The museum was started as a way to pay tribute to the significant cheese making history of Oxford County and the town of Ingersoll. While the building is a replica, the contents are all from working factories.
As word of the new cheese factory museum spread, donors came forward to offer a variety of farm implements and other devices related to the production of milk and cheese. It wasn’t long before a second building, the North Barn, was moved to the site.
In 1983, Doug Harris, the mayor of Ingersoll, spearheaded the establishment of the Ingersoll Sports Hall of Fame. To house this collection of sports memorabilia, a new building was constructed on site, using the bricks from the former Waterworks Pumping Station on Hamilton Road. This building and the addition which was added to it ten years later is now the main office and exhibition space.
Over the next few years, other buildings were moved to the museum grounds, including a blacksmith shop, the large Sherbrooke Barn, and a newer building that currently houses the Oxford County Museum School.
Prior to 2012, the museum operated seasonally but in that year, Ingersoll Town Council approved the recommendation to operate year-round with a full time curator. Since then the museum was voted Top Small Museum in Ontario, received the Ingersoll Chamber of Commerce Business Award for Excellence in the category of agriculture, and is a co-winner with other museums in the county of the Dorothy Duncan Public History Award from the Ontario Historical Society for the Oxford Remembers Oxford’s Own project.
The Ingersoll Museum collection now numbers some 20,000 artifacts while the School collection contains more than 30,000 items related to education in Ontario.
The museum is open year-round, Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and 7 days a week during the summer months.