Russell Memorial Hall/Museum
Museum Hours: Thursday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM and other times by appointment
The Russell Memorial Hall, built as an addition to the Public Library was completed
in 1993, with doors opening to the public June 4,1994. It was called Russell
Memorial Hall, The nesting place of the Knox Eagles.
In the fall of 2008 we moved to the new building which is located at the rear of the new Russell Library. Construction
began on the former St. Rene Goupil Church in 2008 and it soon became the new home of the Russell Library. An addition to
the former Church now houses a Common room and the Museum. The Common room,
which is between the Library and Museum, has a
complete kitchen and plenty of room for meetings and is available for public use.
We have at one end of the room the framed pictures of the graduating classes from Knox Memorial Central School.
The Memorial Hall also houses two statues, replicas of the Lorenzo and General Leano (Guiliano) Medici statues.
Lorenzo stands for the contemplative man or the "thinker". Guiliano stands for the active man. When sculpted,
these statues were symbols of the struggle man faced with the unity of God. Placing these statues in doorways or at
the foot of double staircases symbolized you having a choice of your lifestyle. Many of the graduates of Knox School
will remember the statues at the base of the stairways in the school.
As the Museum grows we are adding displays, including one on one room schools, complete with many pictures of the old
school buildings, teachers and students, as well as textbooks from that time. We are working on adding additional material
on the Old Arsenal which was built for the War of 1812. We have a picture of the massive, 30 X 50 foot three story
building surrounded by a high stone fence bristling with spikes. The lower floor was designed for artillery, the second
floor housed small arms and the third held the supply of ammunition. Althought the town had several scares it was never
the site of an invasion. In 1850, there being no further need for it, the arsenal was sold at auction to Benjamin Smith for
$525. In 1865 Mr. Smith sold the "Old Arsenal" to the school district for school purposes.
We also have the Histories on all the cemeteries, early settlements and many, many photographs. There is much to see.
The year 2009 saw many events happening in the new Museum. The grand opening was held on May 17 with a large attendence.
Since that time we have had more people coming in every month. Some come to see the pictures of the graduates and yearbooks
from the Knox School, others are interested in looking up some genealogy on their families or looking at the many
photographs of the old buildings, stores, saw mills and at the history in general of Russell.
We and the Library now offer for sale a DVD of the Grasse River Waterfalls, as well as matted photographs taken by George Grant,
Wildlife and Nature Photographer. We also offer a few postcards of some of the old buildings in Russell.
As the museum continues to grow we are happy to accept
photographs and memorabilia from people willing to share. Also we are
accepting family histories for our files if you have them. On June
5, 2012 our dear friend and historian, Marie Rocca, passed away. This
was a great loss for the museum and friends and family. Marie will be
missed. We all love you Marie.
Historian, Stacie G. Hale
315-347-2115 or 315-244-5841 (cell)
Vice President, Brenda L. Hale
Museum hours: Thursday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM and other times by appointment