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Restoring history at Glanmore

[1]By Carleen Schmidt

The Glanmore National Historic Site is your opportunity to experience time travel, go back to 1880 and see how really wealthy people lived.

“Where else can you do that besides the Glanmore National Historic Site?” says Lindi Pierce, one of the many Friends of Glanmore.

The Friends of Glanmore is an incorporated group of volunteers who assist with everything from reception, education programs, events and research. They have monthly meetings usually featuring a guest speaker. Pierce began attending meetings in January and has now worked for about a month organizing and repacking artifacts.

“Though Lindi has not been volunteering here for very long, she has a huge interest in the Glanmore artifacts and with her great personality she fits in well with everyone here,” says Melissa Wakeling, Glanmore’s education and marketing co-ordinator.

Glanmore National Historic Site was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1969. The interior features beautiful hand painted ceilings and ornate woodwork. It is owned by the City of Belleville and operated by the Recreation, Culture and Community Services Department.

“This is a place that people should visit when they come to Canada. Not just if you are coming through Belleville. National Historic Site status doesn’t get granted every day,” says Pierce excitedly.

Glanmore has approximately 35,000 – 40,000 artifacts in its collection that are deemed utmost historic and of cultural significance.

“I absolutely love it. It is just so interesting here and to be a part of something like this is amazing, you get to see it from the inside. What I wanted in retirement was to learn new stuff and every time I come here, I learn something new because there is so much to learn about this place plus it helps me make a small contribution to the community,” says Pierce.

Pierce got involved with Glanmore after reading a newsletter Wakeling produces. Glanmore was looking for volunteers.

“I had thought about volunteering at Glanmore while I was making my bucket list of things I wanted to do when I retired,” says Pierce.

“I thought I’d like to be a guide because that is of course what everybody thinks you do here is just be a tour guide,” says Pierce. She would like to be a guide somewhere down the road but for now, working behind the scenes categorizing artifacts is just as much fun, she says.

Glanmore just underwent some renovations to the top floor of the building and much of the collection was put into storage during that time. Now it is being brought back to its rightful home at Glanmore.

“What Lindi and some of the other volunteers and workers are doing right now is checking all the items that were in storage to ensure nothing is damaged and cross-referencing them with our files,” says Wakeling.

“We have files on each and every item that has ever been donated or purchased by the museum,” says Wakeling.

“Then once they match up, we repack, organize and stack the boxes of artefacts that will not be put on display at this point in time,” says Wakeling.

“It’s such a significant house with amazing architecture and the incredible collection and displays. So much has to be done to research and find out exactly how things should look. All the business going on to maintain this place is huge and people really need to take advantage of it,” says Pierce.