COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM
COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM
Commanda GENERAL STORE Museum

4077 Hwy. 522  Commanda, ON P0H 1J0

Phone: (249) 968-0397

Email: MUSEUMINCOMMANDA@GMAIL.COM

Follow Us On Social Media

Instagram: @commandastoremuseum

Facebook: Commanda General Store Museum

Regular hours are now closed for the season


lots of great events coming in 2024!


A MESSAGE FROM OUR BOARD

As we begin our 2024 season, we express gratitude for the support shown to the Commanda Museum and we invite all of you to visit us-we have so much going on, you will want to be here!

As you drive past the Museum and wonder…what is going on there??….here is an update. With the assistance of grants received from NOHFC and Caisse-Alliance, and generous donations from Port Loring Home Building Centre and local contractors, the following capital improvements have been accomplished (or almost finished).

Firstly, the poor old rickety shed was demolished and replaced with a brand-new storage area with a roofed gathering/bbq area out back (to be christened on July 1!), the entire east wing of the Museum was excavated and a new foundation was laid, the Church foundation has been re-engineered and the windows and front door will soon be replaced. There are too many other smaller projects to even list but…rest assured….the Museum is here to stay!

Along with the building improvements, Commanda Museum continues to build an Indigenous Exhibit and a Genealogy Exhibit (supported by a grant from the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility)! The Indigenous Exhibit is anchored by the magnificent artwork of Bradly Dreamwalker MacDonald, with a written interpretation by Norm Dokis, as well as a historical overview of the Indigenous population, pre-colonialism, by Norm Dokis.

Along with the Genealogy Exhibit, the Museum is the local repository for historical records and books. The Museum continues filming our local seniors as we capture their stories to add to the historical records.

While considering your visit – don’t forget our internet café, with accompanying bake goods, gift shop filled with items from local artisans and the best milkshakes around!

Our gratitude and thanks to Bradly “Dreamwalker” MacDonald for creating the most wonderful murals as a beginning to the new Indigenous Exhibit! We can't wait for you all to see these next season.
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Our 2023 opening day!

Our Strawberry Festival was huge success! Thank you to everyone who came and to all of the volunteers who made it happen!
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Commanda General store museum

in the news!

Our friends at 705BLACKFLY.COM joined us at the Strawberry Festival to capture all the fun. Have a look at their story and be sure to check out our videos page for stories from the Commanda Museum Genealogy Project!
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Commanda General store museum

in the news!

You never know who you'll meet! During our Commanda General Store Museum Pancake Breakfast, we met Yannick Proulx, who is walking across Canada. He found us while looking for ice cream! Check out the news story from 705BLACKFLY.COM. 
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THE COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM

COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM

The Commanda General Store Museum is a unique example of late 19th century Victorian commercial architecture. The focus of this building, erected in 1885 by James and Elizabeth Arthurs, is Commanda’s central location on the Old Rousseau-Nipissing settlers’ route which continues today as the central location for visitors to the whole region.

COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM

The Commanda General Store is historically significant for its association with the development of Commanda and the surrounding area. During the boom years of settlement in the Southern Canadian Shield, the store was the hub of the community. It served as an important supply centre for pioneer lumbermen and farmers, and families came from near and far to hear about what was going on with their friends and neighbours.

COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM

Visitors who step through the doors of the Commanda Museum instantly go back in time. The counters, flooring and goods date back to 1885 -1934.

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COMMANDA's heritage

Commanda is nestled in the Parry Sound District of Ontario. The picturesque region is filled with majestic forests and lakes, and the vibrant community has a rich history that is intertwined with the surrounding area.
COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM

Commanda has strong Indigenous ties and is named for an Ojibway chief. In the late 1800's, the community sprang up as a way station along the Old Nipissing Road, one of the last routes built to entice immigrants to Ontario's near north. This road was a colonization route constructed between 1866 and 1873 to promote settlement in the last section of the province deemed suitable for agriculture. The Commanda General Store was an important fixture of the community that also features a flour mill, sawmill, hotel and churches plus a school, as well as a variety of merchants.

COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM

The Commanda General Store was sold in 1907 by James Arthurs who went on to serve as the area's Member of Parliament and as a Senator from 1908-35. He also briefly commanded the 162th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force. The structure continued to function as a general store until 1977. It also served as the community Post Office from 1911 to 1977. 

Reflecting the lessened importance of the Rosseau-Nipissing Road, and the increased importance of Highway 522 and east to west travel, the store was moved a few lots north to its current location in 1933 to take advantage of the highway trade.

COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM

The Commanda General Store is the only Victorian aged, commercial structure to survive from the pioneer era.

COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM

Around Town

 

These are early photos of Commanda looking south toward the direction of the future Highway 522, from the top of Carr's Hill on Old Nipissing/ Rosseau Colonization Road. The village of Commanda was situated on both sides of Commanda Creek where it crosses the Old Nipissing Road. The photos show the original General Store location before it was relocated to its present site. The original settlement road to Trout Creek ran along an old Indian Trail north of present Highway 522 which became the old Barrett Settlement road.

There were many establishments in Commanda, including a hotel, coffin factory, garage, church and a school house. The General Store was later sectioned into four parts and pulled across the terrain on rollers, by horses, to its present location in 1933, and re-built.  Across from the present General Store location, was the Commanda/Evers Hotel.

The Lutheran Church, built in 1883 as a Presbyterian Church, was shared between the Presbyterians and Lutherans until1926 when the Lutherans purchased the church and moved it to the lot behind the Commanda Store. The Lutheran Church operated until 2016, at which time it was decommissioned and give to the Commanda General Store Museum.

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COMMANDA MUSEUM FUN FACTS!

THE COMMANDA GENERAL STORE HAS SHELVES FULL OF FASCINATING ARTIFACTS. HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING TIDBITS FROM OUR ITEMS!
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museum artifacts

The Commanda General Store Musuem has several rooms full of artifacts to take you back in time. From farming equipment to clothing and kitchen goods, you can see firsthand what life would have been like in the 1800's.

MORE FUN FACTS!

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OUR VOLUNTEERS

The most cherished part of Commanda's heritage is its commitment to the people who make up the fabric of the community. The Commanda General Store Museum is run by volunteers who are passionate about preserving the past. We also offer student placements and opportunities for vendors to sell their products.
We always welcome volunteers so get in touch with us for more information.
The more the merrier!


TO DONATE TO THE COMMANDA GENERAL STORE MUSEUM:

INTERAC E-TRANSFER:  COMMANDAMUSEUM@GMAIL.COM


The Commanda General Store Museum acknowledges that our region is founded on the traditional lands and waterways of the Anishinabek, Algonquin, Mohawk and Métis peoples, and is part of the Robinson Huron (1850) and Williams (1923) Treaties territory, and the unceded territory of the Algonquins of Ontario.

We further acknowledge that as Canadians, we are all treaty people. The volunteers of the Commanda General Store Museum are committed to the ongoing truth and reconciliation process, including economic reconciliation through tourism development. Through our work, we will honour and celebrate First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples.


CONTACT US


4077 Hwy 522 Commanda, ON P0H 1J0

 (249) 968-0397

MUSEUMINCOMMANDA@GMAIL.COM

Thursday to Sunday 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM