The Beachville District Museum
Beachville was once the heart of Oxford County. It developed as one of the area’s earliest settlements and, as a result, has rich histories to share.
The Beachville District Museum is home to a vast selection of historical artifacts from Beachville and the surrounding region (upwards of 6500 pieces). During your visit, marvel at collections of agricultural tools displayed in our two large barns. Learn what domestic life was like at the start of the twentieth century by exploring period rooms in our beautifully-restored house. Tour exhibits about the history of the limestone quarries and view mastodon bones, rock fragments and other archaeological finds. Or, peak into our rotating galleries to see what’s new.
Beachville hosted the First Recorded Baseball Game in North America. Here, you can take a photograph with the plaque that designates this momentous sports event. See early examples of catchers' gloves, cedar bats and woolen baseballs, or hear about the rules that influenced how early games were played.
The Museum is situated on 4.5 acres of lush parkland. The Thames River runs behind the house and the grounds are dotted by antique harvesting equipment. Bring the family and go for a stroll around these attractions or stay for a picnic. The grounds, small ampitheatre and porch are maintained as the sites of many outdoor events each year.
Come join us and celebrate Beachville’s history.
History of the House
The first story of the house was built in 1851 by Philander King. John Downing, one of the founders of the limestone quarries in Beachville, purchased the home in 1880. In 1902, the second story was added. The house remained in the Downing family until they sold it in 1969. Beachvilime Ltd. retained the house for several decades before selling it to The Beachville District Historical Society (founded on 18 February 1975) for $2 in 1992.