By Joanne McDonald
It’s been 30 years of volunteers selling homemade fudge and jams made from original pioneer recipes that have added a sweet $1 million contribution to the long awaited redevelopment of the Jordan Historical Museum.
The shovels hit historic ground Thursday for the groundbreaking of the new $4 million Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre set to open in the summer of 2020.
“We’ve come a long way,” Lloyd Haines, Chair of the Jordan Historical Museum of the Twenty Volunteer Association said of the work and commitment at the Heritage Gift Shop to support the museum.
A large crowd, including fifth generation Mark Fry, whose ancestor Jacob Fry built the Fry House, located near the old school house on the museum’s Jordan Village site in 1815, gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking while a drone overhead captured another historic moment in Lincoln’s rich history.
Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley said the only person missing was the truant officer “who some of us of a certain vintage” would recall as the official who would round up the school kids and take them back to class.
“We have a great deal of history to celebrate,” said Councillor Tony Brunet, Chair of Community Services and Infrastructure. Brunet said the new museum will foster community identity,
celebrate tradition and carry on the Lincoln legacy.
Many of the volunteers and longtime museum supporters in the crowd can trace their roots back generations. “This is a testament to the project, all the years of advocacy and fundraising,” said Lincoln CAO Michael Kirkopoulos, opening the ceremony with a territorial land acknowledgement.
Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton said while the Loyalists were the first pioneer families, it was the indigenous families who were the first people long before.
Thanking the museum volunteers, MP Niagara West Dean Allison said “it’s incredible, this group has raised $1 million.”
Sam Oosterhoff, MPP Niagara West said the museum is a vital part of the community, “and opportunity to showcase the gem we have here.”
Stressing the importance of preserving history, Bradley said the volunteers have made a huge difference and can never be replaced. “This museum is not only for Lincoln but for people across Canada looking for heritage and they will find it in Niagara.”
Canadian Senator Peter Harder, a Vineland native, told the crowd he is looking forward to sharing next year’s opening with his family.
The Town in its 2016 capital budget marked $2 million in funding for the building. The Jordan Historical Museum of the Twenty Volunteer Association pledged $1 million to the project. The federal government through its Canada Culture Spaces Fund announced a $1 million contribution and Niagara Region is providing $250,000 through its Niagara Waterfront Investment Program.
Generous private donors include $100,000 from Bench Brewing Company and $25,000 each from Vintage Hotels, Len Pennachetti/Cave Springs Cellars, and Phelps Homes Group.
Construction of the single-story 8,400 sq.ft. museum will begin immediately.