Our handsome two-storey brick Georgian or Loyalist style Museum building was erected about 1845 by shopkeeper Thomas J. Mulkins as a private residence for his family.  Mr. Mulkins succeeded Duncan Campbell, becoming Simcoe's second postmaster in 1848. 

After Mr. Mulkins died in 1856, his widow and family continued to live in the house and his son Henry succeeded his father as postmaster. Henry Mulkins married and had two daughters. This second generation lived in the house until Henry's death in 1917. 

Augustus W. Donly and his wife Eva Brook Donly purchased the house in 1924. An amateur artist, Mrs. Donly willed the house to the Town of Simcoe upon her death in 1941, stipulating it was to serve as a museum of art and antiques and to bear her name in its title.

In 1967 the Norfolk Historical Society built an addition on the back of the house, more than doubling the size of the entire building.  Here, the exhibitions in the 'Glorious Old Norfolk' gallery convey over 300 years of Norfolk County history.  In 1984 a second floor was added to the 1967 wing to house the Norfolk Archives and provide additional exhibition and meeting space.

Today several rooms of the original house have been restored to the mid 1800's time period and the remainder is used for changing exhibits and a children's Discovery Room, while the elevator-equipped climate-controlled addition serves as the permanent home of the Norfolk Archives. Following a strategic planning process in 2004, the entire complex was rebranded as the Norfolk Heritage Centre at the Eva Brook Donly Museum in order to more accurately convey the expanse of services we provide to the people of Norfolk County and others living beyond its borders.

Eva Brook Donly