Lanark Registry Office in Almonte instructed to ship historical documents to unknown storage site

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by Marilyn Snedden 

The old Registry Office, across from St. Paul’s Church

We have just learned that the Lanark Land Registry Office -#27 in Almonte has been instructed to box all the Land Documents and Abstract Books which are being held there, and ship them off to an unknown site in the province for storage since the documents are on microfilm and on a data base on the computers there. Almonte is one of the last Land Registry offices in Ontario to be affected by this Queen’s Park decision. How is it that no one knew anything about this? 

This same scenario happened in 1995-97, when the Government of the day decided to SHRED all the original land documents as a cost saving measure. Due to action from the Ontario historical societies,APOLROD was formed to find facilities in each county for the records and the Lanark County Genealogical Society received those documents/books for Lanark County covering the years 1868-1955 .They are now housed at Archives Lanark,1920 Concession 7, near Drummond Centre and are accessible to all.

We, at Archives Lanark, would have appreciated the opportunity to add the Lanark County hard copy documents/abstract books, which are ready for shipment, to the holdings already in the Archives inventory.

The Archives, managed by a group of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of the paper trail detailing Lanark’s past, has devoted many hours over the past 10 years to build a facility where the documented history of Lanark County is collected, stored and accessible to the general public for years to come.

In an attempt to reverse this decision, and keep this most important, and critical foundation of Lanark history in the County, we ask the help of everyone who cares about their roots! This week Lanark County Council has approved a strong resolution to the Minister of Social Services,Dwight Duncan,requesting that these original documents remain in our county. Please make your concerns known to members of Lanark County Council, Township Councils, your MPP,  and MP.

Most of these documents are packed, ready for shipment from Almonte by late January.  Time is critical. An e-mail, letter, telephone call, and especially, personal contact with our politicians might keep Lanark County’s most basic records at home. The most logical result would see the documents stay at the local office since they have room, unlike other,older offices.

Archives Lanark will be open in the new year on January 4, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact Marilyn at 613 256-3130, Irene at 613 267-2232 or lgstewart@sympatico.ca for more information.