As Glengarry Pioneer Museum volunteers prepare for an evening of dinner and storytelling on February 9 at the Bonnie Glen Pavilion  to mark the 20th anniversary of the great ice storm of 1998, members in the community are remembering their experiences and digging out photos, scrapbooks and other memorabilia that they have held on to from the time.

Planning commenced in November after a small group of museum volunteers got together for a meal and realized that January would be a milestone anniversary for the great ice storm. “The room came alive with everyone sharing their experiences”, says Karen Davison Wood of Alexandria. Then someone said: “wouldn’t it be fun to have a GPM Ice Storm reunion since it taught us how to survive like the pioneers did.” Since then, a small group of volunteers have been spreading the word and making plans.

With just a few weeks to go, memorabilia has been coming in, as have silent auction goods that will surely be snatched up.  Some items from the ice storm will be up for auction, while others will be on display. If you have something you would like to loan for display – a photo of ten people sharing their pot of chili made on the wood stove, or your trusty ice pick, please email or phone the museum ([email protected] or 613-527-5230).

Among the many nostalgic pieces that have been donated for auction, there is an “I Survived” Ice Storm t-shirt from 1998, emergency crank radio, and a beautiful tamarack and elm table made by well-known local woodworker, Blair Williams. The hand-crafted table uses a tamarack tree that was scarred from the ice storm. The ice-bent tamarack continued to grow with three limbs coming from the central trunk. These limbs now stretch out to provide legs for a beautiful elm tabletop. The top is repurposed elm from the old stables that once stood on the Maxville Fairgrounds.

Other items up for auction are things you may need, if and when the ice returns! Several local craftspeople are contributing items such as warm wool scarves (hand spun and woven!), beautiful tinware to reflect your candlelight, high performance clothing, and yummy preserves, honey and syrup to add to your pantry. A mass power outage wouldn’t be much fun without some board games, wine and cheese or a famous Ronna Mogelon cake! All these and more will be up for auction. The organizing committee is still trying to get their hands on a generator to auction, so if you or your business would like to help, it would be a fun way to generate much-needed funds for the Glengarry Pioneer Museum.

If anyone would like to donate an item for auction, share photos, an amazing story, or display memorabilia from the ice storm, please contact the Glengarry Pioneer Museum at 613-527-5230 or email [email protected].

Thanks to the Scotiabank in Maxville, all tickets sold from their branch will be matched dollar for dollar to benefit the Glengarry Pioneer Museum. If you can’t make it to Maxville, tickets can be purchased online at:, the Quirky Carrot in Alexandria or The Review in Vankleek Hill. The deadline for purchasing tickets is February 3.

For more information, visit, visit us on Facebook, or call 613-527-5230.