Municipalities seal archives deal
BY SCOTT CARMICHAEL
Staff South Glengarry council gave official approval for the purchase of the Knights of Columbus Hall in Alexandria, the new future home of the Glengarry County Archives, through the passing of a bylaw June 3.
Council adopted a resolution April 15 to purchase the building at 28 Kenyon St. E. in partnership with the Township of North Glengarry, at a total cost of $140,000 ($70,000 per township), with the intent of establishing a new, permanent home there for the Archives.
The repository has been located in the northeast corner of Glengarry District High School in Alexandria since officially opening in September 2014.
County Archivist Allan MacDonald told cility’s new home “not only meets the long-term needs of the Archives, but is steeped in the history of Glengarry.”
Environmental controls at the new locale will also assist in properly preserving the archives’ extensive collection of documents, historical records, photographs, ephemera, and other materials.
South Glengarry clerk Kelli Campeau explained last week that while the resolution regarding the K of C hall acquisition had already been passed, the agreement had to be approved by bylaw. North Glengarry council passed a similar bylaw May 27. South Glengarry’s $70,000 share of the building’s purchase price will be taken out of reserves.
Lachlan McDonald, SG’s general manager of corporate services and treasurer, related, “With this agreement, the burden on administration will probably be one to 10 hours a month, because we will be doing the bookkeeping. North Glengarry will have crews helping out with the maintenance aspect,” since they’re more familiar with the building.
The Knights of Columbus hall building, erected in 1823, is the oldest structure in Alexandria. The “Colonel’s House” was the stately home of Colonel Angus Macdonell, a nephew of the famous Bishop Alexander Macdonell of St. Raphael’s. After being acquired by the Knights of Columbus in the 1920s, it was extensively altered in the late 1970s.
The building will undergo major renovations to provide barrier-free access to the public and restore the historic limestone exterior walls.
An estimate on the cost of the work, which will include removal of stucco from exterior of the structure, will be determined at a later date.
The archives board plans to pursue funding opportunities from various government sources at the county, provincial and federal levels. The organization is also banking on the community’s support. A concerted fundraising effort is being prepared by “a strong group of community volunteers” to ensure that additional capital is raised.
The archives is expected to move to its permanent home in the fall of 2020.