The O’Reilly House Museum in Placentia has undergone some radical changes and improvements over the first few months of 2018. Focused on the interior, the changes included swapping displays into different rooms to make a more logical layout and making changes to the various displays. This has been supported by having a thorough cleaning of the facility, hanging new wallpaper and painting rooms and a stairway. A new floor has been installed in the bathroom. New stands and shelves have been constructed to hold the displays in several rooms. A major display, the Placentia Bay Resettlement Display, has been mounted in a totally new way. Instead of being on folding panels it now hangs from the ceiling against walls and in a different room, having swapped space with the Master Bedroom.
The museum occupies a former magistrate’s resident that was turned over by the provincial government to the Placentia Area Historical Society. Its 11 rooms have been designed to remember the former residence in early times and also celebrate over 450 years of history of the Placentia Area. The living room, dining room, kitchen, pantry and a bedroom have been set up as they might have been in the early years of the home, made possible by donations of furniture from local people. Other rooms have been set up as a museum with displays to reflect history including such items as approximately four hundred year old Basque headstones.
These interior improvements to the museum compliment exterior repairs done to walls and roof over the past couple of years and current work on the land that will see a new flower garden established. In order to give the public an opportunity to view the interior changes entry to the museum will be free of charge on Saturday, July 7. That date has also been designated as Canada Historic Places Day.