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Historical Cultural Centre opens in Oldcastle

by Adam Gault

The Tecumseh Fire Station in Oldcastle was filled to the capacity this past Sunday as local families and individuals of all ages gathered for the grand opening of the brand-new Sandwich South Cultural and Resource Centre.

The new historical learning space now occupies a new building addition that is connected to the station.

Spearheaded by the Olde Sandwich South and Area Historical Society (OSSAHS), through a partnership with the Town of Tecumseh, the opening of the new historical and cultural centre coincides with the 20th anniversary of the OSSAHS, and will provide a permanent space for many local historical artifacts, which until the opening of the centre, had been kept away in storage, were members of the public were unable to be enjoy the learning tools.

“It makes all of us very proud of what we’ve done,” Wendy Pulleyblank-Cunningham said, Chairperson of the OSSAHS, as she stood in the middle of the new centre. “The community will really reminisce and go down memory lane. Also, we’re celebrating our 125th anniversary of Sandwich South and our 20th anniversary of our historical society, so, it’s a great day.”

The new building will feature artifacts from many different facets of life and history in Sandwich South, including the original town council table and chairs from 1893, the French doors from the convent at St. Mary’s, historical clothing, and sporting artifacts, among the plethora of historical treasures waiting to be discovered inside Essex County’s latest institution dedicated to local history.

“It shows that we take pride in what we established, as well as our culture,” Pulleyblank-Cunningham explained of the importance of historical preservation at the local level. “It’s unique, it’s Irish, it’s a combination of our ancestors that came, but also, it shows to the younger generation that they’re going to be the caretakers of everything, and we’re preserving this for their families, and then they can see where they came from.”

After two earlier attempts by the OSSAHS seeking approval for the project from Tecumseh council failed, the third attempted proved to be the charm, as council gave the go ahead for the project last fall, with construction on the new 900-square foot cultural centre beginning this past April.

“The Town of Tecumseh is a community that is proud of the past, and certainly confident in the future,” Mayor Gary McNamara said during the cultural centre’s opening ceremonies. “We take great pride in the history, and in the generations that have come before us. But, we also look to the future, and are confident that we need to preserve our rich history for future generations to enjoy.”

Located at 5520 Walker Rd. in Oldcastle, the Sandwich South Cultural and Resource Centre will be open on Saturday’s from 9 a.m.-noon, or by appointment for school and church groups.

For more information, the OSSAHS can be contacted via email at

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