Military history comes to life at Kingsville Historical Park Museum

Filed under: Headline,In Our Community |

_Battle-of-Vimy-Ridge”by Adam Gault

A local museum with a strong focus on Essex County’s military history is doing its part to preserve the past and share the stories of the many locals who put their lives on the line throughout Canada’s military history.

The Kingsville Historical Park Museum, located on Division St. South behind the Royal Canadian Legion Branch, was founded to provide information to future generations pertaining to the sacrifices made by Canadian men and women in the military as well as the contributions made by our early settlers and native peoples who helped pave the way towards modern Canadian society.

Kevin Fox, the Curator of the Kingsville Historical Park Museum, has made it his personal mission to keep as many voices alive from our local past as possible.

“It’s important to keep as much information as possible, especially as more and more veterans pass,” Fox commented.

The museum is always looking for more local artifact donations from the public, such as uniforms, letters, and medals.

Kingsville Historical Park Museum was the dream of Charlie Campbell and several local veterans and Legion members.

Campbell, a Royal Canadian Air Force veteran who served as a Mid-Upper Gunner on a Lancaster Bomber during the Second World War, was instrumental in building support for the construction of a permanent museum.

Unfortunately, Campbell didn’t live to see the opening of the permanent museum that now bears his name.

After retiring as Vice Principal from Kingsville District High School, Campbell suffered a fatal heart attack while riding his bicycle in 1996.

The doors were finally opened in 2000, and it features displays from early United Empire Loyalists and the Fenian Raids all the way up to Afghanistan and other engagements from the early 21st century.

Since coming on board in 2015, Fox has more than 10,000 artifacts in archival storage unable to be displayed due to current physical limitations.

“So many people here were affected. We need to continue to honour them,” Fox said.

With that, new fundraising initiatives have begun in order to gather the capital necessary to expand the physical space of the museum.

Donations can be made in person at the museum and are available with income tax receipts.

For tour and other information, the museum can be reached at (519) 733-2803.