Questions & Answers

Commonly Asked Questions

We have 4 official categories for membership:  IndividualFamilyNon-Profit/Charity, and Company/Corporate.  Click on each link for more information on each of the membership types.

And YES!  You can purchase your membership directly online – safely and securely – with any valid credit card.

As the Norfolk Historical Society, our mandate is to protect, promote, and preserve the history and heritage of Norfolk County.  We’ve been an organization dedicated to this cause since 1900.  On this Q & A page, there is a list of Top 10 Reasons To Join The NHS.  There are many more reasons than those listed, but that gives a good overview.  Everyone benefits from an NHS membership.  Ask yourself: Do you care about Norfolk History?  Do you have roots or ancestors here? Are you new to the area but fascinated by the rich history and traditions of the communities within the County?  Do you wonder about the story of the old houses, buildings, and landmarks of Norfolk County?  Is history in general something important to you?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, than you’re already a ‘member’ of the historical society in a way.  Now let’s make you a paying member!

The Norfolk Historical Society has been featuring its Gallery Series Talks for decades.  It’s a contender for our most popular event!  Currently, our Gallery Talks feature a guest speaker who is knowledgeable about a particular topic and hosts a lecture or discussion about that topic.  Gallery Talks are generally held monthly on a Thursday evening at 7pm.  Talks take place at the Eva Brook Donly Museum & Archive in Simcoe, Ontario, or another appropriate venue/location within Norfolk County.

Talks can range from recent history to ancient history but usually with some connection to Norfolk County and/or its residents.  In the past, topics have included the United Empire Loyalists history and case studies, apple growing in Norfolk (with free apples!), early African-Canadians in Norfolk, Mohawk seedkeeping, Cheesemakers of Norfolk, and more.  Some of our talks take place at other locations such as history of early libraries at the Simcoe Library Branch, the story of Clonmel Castle in Port Dover, or a visit at the Ontario Forestry Station in St. Williams.  And still others are deeply personal topic like a recent topic featuring a Norfolk resident, Doug Grant and his personal journey finding his biological family.

The Gallery Talk in December 2017 featured our own Board Member Andrew Kicak taking us on a guided exploration of his WWI Pop-Up Museum artifact collection.  Guests were encouraged to touch, handle, and explore the artifacts with their senses.  That particular Gallery Talk caught the attention of local and regional media which featured an interview with Andrew on CBC Morning radio as well!  You never know what you’ll be treated to at the NHS Gallery Series Talks!  For upcoming Gallery Talks, check out our Event Calendar.  NHS Members get to hear the Talks for FREE!

The NHS Gallery Series Talks are monthly talks on various historical topics with a connection to Norfolk County featuring a volunteer guest speaker.  If you think you have a great idea for a future Gallery Talk which personally would like to host or personally know someone who can give a great Talk, contact our Program Chair by filling out the form on our Contact page with all the relevant information.

Our Gallery Talks generally book several months out, but we’re always looking for new and interesting speakers and talks.  While our guest speakers are volunteering to speak to our audiences, we do permit them to sell books or small items relating to their talk (provided it’s not the main purpose of the talk of course).

If you are suggesting a potential speaker, please make sure the speaker is interested and able to do the Gallery Talk first before contacting us.

Yes!  For your convenience and ours, all of our memberships purchased online will automatically renew annually.  Of course you can cancel your membership at any time prior to the next renewal.  We’ve found that many members weren’t aware that their membership has lapsed and didn’t realize they were technically no longer members of the NHS until they renewed their membership again.  The overwhelming sentiment was to have annually renewing memberships that would end expired accounts, endless reminder emails and phone calls, etc.

Yes!  Once you hit the Checkout button, you fill in your information and proceed to PayPal to check out.  You do NOT need to have a PayPal account to pay with your credit card.

PayPal is both an online ‘bank’ and also a credit card payment processor just like Moneris, TD Merchant Services, Chase Paymentech, etc. These are the same credit card processors you’d come across shopping at any store online or offline, or eating out at a restaurant.

To pay with your credit card, just click the link below the “Logon” button pictured below once hit the Proceed To PayPal button.  Just like any other credit card transaction, there is no fee for you to pay by credit card:

Of course that’s a silly question.  YES!  We definitely are always looking for volunteers.  Whether you’re a senior looking to help out,  just looking to make friends, or a student needing those community hours, fill out the form here and let us know how you can help!

The Eva Brook Donly Museum & Archive is still here in downtown Simcoe.  For decades, the Norfolk Historical Society operated the Museum and Archives, but the building was always owned by Norfolk County.

In January 2018, the NHS formally transitioned operations of the Museum including ownership of its vast archives and exhibit collection over to Norfolk County.  In the agreement Norfolk County will continue to operate the Archives and a seasonal museum at the site.  The NHS will continue to operate as a charitable historical society running a full event and educational program in keeping with its mandate to promote, protect, and preserve Norfolk County heritage and history separate from the Museum and Archives.

The Transition Agreement between the NHS and Norfolk County ensures that the Eva Brook Donly Museum & Archives will have a long and healthy life as a facility open and accessible to the public.  However, the Museum is currently closed during the transition as County staff must hire a full time archivist and part-time curator.  Some other renovations and and exhibit/archive work must also be done prior to the Eva Brook Donly building reopening.

Unfortunately, the Norfolk Historical Society does not have a timeline or update on when the museum and archives will be accessible again.  We encourage those interested to contact Norfolk County Heritage and Culture for more information (1-800-699-9038).

We cannot express the amazing gratitude we feel towards any donation that come to the Norfolk Historical Society.  It is so meaningful to us to know that you care enough about the history of Norfolk County and the work we do to show your support financially.  We have a Donation page set up with a direct link that you can use to send us your gift.

We also accept gifts “In Memorium” of your loved ones and Planned Gifts (Bequests).  Our donation page provide the proper will wording should you wish to reference it.  Again, we know this can be a difficult topic, but know that there is nothing more sacred to us than the trust and gift expressed by you and/or your loved ones for the work we do.

We honour that gift and take the responsibility that comes with it seriously and respectfully.  Please do let us know in advance if you’ve decided to prepare a Planned Gift for the Norfolk Historical Society.

Yes, the Norfolk Historical Society is a Canadian registered charity manged by its membership under the direction of the elected NHS Board of Directors.

One of our goals is to continue reaching out to other local organizations, societies, groups and associations that pursue similar aims and interests.  Recently, the NHS has hosted “meet-and-greets” with neighbouring groups where ideas and strategies are shared openly.  It is our hope to continue to build on these working relationships so that we can all make our respective organizations, stronger, better, and deliver a higher level of benefit to our membership and the public.

If you wish to share your organization’s news, events, links, ideas, etc., we are more than happy to dialogue!  Use the contact form here to get in touch with us.

One of the newest features of our new website is a special VIP Members Area only accessible to our NHS members who pay for their membership through our website.  The VIP Members Area contains resources and information specifically for NHS members.  We are actively growing this section of our website and – while still in its infancey – promises to be a repository for historical information, exclusive photographs, archive indices, and more!  Stay tuned!

To access the VIP Members Area, make sure you log in with your user name and password to the website.  Only paid members have access to this section.