Opened in 2004, Amherst Island’s Neilson Store Museum highlights artifacts from Island families and Island history since its first settlement in 1789, when it was originally named Isle Tonti. Items in the collection include the MV Amherst Islander’s ship’s wheel, bell, and logs. Designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, the Museum itself is also an exhibit having once been owned by James S. Neilson, an island grain merchant who opened his first general store in 1873, with the store remaining in the Neilson family for more than one hundred years.
The Neilson Store is a volunteer-driven community museum that welcomes visitors interested in the history of Amherst Island. The Museum hosts Back Room talks of community interest, shares its space with the Weasel and Easel which offers fine art and crafts for sale, and hosts an Internet Cafe.