The School House
The school was in use for 89 years, until a bigger, much more modern one was built nearby. The stone school house was abandoned, stripped of its interior, and left alone. In 1952, a local winery, Jordan Wines, purchased it, and gave it back to the community. It was filled with agricultural tools and artisan’s equipment, and turned into a museum that opened in 1953.
The Fry House
When Jacob Fry and his family left Pennsylvania in 1800, he was one of more than 30 Mennonite families seeking religious freedom and the good farming said to be had in Upper Canada. Jacob settled first near Grimsby, but soon was convinced to move to Vineland in 1815, to be close to the other families who had settled there.
The house he built, with its central chimney plan and double attic, was based on medieval German architecture, and was a statement of the strong tradition of his community. The Fry family lived in it until 1895, when a new brick home was built less than 200 yards away. The log house was left as a playhouse for the children, and even served time as a chicken house! In the late 1950’s, a group of volunteers rescued the house, and moved it down to its current site on the museum grounds. It was restored, and turned into a showcase for the artifacts and lifestyle of the Fry family. Today, costumed interpreters offer summer visitors the opportunity to tour through this very interesting and unique house.