The Bryson House Corporation'smission consists of bringing “life and animation” to the Bryson House through a “living museum” displaying the community’s history through the story of George Bryson and his family. The Museum features objects and documentation from the Victorian period. Other aims of the Corporation include: promoting the importance of the forestry industry and local wildlife in the Pontiac; spotlighting the importance of the region’s waterways, especially the Ottawa, the Coulonge, and the Black Rivers; dedicating space and time to genealogy and an archives of historic documentation; providing space for research activities; offering on-site arts and craft workshops; welcoming visitors year-round through exhibitions and a tea room; and offering landscaping and horticultural activities. In short, the Corporation's goal is “to make the Bryson House the active centre it was in the olden days.”
The Bryson House, built in 1854 by lumber merchant and politician George Bryson Sr. (1813-1900), was declared a historic site by the province of Quebec in 1980. Restored in 1982, this large clapboard mansion, with its wraparound verandah, three storeys, and unusual cupola and widow’s walk, is unique in the Pontiac. An extensive line of outbuildings, which once housed a blacksmith’ shop, an ice room, stables, barns, and depots to house food supplies, renders the building even more impressive.
The outbuilding at the far end of the complex -- the only one constructed of stone -- was built in 1845 and served as Bryson’s company office. When completed, the main Bryson House served as a base for the family’s many business interests. Produce from the farmland adjacent to the house helped to feed Bryson’s numerous lumber employees.
Today, the Bryson House is home to both the municipal library and a museum dedicated to the history of the Pontiac and the Bryson family. The stone outbuilding, the Dagenais House, houses a seasonal art gallery, featuring the art of Pontiac artists.
Museum: period furniture and objects.
Archives: miscellaneous reference material, including historic documentation and genealogical material, including family trees for hundreds of families from around the region.
The Cultural Committee is seeking donations of objects from the 1800s and early 1900s, such as photographs, newspaper clippings, and objects of historical significance to the region.
Exhibition rooms featuring special themes, such as forestry, the timber drives, fur trapping, and so on. Genealogy / Research facilities. Workshops. Gardening. Tea room. Guided tours (by reservation).
All year: Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Or by appointment: (819) 683-2382.
Guided visits available.
Dagenais House Art Gallery:
June: Saturday-Sunday, 12 noon-4 p.m.
July: Friday-Sunday, 12 noon-4 p.m.
Maison culturelle George Bryson, George Bryson Cultural House Committee, 314, rue Principale (Highway 148), Mansfield, QC J0X 1V0.