THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
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THE WALKER HOUSE - Kincardine's Heritage Centre
Address

235 Harbour Street

Kincardine
Ontario

N2Z 2X9

A stroll down Kincardine's popular Harbour Street which leads to the lighthouse and lakefront will take visitors by the oldest building in Kincardine and the oldest standing pioneer inn/tavern of Bruce and Grey counties: the Walker House.
 
The Walker House on the corner of Harbour Street and Huron Terrace is of Loyalist/Georgian architecture that has been the object of an ongoing labour of love. Hundreds of local residents have contributed their skills and money into the restoration of the building to make it into a full-fledged heritage centre for Kincardine and area.
 
 
The building was constructed in 1850 by pioneer Francis "Paddy" Walker, who built it as an inn for the new settlement of Penetangore. The establishment offered food and lodging to weary pioneers who arrived in Penetangore/Kincardine on their way to homes in what was then known as the Queen's Bush. Later, according to local historian Bill Kearns, "it looked down on the riotous men of Brant, watched the rise and decline of Great Lakes commerce, witnessed the ebb and flow of business and industry, saw uniformed men marching off to an unknown fate and found the Canada Temperance Act hard to swallow."
 
 
The Walker family owned the operation until the Walker House was bought by Marie Gairns in 1942, who ran it as a summer hotel and later as a boarding house for workers and seniors. The house was severely damaged by a fire in 1995 and was slated for demolition. However, between 1996-98 an interested group of citizens formed a non-profit charitable corporation known as the Paddy Walker Heritage Society to save the unique structure and give it back to the community as a place to experience its history. In 1999 the massive work of cleanup began and construction volunteers repaired foundation walls and replaced the exterior sheathing and the roof. Over 10 years of detailed restoration followed by dedicated volunteers; the majority of the restoration was completed in the summer of 2008 with a grand opening during the Kincardine 2008 Reunion celebrations. Since 2004 the Walker House has been featuring local history exhibits, interpreting the history of the building and life in19th century Kincardine. Separate upstairs exhibit rooms display the collections of the Kincardine Pipe Band and Heritage Kincardine. A few examples of previous annual displays include: the story of local settlers who immigrated from Ireland and Scotland, the construction of our first nuclear power plant, Douglas Point and more recently Kincardine hockey. Future exhibits will profile the history of Kincardine business and industry, local artists, and various other community related themes.
 
 
Ongoing tours of the building and family heritage programs are offered to visitors, families and community groups. Since the completion more activities have been developed such as our summer children's program, calendar holiday events, art and craft classes, heritage workshops, a monthly speaker’s series and more. Many of these events include light refreshments or luncheon packages.
 
The Walker House is also booking various main floor rooms of the facility for small weddings, bridal or baby showers, birthday parties, family gatherings, business or club meetings. These can be catered privately using our newly renovated kitchen or by the Walker House staff. Other rooms for use include the original dining room, tavern room, or the large north room. There is also a beautiful backyard patio adjoining the kitchen for summer use.
 
 
Funding for the Walker House comes from Cash Calendar sales, our Patrons Programme, community support, fund raising dinners and events, craft and art classes, visitor donations and the gift shop. The Gift Shop features Walker House mementoes and handmade crafts from local artisans.
 
 
The Walker House is open all year round. Summer Hours - from July 1st to Labour Day, Monday - Friday: 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday & Sunday: 1 to 5 pm; Winter Hours Tuesday - Saturday: 1 to 5 pm. Special events and booked tours are also available.

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