The Argyle Township Court House is owned and supported by the Municipality of Argyle. Their assistance has been and continues to be invaluable. Many people in the community, however, felt there was a need for additional support, and as a result, the Argyle Municipality Historical & Genealogical Society (AMHGS) was incorporated in 1989.
The Society’s mission is to first preserve, protect, promote and make available to the public the Argyle Township Court House, Canada’s oldest standing courthouse, as a historic site. Its mission is to further interpret the building/site in terms of its historical role in the administration of local government and justice within the context of the local community, the province and the nation.
It is also part of the Society’s mission to preserve, protect, promote and make available to the public, the records of the Municipality of the District of Argyle. This includes both that body of governmental records still extant within the building at the time of its restoration in 1982, and those records generated by the Municipality of the District of Argyle on an ongoing basis.
It is also part of the Society’s mission to collect, appraise, arrange and describe, preserve and make available to the public any archival material in any media form which relates to the history of the people, communities, institutions, etc. of the Municipality of Argyle, in Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia. This also includes materials on people and families who originated in this municipality, but eventually settled in other places.
It is also part of our mission to promote and to encourage the preservation of local heritage throughout the Municipality of Argyle, and to encourage and support any other individuals or organizations in the municipality who share similar objectives.
It is further part of our mission to make extraordinary efforts to represent and serve the Acadian, English and all other ethnic communities of this region on an equitable basis.
In support of its mandate, one of the first and most significant actions taken by the Society was the establishment of a quarterly newsletter, The Argus. There was a strong feeling among the members that there was a great deal of work to be done in the area of recording the different stories that make up the history of this corner of Nova Scotia and that a quarterly newsletter would be the most appropriate manner in which to begin. Each issue of The Argus consists of approximately 45 pages, about one half of which is devoted to historical and genealogical articles on our communities and people. Our steadily rising membership (which has gone from 74 in 1989 to just over 600 in 2007) has proven to us that there was a need for such a society and for such a publication.
It was also the intention of our Society to involve itself, as soon as possible, in the publication of other materials as well. We started with the oldest and most important of the original records in our archives, The Argyle Township Books, compiling them as a two volume set and publishing them in 1994. Other publications have followed.
The Argus is now into its 25th year of publication, and continues to flourish and serve as the vehicle that attracts many members to our organization.
AMHGS are now the owners of the New Archives building, on the lot next to the Court House. Although they own and operate this new building, it is the Municipality of Argyle that continues to provide core funding for the facility and in essence, own the archives, but not the building.