Papak welcomed the public to a cooking demonstration where rabbit stew was prepared. The stew was created from a cookbook recipe, dating back in the 1800s. The cookbook featured over 1,500 different recipes. She estimated the meal took around three hours to prepare.

Nicholas Robinson was one of many tour guides throughout the day giving demonstrations and answering questions.  He said what he likes to share most with people are the “nitty gritty” details that aren’t necessarily in history books.

“It’s sort of like living history, said Robinson. “We’re showing history as it happens,” said Robinson.

Fun and educational program was scared up at the recent All Hallow’s Eve event at the Park House Museum in Amherstburg.

Pouget-Papak mentioned the importance of the Park House Museum events involving history as the live action helps many understand the history opposed to only being able to read about it elsewhere.

“We encourage people to come out,” said Pouget-Papak.

If they’ve missed this round of programming, they’ve got another round of Christmas programming coming up in a month or so.

For more information on the Park House Museum, call 519-736-2511, visit or visit their Facebook or Twitter pages.

Park House Museum presenting new writing contest


By Ron Giofu

Do you want to be creative but not sure what to write about?

The Park House Museum may have the answer.

The Park House is holding a writing contest, though younger children may have an opportunity to submit pictures, with curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak stating it’s been an idea that she has had for a while.

Participants must include one of three themes – Amherstburg’s holiday traditions, traditions in our community or Amherstburg’s heritage. Pouget-Papak said it can be a piece of fiction or non-fiction and involve what the topic means to you, a character or a character from the past.

The writing competition is open to all ages. Categories include pre-school to JK/SK, primary (Grades 1-3), junior (Grades 4-6), intermediate (Grades 7-9), senior (Grades 10-12) and adult (ages 18-and-over). Pictures will be accepted from the pre-school to JK/SK category.

“Part of our mandate is being inclusive,” said Pouget-Papak. “Everyone who enters will go into a ballot draw and we will pick one winner.”

All entries will be displayed at the Park House Museum for one year as well as being archived for future generations. There is no limit to how long entries can be, as Pouget-Papak said the length of entries “is open to your creativity.”

The Park House Museum is presenting a new writing contest. Winners will be announced Nov. 17.

Winners will be announced during the opening night of the River Lights Winter Festival Nov. 17. Participants could win a one-year membership to the Park House and a $10 gift card.

Pouget-Papak said literacy is important and that sometimes people have to write about things that they don’t find fun. She hopes this contest will allow people to be creative and enjoy writing.

Submissions are due by Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. They can be e-mailed in PDF format to, mailed in 8×11 paper format to the Park House Museum, 214 Dalhousie St., Amherstburg, ON N9V 1W4 or dropped off at the Park House Museum, River Town Times office at 67 Richmond St. or the Marsh Historical Collection at 80 Richmond St. Entries must be in an envelope marked “Park House Museum writing contest.”

Entry forms are available at those locations as well, or on the Park House website at

The Park House Museum will be hosting “We’ll be Home for Christmas: A World War One Christmas and Other Edwardian Traditions” Nov. 25 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission for that event is by donation.

“Dickens by Candlelight: An Evening Tea and Selected Renditions” will be hosted on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. Pre-registration and payment is required and the cost is $10.

For more information on the writing contest or the Park House events, call 519-736-2511.

Rotary Club celebrates Park House’s National Historic Significance status



The Rotary Club of Amherstburg has stepped forward again in the public interest, most recently achieving for the Park House Museum the federal designation as a structure of National Historic Significance.

The Park House pre-dates the American revolution in 1776 as a former trading post and was relocated to Amherstburg in 1796 when the British forces decamped from Fort Detroit to Amherstburg. Its design typifies a trading post with numbered logs for disassembly.

The building survived the American invasion during the War of 1812 and later acquired the Park name from prominent merchants.

In 1972, the building was slated for demolition when rescued by the Rotary Club led at that point by then-president Hazen Prize and it was moved to King’s Navy Yard Park. Ownership was given to the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, presently led by president Bill Wark. Annual funding comes from the Rotary Club of Amherstburg.

Bill Wark (left), president of the Amherstburg Historic Sites Association, stands with Rotarians Terry Hall and Hazen Price. The latter have saved the Park House so that it is a site of National Historic Significance.

To seek federal funding, Rotarian Terry Hall proposed an application to the Government of Canada for designation as a National Historic Site, similar to Fort Malden. The application’s success required extensive assistance from the Park House curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak.

At the Rotary Club’s meeting last Wednesday night, Wark thanked Hall and Pouget-Papak for their work in ensuring the success of the application.

“We’re certainly thankful for their good work,” he said.

Wark noted that Hall helped lead efforts to apply for the National Historic Significance designation while Pouget-Papak did a lot of research to support the application.

The Park House Museum is located at 214 Dalhousie St. Their phone number is 519-736-2511 and their website is

Park House Museum to receive historical designation


By Ron Giofu

The Park House Museum will soon be officially designated by the federal government.

The Park House, located at 214 Dalhousie St., has received a designation of national significance by the federal government, though an official plaque presentation is still forthcoming. The Park House Museum, through curator Stephanie Pouget-Papak, confirmed the news via their Facebook page late last week.

“It has been a two year process that has ended favorably for us and our community. Amherstburg is now a quaint town that was once the frontier of Upper Canada,” the Facebook post reads. “What does this designation mean? It means that our museum’s role in the development of Canadian heritage has been federally recognized.”

The Park House Museum is being designated as a place of national significance.

The Park House Museum also stated that “we are still a not-for-profit organization and will continue to operate as the charitable educational establishment that was founded over forty years ago. As in the past, we continue to rely on your support to maintain the operations and conservation of this building. In gratitude for your support we continue to pledge, inclusive of all visitors, great programming, events, research assistance, preservation of our community’s artifacts, and more.”

The historic designation “would not have been possible without the dedication of our volunteers who donate their time and skills to assist with the museum’s needs.”

The museum added: “We are greatly honoured by this designation and look forward to maintaining history for future generations to come.”

According to the Park House Museum’s website, “historically, the Park House is an early example of Pièce sur Pièce log construction and is said to have been built in the 1790s at the mouth of the Rouge River in Detroit. When Detroit was ceded to the United States, the owners decided to dismantle the building and float it down the Detroit River to Amherstburg.”

The building was moved to its current site in the early 1970’s as receives funding through the Rotary Club of Amherstburg.

For more information about the Park House Museum and its programming, visit or call 519-736-2511.