New Museum Marine Research Centre receives first major donation

Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre (BMC&CC) recently became designated as the new provincial Marine History and Underwater Archaeology Research Centre and is expected to become an important new destination for divers, historians, researchers, students at all levels, as well as the general public from Bruce County, Ontario and beyond.

The new Research Centre under development and approved by Bruce County Council in early April, fills a major research void in Underwater Archaeological Sites in Bruce County where there are more than 150 shipwrecks and throughout the province at large.

           Arthur Amos

As announced in June, the Museum has now received a significant donation from the Arthur Amos family.  To date, there are some 35 boxes filled with detailed information on ships, shipwrecks and marine archeology.

“The Amos Collection is the first donation accepted into the new Ontario Marine History and Underwater Archaeological Research Centre under development in the Archives at BCM&CC.” says Deb Sturdevant, BCM&CC Archivist. “As the Research Centre evolves, numerous additional shipwreck and other marine site research collections, including those involving Indigenous and prehistoric sites, will be accepted from both private and public sources.”


       Only a small part of the Amos collection (L) Scott Amos, Patrick Folkes, MPP Bill Walker,                        Deb Sturdevant, Scarlett Janusus and Sharon Amos – for larger view Click on Image

On hand for the formal presentation of the Amos family donation on Thursday August 12th, were Arthur’s son Scott and daughter Sharon along with Patrick Folkes, who has authored several books such as ‘Shipwrecks of Tobermory, 1828-1935’, renowned Marine archeologist Scarlett Janusus and Bill Walker MPP Bruce-Grey Owen Sound.

          (L) Patrick Folkes, Scott Amos and sister Sharon Amos

“A resource like this will be invaluable for future underwater archeology,” said Folkes, who played a major role in documenting the H.M.S. General Hunter shipwreck found on Southampton beach and excavated in 2004.

MPP Bill Walker said that Bruce County has a “rich diverse heritage … and you always go into the future by learning from the past.  This [donation] will be yet another asset for this wonderful facility and Bruce County heritage.  This is a feather in your cap that will draw even more people to the Museum and area.

“We are thrilled with this donation,” said Museum Director & Cultural Services, Cathy McGirr. “Although this is the first donation to our new Research Centre, we anticipate that there will be many more in the future that will add to the rich archival history that the Museum holds.”

Sharon Amos holds a copy of The Tobermory Wireless Station

As part of the family history, Sharon Amos says that the Tobermory Wireless Station: Trail’s End Lodge has now been documented in a book with many photographs of a bygone era.

The Station was originally constructed in 1911 as part of a network of wireless stations on the Great Lakes that  transmitted and received Morse Code messages from marine traffic.

It was considered such an important link in WWI that soldiers were sent to guard it and, although permanently closed in 1939 as a wireless station, it remains in the Amos family today as an accommodation for divers and those interested in marine history.

The new marine Research Centre expands the BCM&CC’s collecting mandate to include marine history and underwater archaeology-related research materials from across Ontario, in addition to materials specific to Bruce County, which it has been collecting since 1955.

For more information about the new Research Centre, donating marine materials to the Collection or accessing materials for research contact: Deb Sturdevant,, 226-909-2426.