St. Marys Museum offering educational seminar on stone mason

Karen Armstrong to present

The St. Marys Museum is starting its 2016 – 2017 Seminar Series with a presentation that will pique the interest of heritage home enthusiasts. The series’ first seminar explores the career of John Thompson Crellin (1837 – 1922), a mason who built a number of fieldstone houses, many of them in the Kintore area southeast of St. Marys.

The seminar’s presenter is Karen Armstrong, a former resident of Zorra Township. Armstrong was intrigued by the beautiful granite buildings and has conducted extensive research about their history and about Crellin, their designer and builder. Although she now lives in Toronto, Armstrong continues to seek out more information about Crellin’s work. Armstrong’s presentation highlights 12 homes and provides a history of their original owners. She also explores the homes’ influence on architecture in late 19th century Ontario.

The St. Marys Museum has some material on Crellin houses in its archives, including a series of photographs taken approximately 25 years ago. These photographs will be on display for the seminar, showing how the passage of time affects built heritage.

The seminar takes place Thursday, September 22, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the St. Marys Museum (177 Church Street South). For accessible parking, take the lane from Tracy Street on the east side of Cadzow Park. The cost is $12 ($10 for museum members). Space is limited and pre-registration is required. To reserve a spot, call 519-294-3556 or email

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