Hands-on history for 36 years

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Hands-on history for 36 years

The story of the iconic log house of the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum spans more a century, but it was 36 years ago that the Reeve of Pittsburgh Township, Hans Westenberg, opened the building as a civically-owned Museum on the grounds of Grass Creek Park.

Before it was purchased by the Township, the log house had an interesting history with more than 7 owners until it ended up at 1316 Princess St. in 1974.

Log house being moved











In 1982, the log house was cut into two sections and transported 48 kilometres on trucks to its new home on Highway 2 East. In 1983, the log house was re-assembled in its new location at Grass Creek Park. 

Re-assembling the log house











On May 28, 1983, the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum opened at its new home on Grass Creek Park, part of Pittsburgh Township. 











In 1998, Pittsburgh Township amalgamated with the City of Kingston and spurred by the Museum’s growing attendance, it created new children’s and family programming. City curator Paul Robertson notes, “Without the vision and dedication of museum founder Sandy MacLachlan, we would not have the rich resource that is the museum today. His desire to gather examples of the traditional woodworking trade into a small log house museum on the grounds of the MacLachlan Lumber Company on Princess Street has evolved into one of Canada’s leading woodworking collections.”

With thousands of artifacts at the museum as part of the City of Kingston civic collection, visitors still can experience the history of woodworking in Canada through exhibits, but the focus remains programming that encourages visitors to experience the creation of natural projects through wood. For 36 years the City of Kingston has celebrated one of Canada’s most precious resources and now continues to pass along those stories through interactive workshops, carpentry camp, family Campfire sing-along programs and special events.

Carpentry Camp













“We are now entering our second season with a fully dedicated workshop space and are thrilled to be offering a new roster of workshops and programming for visitors at all ages,” says Program Coordinator Keely Maddock. "The workshop offers a place for skill development through project-based learning with expert instructors and small class sizes. Visitors work towards a wooden masterpiece that they get to take home and show off to their friends and family.”

Make your own paddle workshop











You can visit our interactive timeline to learn about the history of the MacLachlan Woodworking Museum at https://www.woodworkingmuseum.ca/learn-explore/our-story  and visit Woodworking Museum.ca for a complete list of our workshops, camps and events.

Find out more about cultural heritage venues operated by the City of Kingston here

The MacLachlan Woodworking Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am-5pm for all ages. Admission is by donation. 


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Colin Wiginton
Colin Wiginton
Cultural director

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