WELCOME TO THE NORTH GRENVILLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY!
The North Grenville Historical Society is a group of dedicated volunteers whose first objective is to arouse and stimulate public interest in the heritage and history of the people and places of the North Grenville area; including the historical townships of Oxford-on-Rideau and South Gower, the historical town of Kemptville; and the hamlets of Pelton’s Corners, Heckston, Oxford Mills, Burritt’s Rapids, Oxford Station and Bishop’s Mills.
We also advance education by improving the public’s understanding and awareness of the history of North Grenville by hosting events, supporting programs, producing educational materials and scholarly articles and operating the North Grenville Archives, which is owned by the Society.
The purposes of the Archives are to collect, classify and preserve information and artifacts relating to North Grenville and to maintain this material as a resource centre accessible to members and the general public.
Our constitution makes it clear that the Society is to be “carried on without purpose of gain for its members, and any profits or gains to the organization shall be used in promoting its objectives.”
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES
To change things up a little, this month's public meeting will be a road trip to South Gower on a Saturday afternoon, 2:00 pm, 25th February 2023. Local entrepreneur Gary Courville has invited us to tour his manufacturing facility in the old South Gower Municipal Building at Latourell Road and South Gower Drive. Metal shingle roofs are all the rage these days for durability and longevity; but what if you are restoring a Victorian house and you want the shingles to match? Gary has come up with the solution: make your own. In the process of restoring his home, the formerly the residence of G.Howard Ferguson, on Prescott Street, Gary was unable to find a source for replacement shingles for the ornate Queen Anne roof. He has purchased vintage equipment and makes the shingles locally using techniques and design suitable to the period. Join us on the 25th at Latourell Road and South Gower Drive for a tour, demonstration, and presentation. Depending on numbers, you may even get to make your own shingle.
J. Kenneth Mews, Past President
Our next meeting will be held on 9 November 2022, beginning at 7:00 pm. We anticipate that there will be more interest than usual in this talk, so parking may be an issue. We remind you that you may park in the parking lot next to Riverside Park and connect to Prescott Street via the lane between the old High School and Connie Lamle's office.
We are pleased to welcome Dr. Matthew Betts, who will speak on HMS Terror. In the summer of 1845, Sir John Franklin and a crew of 128 men entered Lancaster Sound on board HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in search of a Northwest Passage. The sturdy former bomb ships were substantially modified for polar service and had already proven their capabilities in the Arctic and Antarctic. With such sophisticated, rugged, and successful vessels, victory over the Northwest Passage seemed inevitable, yet the entire crew vanished, and the ships were never seen again by Europeans.
Finally, in 2014, the wreck of HMS Erebus was discovered by Parks Canada. Two years later, the wreck of HMS Terror was found, sitting upright, in near pristine condition. The extraordinarily well-preserved state and location of the ships, so far south of their last reported position, raises questions about the role they played in the tragedy. Did the extraordinary capabilities of the ships in fact contribute to the disaster?
Based on a new book which documents the design, fitting, and voyages of HMS Terror, this presentation examines the fate of the Franklin Mystery through the lens of its sailing technology.
DR MATTHEW BETTS is an internationally recognised expert on Sir John Franklin’s ships, and is an active consultant with Parks Canada, which discovered the wrecks. He has contributed to major documentaries on the expedition and recently acted as an historical advisor for the first season of AMC’s major historical drama, The Terror. His model and plans of HMS Terror have been showcased in exhibitions at the National Maritime Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, and Mystic Seaport Museum. Dr Betts is currently a curator of archaeology at the Canadian Museum of History.
Later in the month, we will be hosting a fundraising dance close to Hallowe'en. Costumes and masks are optional, but more fun. There will be a DJ to play music spooky and smooth, a photo booth with props, a fortune teller, and a light meal in mid-evening (using recipes from our heritage cook book--Butter the Size of an Egg. The event will be held on Saturday, 29 October 2022, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm, at the W.B. George Centre, on the Kemptville Campus. Tickets are $35 per person (new price) and can be picked up at The History Hub, 148 Prescott Street, or call 613 258 4401.
previous PUBLIC MEETINGS and other activities
Our last public meeting was held on Wednesday, 12 October 2022. Our speaker was be Dr. Judith Klassen, an ethnomusicologist and curator of Cultural Expression at the Canadian Museum of History. In addition to research and collection development in areas of sound, puppetry arts, and other aspects of expressive culture, she is currently undertaking a research project that examines the complex and sometimes mythologized histories of popular music in Canada. She examined the many and varied ways this iconic musical instrument pushes boundaries and challenges convention, using examples from the guitar collection of the Canadian Museum of History.
“to arouse and stimulate public interest in the heritage and history of the people and places of the North Grenville area."
The Society gratefully acknowledges ongoing substantial support from the Municipality of North Grenville
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BECOME A MEMBER!
Click on MEMBERSHIP to register as a member of the Society.
NGHS is looking for qualified volunteers in two particular areas--board governance and IT software implementation. Please contact Ken Mews at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are interested.
Tradespersons - professional or amateur - play an important part in preserving architecture of old. Like the buildings themselves, the knowledge of building, maintaining and restoring traditional buildings will be lost without proper attention. Guest speaker Jim Stinson will discuss the importance of employing appropriate practices when working with built heritage, as well as the need to preserve buildings from the past instead of replacing them.
Jim Stinson is a practitioner of traditional woodworking and an advocate for the preservation of craft. He enjoys a teaching position in the Heritage Carpentry and Joinery program at Algonquin College in Perth, Ontario. Jim owns and operates a firm specializing in heritage carpentry and fine woodworking.
Why not come out to one of our fun activities at the History Hub? The North Grenville Historical Society held a trivia quiz night this Thursday May 19th. Try your knowledge in seven categories including general knowledge and local History. Should there be enough interest in kids’ trivia, we will add a kids’ round. The cost is $10.00 per person or $20.00 for a team of four. All funds raised will be used by the Society to bring more new programs to the community. Prizes will consist of gift certificates from local businesses.
Sign-up is required to attend and the deadline is Wednesday May 18. Should you wish to sign up, please text message me directly at (613) 853-1112, stop by the History Hub at 148 Prescott Street, or email, email@example.com
We also have a book club which meets on the last Thursday of the month, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm to discuss historical fiction. Books can be purchased at the hub for $10.00 which includes snacks and great conversation.
Kids Club is the third Saturday of the month between 9:00 am and 11 am. Starting in June.
Special craft workshops and board game nights will be held every second Thursday, board games June and crafts July. Trivia nights every three months, starting in May.
Our Annual General Meeting was held at 7:00 pm, 13 April 2022, at The History Hub, our brand new location at 148 Prescott Street, next door to Bubba & Buggs.
We were delighted to have Janet Carlile as our speaker. Her topic was "Lies your Grandmother Told You; Canadian Antiques." We learned more about heirlooms and antiques and the price they now bring in a declining market. Attendees were encouraged to bring one object per person and Janet them what she knew about it.
Before scientific groundwater mapping, settlers in rural eastern Ontario relied on folk knowledge and homemade tools to find and bore wells for drinking water. Learn about how the dowsing rod and the well boring auger shaped popular understandings of the earth and water beneath your feet.
Forrest Pass is a public historian with interests in cultural and material history. He has curated exhibitions at the Canadian Museum of History and the City of Ottawa Museums and is presently a Curator in the Exhibitions and Online Content Division at Library and Archives Canada. His historical writing has appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Canada’s History, the Journal for Research into Freemasonry and Fraternalism, and Water History, where the research for this lecture recently appeared.
Hiding in Plain Sight: People, Places, and Communities in the Borderlands
Before the international boundary was arbitrarily drawn at the 49th parallel, the Plains Metis People and Nation called the borderlands of the Northern Great Plains home. A space where many Indigenous Nations competed, cooperated, and traded, this region was transformed as Canada and the United States forcibly redefined the political, social, and economic landscape. For the Plains Metis, their presence in these borderlands is largely erased after the 1885 Resistance.
This presentation will challenge that erasure by using photographs taken by and of Metis individuals and families living in these borderlands in the post-1885 period. Drawing on material culture studies, this conversation will show how Metis individuals and families were able to remain in their communities as active participants in a rapidly modernizing North America.
Dr. Katie Pollock is the Curator of Central Ethnology at the Canadian Museum of History. Her current research draws on material heritage as primary source to highlight the critical role of Metis women and their artwork in the continuity of family and community on the Northern Great Plains.
To be invited to participate, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bluenose or The Bluenose, if you prefer, is probably Canada’s most famous schooner. Launched in 1921, she was designed by naval architect William James Roué as both a fishing vessel and a racing schooner. She won the Fisherman’s Cup, the championship of the fishing fleets of the northwest Atlantic, five times between 1921 then and 1938. . .and is still featured on the Canadian dime. “Designing Bluenose” will be based on work that Amanda Gould and Jeff Noakes have been doing towards a series of exhibitions on Roué and the collection of his materials that were donated to the Canadian Museum of History in 2015. The latest effort is an online exhibition that is scheduled to launch on October 22nd to mark the 100th anniversary of the first race won by Bluenose. Jeff will speak about Roué’s journey towards becoming a naval architect and designing Bluenose, and then Amanda will talk about the material aspects and conservation treatment of his original design plans for her.
Amanda Gould is a paper conservator at the National Museum of History and Director of Archives of the North Grenville Historical Society. Jeff Noakes, Ph.D., has been the Second World War historian at the Canadian War Museum since mid-2006, and is also the curator responsible for the William James Roué Collection at the Canadian Museum of History. He is the author or joint author of books, book chapters, exhibition catalogues, and articles on subjects related to the First World War, the Second World War, the Cold War, and the Arctic.
This talk will be presented virtually at 7:00 pm, on the 20th of October, on Zoom. Since we had some deplorable Zoombombing during our last talk, this event will be by invitation only. If you don’t receive an invitation by email by the 18th of October, email us at email@example.com explain why you would like to participate, and we will send you the instructions.
Captain Angus Walters of the Bluenose with the International Fisherman's Trophy (photo by W.R. MacAskill) reproduced from the Canadian Encyclopaedia
The image used with the kind permission of Nova Scotia Archives on the poster is a photograph of Bluenose also by photographer W.R. MacAskill and hand-coloured by Elva MacAskill. There are also two small details from the original plans by William James Roué at the bottom of the poster.
Local author and historian Tom Graham, along with local naturalist Dr. Fred Schueler, lead you on a tour of Bishop's Mills, site of the Great Fire of 1943. The presentation included accounts by local residents--including Mervin Robinson, the only living survivor of the event. The fire that destroyed six buildings, started in his house.
Click on PUBLICATIONS for details on our exciting new publication--Butter the Size of an Egg; A Heritage Cook Book
The Society publishes a Quarterly newsletter, articles, and occasionally books
(Click on PUBLICATIONS for a list of past and current material).