Highlights from the 2024 Annual General Meeting

Highlights from the 2024 Annual General Meeting

Date & Venue: Wednesday, April 17th, 2024, at the Archives, 178 McKellar Street, Glencoe.

Attendance: A solid turnout of 30 members, with all executives present except President Ken Beecroft.

Opening: Vice President Mary Simpson initiated the meeting at 7:00 PM, welcoming members old and new.

Remembrance: A moment of silence was observed for the late Lorne Munro, a member for 20 years.

Business as Usual: The minutes from the previous year’s AGM were approved without issue, and discussions moved smoothly to current matters.

Financial Health: Treasurer Marilyn McCallum presented a detailed financial report and budget for the upcoming year, which were both accepted unanimously.

Membership Milestone: Harold Carruthers announced a record membership count, reflecting the society’s ongoing relevance.

Engaging Programs: Program Director Mary Simpson introduced upcoming events, including a talk by local author C.J. Fredericks.

Election Excitement: Nominations for the new executive team were made and approved smoothly.

Dynamic Presentations: Members shared updates on various projects, showcasing the society’s diverse activities.

Closing: The meeting concluded at 8:50 PM, setting the stage for the incoming executive team.

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April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 in review

April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 in review

Report for the Glencoe & District Historical Society

K.W. Beecroft, President, Glencoe & District Historical Society, Dated March 31, 2024

Founded in 1978, the Glencoe & District Historical Society (G&DHS) set out on a mission to preserve the rich history of Southwestern Ontario, particularly around the Glencoe area. Ambitious projects, such as mapping local cemeteries, took place from 1978 to 1988. In 1983, G&DHS found a home in the basement of the old Andrew Carnegie Library and expanded to both floors in 1994. A substantial collection of land registry deeds was rescued in 1997, finding a secure home in the original land registry vault. The partnership restoration of the Glencoe Train Station in 2001 became a symbol of the society’s commitment to preserving local heritage. The Society is a not-for-profit volunteer organization with charitable status and a member of the Ontario Historical Society. The Society was founded upon a Constitution, which continued to define our operational structure

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Peter McArthur: Our Famous Canadian – 1866 – 1924

Peter McArthur: Our Famous Canadian – 1866 – 1924

Marie Williams, Glencoe: The huge crowd that packed into the Glencoe and District Historical Society Archives on February 22 proved that the “Sage of Ekfrid” is as popular today as he was over 100 years ago. In addition to 30 viewing online, over 50 turned up in person.

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Early Days of Mosa Township

The most southwest of Middlesex County’s townships, Mosa Township was initially part of a much larger parcel of land including parts of Kent and Lambton Counties. Surveyor Mahlon Burwell indicated that there was some confusion regarding the naming of the township, first designated as township D and then briefly as Aragon. Finally, the name Mosa, a derivative of the Spanish word Musa (muse). However the Lieutenant Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland decided to name the township Mosa, after the Maas river.

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Andrew McGill Members Only Portfolio Review

Local photographer and Glencoe Native, Andrew McGill hosted a Portfolio Review of his work to the core membership of the Glencoe & District Historical Society. The review took place at The Archives on February 18th, 2023.

Andrew recently moved back to the Glencoe area after living in Toronto, and New York, for over a decade. Throughout that time he has focused his lens on the farming community which he grew up in, photographing his family farm, and local community events in the region.

Andrew shared with us his 11×14″ and 8×10″ archival pigment print portfolios as well as photo books and zines he’s produced over the years. He also showed documentation from various exhibitions including his large scale public installation of 9’x9′ square banners hung at the St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto. Some of which have been on display at the Glencoe Curling Arena and the Glencoe Hockey Arena.

He is interested in working with the Historical Society on future projects to document our history and community.

Andrew McGill (b. 1988, Glencoe, Canada) holds a B.F.A. from The School of Image Arts, Toronto. McGill is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work is primarily photo-based. He has sharpened his own visual style through working with his peers on high profile editorial, fashion, and art photography projects in Toronto, New York, Paris, and throughout the Eastern United States. McGill has recently moved from New York City, to his hometown of Glencoe, a farming community in the heart of Southwestern Ontario, where he has begun incorporating his artistic practice into daily life, making work inspired by the local community of lifelong friends, family, and neighbours, and the pastoral landscape from which he hails.

Andrew is an American Photography Selected Winner and a Magenta Foundation Flash-Forward Emerging Photographer. A public installation of his ongoing series titled, Two Half- Hitches Could Hold the Devil Himself, was shown as part of the 2017 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. The resulting 9ft square banners have been loaned to the village of Glencoe, have been on display at the Glencoe Curling Arena, as well as, the Southwest Middlesex Hockey Arena. His work has also been shown at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. 

Andrew is currently working on personal book and portrait projects, as well as commission and editorial work. Andrew has had his work featured in the Editorial Magazine (Montreal), Fisheye Magazine (Paris), published in photobooks by Booooooom! (Vancouver), and is a contributor to The Globe and Mail (Toronto), and Topic Magazine ( New York).

For more about Andrew and his work view his website here: www.andrewblakemcgill.com

Instagram: @andrewmcgill

The year 2022 in review

April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023

The Glencoe & District Historical Society was formed in 1978 to promote local history research. We are a registered non-profit organization, staffed by volunteers who are keenly interested in maintaining our objectives. Our objectives are:

  • To promote, encourage and foster the study of local history and genealogy, including original research. We encourage, support and solicit research information on heritage buildings in our District. We lend our support to other community groups who are active and interested in the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings.
  • To provide and maintain a local archival repository for the collection and preservation of books, manuscripts, typescripts, charts, maps, photographs, journals, Photostats, microfilms, tapes and artifacts.
  • To reproduce some of the presentations presented to the Society, as well as other research and materials.
  • To provide education through newsletters, presentations, social media and participation in local and surrounding area events. 

First, It should also be pointed out, that during the past year G & DHS did resume normal activities, as the Covid 19 pandemic was basically over. Letters were issued in August to reach out to our members, Membership renewals were encouraged, and consequently our membership was mostly restored. Several patrons provided financial donations also. Appreciation goes out those who contributed during this time. Service fees for research services were still somewhat reduced. Consequently, again during the past year, as a not for profit organization, it has been a difficult several years. Our Financial Report may detail some of this later.

This past year our Society was involved as a partner with The Municipality of Southwest Middlesex (SWM), for the manufacture and installation of identification signs in all of the active and abandoned cemeteries within SWM. Our plan called for 30 signs within SWM, and three outside of SWM, but within our area. Hykut Signs was our local manufacturer. These standardized signs outline to the public, the name of area cemeteries and when they were established. We have identified and signed the forgotten ones also, so that our pioneer ancestors will be remembered.

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Scots Gaelic – Past, Present and Future

Trevor Aitkens grew up in Brooke township, Lambton County, and lived with his grandmother who spoke Gaelic.  On March 15, 2023 he filled the Tait’s Corners School house with students interested in learning a few words.

Trevor shows us given names on the left and surnames on the left.

Given names, surnames and place names. DONNCHADH = Duncan. DOMHNALL = Donald. AONGHAS = Angus. DUGHLAS = Douglas.

Trevor, our teacher, took us on a flight across the globe’s Celtic lands. We only had a few life preservers (we were crossing the Atlantic). Costa is wearing one of the preservers while he holds a beautiful bouquet of lucky heather.

Gaelic originated in Scotland in 500 AD and was in common use up until the battle of Culloden in 1746. After this point, support waned for the language to the point where it was in danger of becoming extinct.  During the latter half of the 19th century, it was the 3rd most spoken language in Canada and actually had a bill tabled in the Senate to become an official language.

Surnames on the left and Epenectrics on the right. Epenectrics: adding a vowel for sound purposes.

Scots Gaelic doesn’t like a lot of consonants together. AINMEAN = Names. MACEACHARNA = McEachran (descendants of the horse lord). MACFHIONLAIGH = McKinlay. MACCRUIMEIN = McCrimmon ( pipers). MACILLIOSA = Gillies. MACILLEATHAN = MacLean.

Many thanks to Simba, the camera man, and Ayako, the Zoom engineer. The Glencoe & District Historical Society is committed to making its programs accessible.
The old Tait’s Corners School house is filled with students. We shared the lesson via Zoom too.

Trevor regrets now that he didn’t learn Gaelic when he had the chance. He studied a number of other languages but realized later that he needed to pay homage to his own heritage. Trevor stumbled upon a night school offering in Mississauga in 1998 and practices the language until this day. He attracted a big audience to the Tait’s school house.

There’s no written J, K, Q, V, X, Y, Z but some of those sounds exist. There’s no Z sound or X sound.

Recent trends point towards an increase in the number of Gaelic speakers. A number of people who have no connection with Scotland are interested in learning and preserving the language. People are waiting for the 2021 Scotland census to see if there in an increase in Gaelic learners and speakers.

Gaelic Bible
JoAnn Galbraith, our Middlemiss historian, clutches a volume of Gaelic Prayers
Harold Carruthers expresses our appreciation on behalf of the live and on-line audience.

Oakland Cemetery, Mosa Township

“Beyond the gates of the cemetery lives an historical account of our past, a rich heritage populated by friends and relatives.  Loved ones who can no longer be with us, but whose memories live on.” 

– Josh Kekosz

Each year the Historical Society honours those who came before us.  On July 24, 2022, the   Cemetery Memorial Service was held at Oakland Cemetery, which was opened May 1894 by a group of ten men who formed a Board of Directors.  

Five acres was purchased from a local farmer in Mosa Township and surveyed into plots of 16 feet X 16 feet.  These plots were purchased by families.  One plot had room for 8 burials.  The first burial was Thomas Hopkins in May 1894.     

The area was previously served by small family plots and St. Andrew’s (Graham) Cemetery at 112 Main Street Glencoe (Concession 1, Lot 1). St. Andrew’s Cemetery eventually contained approximately 500 burials between 1841 – 1931.  It still exists and is classified as ‘abandoned’.  

After the new Oakland Cemetery opened and families started purchasing plots, new stones were installed and the names of beloved previously-deceased family members were commemorated.  This could explain why there are 175 inscriptions whose dates of death are prior to May 1894.

Records are poor but we surmise that sometimes stones were moved to the new Oakland and sometimes the stones might have been buried or lost from their original  family plot locations.  And what of the bodies?  We guess that bodies probably remain in their original resting places.  It seems doubtful if they would have  been disinterred and moved. May they continue to rest in peace.

Link to interactive G&DHS Cemetery Map.   

Written by Harold Carruthers and Mary Simpson, 2022.

Oakland Cemetery Memorial
Poster for July 24, 2022 memorial event.

What’s on the Horizon for G & DHS?

K.W. Beecroft, President, G & DHS. Dated April 20, 2022

Our April 20th Members Meeting represents G&DHS’s 44th anniversary. A wonderful achievement for our organization.

With Covid 19 hopefully on the decline, we hope to move ahead with Program ideas and initiatives that will be informative and educational for our members and the public. We plan to have at least four or five member’s meetings and several events, which has been mentioned that we normally attend or sponsor annually. Hopefully, we can also present an “Open House” event where we can invite people in, and see what we’re about.

We also intend to broaden our relationships with other area historical organizations, and participate and promote events of common interests. Just recently, on April 2nd G & DHS was featured in a presentation sponsored by the London/ Middlesex Genealogical Society. We are also pleased to be involved with Backus Page House. Certainly, the Wardsville Museum and Ekfrid Museum are also close partners. 

During this past year, we have reached out to the Lower Thames Conservation area, in order to promote preservation of historic buildings in their care, and also to support restoration efforts of the Fugitive Slave Chapel in London. We will continue efforts into this year toward heritage preservation.

One special Project which we have planned in partnership with the Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, is the manufacture and installation of standardized Cemetery Signs within the municipality. These signs will outline to the public the name of area cemeteries and when they were established. We intent to sign the forgotten ones also, so that our pioneer ancestors will be remembered.

We hope that our volunteer sub-committee will move forward with cataloging and inventorying. We will continue to work with standardizing our approach to the handling and storage of archival material. These activities are viewed as being an activity to be focussed on in the coming year with the involvement of our members.

In closing, the 2021/ 2022 year was full of challenges, but we look forward to continuing in the coming year.

The Archives in Glencoe, Ontario, Canada

Many thanks to the Municipality of SWM

K.W. Beecroft, President, G & DHS. Dated April 20, 2022

The ARCHIVE – G&DHS and Municipality of Southwest Middlesex have an agreement for the use of the facility at 178 McKellar Street. This has proved to be a very positive arrangement for both parties involved. There is room for G & DHS meetings, restoration workshop, a sales area, an office, stacks for books, documents and artifacts along with special collections, microfilm library, and archival space for artifacts. Key also for the move is that the precious property records again make their home in the original Registry Office, which we now call “The Vault”. 

Our new facility allows us to host educational Program activities onsite, as we now have everything available –access, washrooms, seating capacity and parking. We are also pleased to say that we share our facilities with other community organizations, on a revenue neutral basis. Organizations such as local cemetery boards, such as Oakland and Eddie, and Southwest Middlesex’ “Celebrate Community Committee” conduct their routine members’ meetings at 178 McKellar Street.

Melbourne Legion 70 years

Melbourne Legion 70 years

Written by JoAnn Galbraith

On November 18th, 1949, twenty-four area veterans met in the Community Hall in Melbourne with the idea of possibly forming a Legion in the village.  With backing from Glencoe Legion Branch # 219, Melbourne received its Charter February 1st 1950. In 2017, a history committee was formed  to make plans for the anniversary celebration.

Several displays of the Legion’s history have been shown to the public since the committee was formed.   Richard Hathaway scanned all the photos and memorabilia while JoAnn Galbraith has reviewed the records and minute books with a possibility of publishing a book with the Legion’s history  in 2020.   

Fifty Legion members and special guest attended a  complimentary dinner at the Legion on Saturday night November 30th. Folks viewed a slide presentation of photos from the 1950s to present day.  Also on display were original photos and documents.  

At each table setting was a place card with the front cover consisting of a photo of the first Legion building 1949 and the present one in 2019.

Zone A 5 Commander Gerry Cross gave a brief history of Branch #510. Bob Davenport, on behalf of Reg Lovell Glencoe Branch # 219, gave a brief history of the affiliation between Melbourne Legion and Glencoe Legion since Branch #510’s formation.  

Regrets were received from Peg Luce, Zone A 5 Deputy Commander, and former Federal Minister Bev Shipley.  

JoAnn Galbraith, a member of the executive and the history committee, was introduced by President Tom Jeffery.  

Pin History

JoAnn told the history of her collection of Legion pins from 1783 to 2019.  The United Empire Loyalist pin represents those who were treated as traitors because of their allegiance to the British throne following the American Revolution were evacuated to Canada in 1783. 

The 1812 to 1815 pin represents the war 1812-15. A large percentage of those that took up arms in the 1812 War were Loyalists who fought against the American forces who were trying to take over their new homeland.  The 1812 pin also represents the Battle of Longwoods.   A memorial service is held annually at the site where the Battle occurred March 4,1814, usually the Sunday prior to March 4th. 

The American flag pin represents the Civil War. The Vimy Pin marks the birth of Canada as a nation as of the April 8th battle 1917,  a WWI pin dated 1918.  A Poppy pin and the origin of its existence since 1918.  A World War II pin, a Melbourne Legion Branch pin. 

JoAnn gave a brief history of the Melbourne Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary. A First Nation’s pin representing the Native Veterans. A Canadian flag pin represented Vietnam, Korean and Afghan Veterans.  A “D” Day  Looney 2019 pin and a Poppy Wreath pin inscribed with “We Will Remember Them”.  

Even though JoAnn is only an affiliate member of Melbourne Legion Branch #510,  her family members have been very involved during war time.  JoAnn’s great-great grandfather, Thomas Lucas was a Lieutenant in the 1812-15 war,  a son of a loyalist, who is buried in Cade Cemetery in Strathroy Caradoc. Her cousin Alonzo Lucas gave the Supreme Sacrifice in World War I. His parents are buried in Cook Cemetery. Her second cousin, Private Warden Lucas, a WWI Veteran, was a member of Melbourne Legion Branch #510. Her Uncle Bud Lucas, Royal Canadian Navy World War II, was a member of Caradoc-Mount Brydges Legion #251.  

In the new Mount Brydges subdivision in Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc called Edgewoods, a number of the streets are named after Veterans of Caradoc Township and the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc. Lucas Avenue is a tribute to the four Lucas Veterans  who at one time or another were residents of Caradoc Township.  Two of the four are buried in the Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc.

On the back of the place card was a list of  Melbourne veterans who gave the Supreme Sacrifice in World War I & II.   
Glencoe has changed over the decades.

Rural challenges

by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications Inc., Sept 2019

Spending a few hours involved in a municipal economic development strategy session this past week proved both enlightening and frightening, as would be the case in any rural community across Canada.

It’s no secret that rural communities face their own advantages, along with their own unique challenges. The reasons rural communities both suffer and thrive  have changed over the years, as have their demographics. 

In 1851, nearly nine in 10 Canadians lived in rural areas. The early census’ of this nation contained questions about the number of acres of land attached to a dwelling, the number and type of animals owned as well as the horsepower of equipment used on the property. During that time period, the Canadian economy was based on the primary sector more than today, led by agriculture and natural resources like wood or coal.

The proportion of those living in rural areas has steadily declined, eventually falling below 50 per cent between 1921 and 1931, due mainly to shifts within the Canadian economy.

Between 2006 and 2011, Canada’s rural population did increase by 1.1 per cent, compared to the nation’s overall growth rate of 5.9 per cent. However, in the same period, the rural proportion of the population declined. Ontario is one of four provinces that have the proportion of their population living in rural regions near to or lower than the national average. In fact, Ontario sits second lowest at 14.1 per cent. In a nutshell, today fewer than one in five live in a rural area.

The 2019 demographics indicate that rural communities overall are still facing a declining population, although many from cities are heading out of the urban centres for more reasonable housing prices. While the shift in search of housing is welcome news, it also comes with its own challenges as urbanites learn to cope without round-the-clock store openings, the anonymity of city living, internet options and, at times, even the scents of rural life.

Some opt to simply use their rural homes as residences, putting any involvement within their new communities on the back burner. They have continued to shop, dine and seek entertainment in the cities, places  that they commute to everyday for work, instead of seeing what their local communities have to offer. 

As many who live in rural areas are aware, there is a lot to offer and many opportunities beyond the farm life although agriculture may have the main economic impact, often followed by motor vehicle parts manufacturing and construction. 

While rural Ontario is not attracting the major immigrant population that cities are, it is changing in other ways. No longer are children automatically expected to take over the family farms. As a result, some have opted to sell to neighbours who have often severed the rural homes off and amalgamated the land to create larger farm parcels. 

Businesses, which no longer need a storefront thanks to the internet, are growing in rural areas but empty storefronts create unease among potential residents. The challenges small rural businesses face are multiple, ranging from attracting customers who are apt to drive to the city for perceived deals to simply getting the financing to even open their doors. Community businesses, which can be ignored by both newcomers and long-time residents, inevitably remain a target for fundraisers of all types which ultimately cuts into profits.

Rural municipal governments face their own challenges with the need to attract and retain both residents and businesses, to find funding for downloaded services while handling both application bottlenecks and increased regulations for everything from wastewater treatment to building permits. These communities face hurdles attracting and retaining health care professionals and keeping the doors of schools, arenas and churches open. 

On the horizon are even more challenges as baby boomers become retired seniors, needing support and housing. Without suitable housing to accommodate an aging population, rural communities may lose even more residents. That is something that census figures are already demonstrating with the number of seniors living in rural Canada being lower (15 per cent) than those living in small and medium centres. Rural Canada is also unique with a small proportion of young adults aged 15 to 29. In 2011, 17 per cent of people living in rural areas were aged 15 to 29, a proportion lower than the national average of 20. Many leave their rural homes in search of higher education and employment, never to return.

There are no magic answers. What must happen closest to home is getting involved in rural communities, buying local and supporting the businesses that in turn support local events and teams. The success or failure of the local economy hinges on the support of the community.

“A successful economic development strategy must focus on improving the skills of the area’s workforce, reducing the cost of doing business and making available the resources business needs to compete and thrive in today’s global economy.” –Rod Blagojevich


Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications

Who We Are 2019

Mission:  to promote, encourage and foster the study of local history and genealogy including original research.

The Historical Society primarily focuses on local history within the bounds of the current Municipality of Southwest Middlesex, located in the south-west tip of Middlesex County.

The area includes:

  • Village of Glencoe
  • Ekfrid Township [Former]
  • Mosa Township [Former]
  • Appin
  • Newbury
  • Melbourne
  • Middlemiss
  • Wardsville

Local Expertise:  Many of our members are experts in regional history:

  • land registry records for West Middlesex 1790-1973
  • regional settlement in the 1800’s
  • life and culture throughout the past 200 years
  • involvement in WW1 and WW2
  • history of local families
  • significant buildings and structures
  • local agriculture
  • building design and methods, and
  • textiles, sewing, quilting.

Objectives:  The Glencoe & District Historical Society is an incorporated non-profit volunteer organization. It is a member of the Ontario Historical Society and the Ontario Genealogical Society. Our objectives are:

  • To promote, encourage and foster the study of local history and genealogy including original research.
  • To collect and preserve information, including books, manuscripts, typescripts, charts, maps, photographs, photostats, microfilms, tapes and related material for such historical study.
  • To reproduce some of the talks presented to the Society, as well as other research and materials, particularly relating to the region and to sell such reproductions.
  • To encourage, support and solicit research information on heritage buildings in our District as well as lend our support to other community groups who are active and interested in the preservation and restoration of heritage buildings.

The founding president Reverend George Hamilton held a strong passion regarding the preservation of local history and believed in the importance of sharing knowledge and engaging people with an organization that would provide an environment focused on encouraging these interests.  The Society was formed in April 1978.

Glencoe historians pay homage to Gough Cemetery

by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications Inc.  

Seated in the shade of an old pine tree, a group of over 40 gathered to honour those interred at the Gough Cemetery on Sunday afternoon, July 28, 2019. The community memorial service, an annual event held at a different cemetery each year, was hosted by the Glencoe & District Historical Society.

The Gough Cemetery is located at 5018 Scotchmere Dr. in Adelaide-Metcalfe.After Society president Ken Beecroft welcomed guests and area historian Ken Willis offered a dedication and prayer, historian Harold Carruthers provided some background on the Cemetery itself which is on the property settled by the John and Eliza  (Kellestine) MacGoughr (later Gough) family in 1845.

The couple had a large family of 13 but their son Nelson died in 1849. His was likely to be the first burial at the site, followed by those of his sisters Hannah in 1855 and Elizabeth in 1865. Since that time, the predominant family names of those interred on the tiny property are Ash, Boyd, Gough, Hetherington, Moore, Olde, Towers, Williams and Yager. Society member Marilyn (Gough) McCallum provided a detailed history of the “MacGoughr” family that voyaged to Canada from Ireland in 1831.

The family was among the earliest settlers of township in the early 1830s with Metcalfe itself not existing prior to 1846 when Ekfrid and Adelaide were divided. “They endured all the hardships of pioneer life having cut out of the wilderness homes for themselves on land given to them by the Crown.” McCallum detailed the life of settlers John and Eliza MacGoughr who received title on the property.

Sometime in the 1850s, the “Mac” and the “r” were dropped from their name. She shared details about family members, including those buried at that particular cemetery. She recalled visiting the cemetery as a child. “We would tread softly, touch the stones, speak the names…of those who came before.”

Lorne Munro added some information about the Kellestine family before the service closed. The property was sold to Charles Towers in 1909. The Cemetery is personally maintained by Heather and Charlie Towers who were recognized for their efforts and the new fence they constructed at the front of the property. They took over the responsibility from Reta and Alex Johnson and Vern and Shirley Towers who had maintained it over the years. 

Staying out of the heat while gathered in the shade, Glencoe historians and family members joined together at the Gough Cemetery in Adelaide-Metcalfe for a service of remembrance. The Glencoe and District Historical Society holds services at a different community cemetery each year. Photo by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications

Tartan Days 2019

Tartan Days 2019

Glencoe. Tartan Days in Glencoe celebrates Scottish heritage. On July 20th, our volunteers were at Glencoe’s Historic Train Station dressed in period attire, conducting free tours of this wonderful facility. We shared the history of the area and displayed interesting books, displays and artifacts. Volunteers from Backus-Page House near Wallacetown, in Elgin County, were with us with a superb visual display featuring Scottish settlement.

Our Archives were busy that day with a G & DHS yard sale fund-raising event. As it was a brutally hot day, folks visiting our sale were invited inside to cool off and look around. Thanks again to volunteers who helped that day.

Meanwhile, across the street from the Train Station, members of Upper Thames Military Re-enactment Society (UTMRS) were encamped. The re-enactors  gave visitors, particularly the children, an idea of what British military life in Upper Canada was like during the War of 1812. Many thanks to these volunteers who escorted our wonderful piper, along with a number of children up Main Street. (Did I mention that it was brutally hot…those guys wear wool clothing!)

The Classic Car Show, free Pancakes, BBQ’s, Thistle Contest, Children’s Fun Zone, merchant events, town wide yard sales and many other events pleased many visitors during this year’s Tartan Days.

Ken Beecroft, President, Glencoe & District Historical Society

Grand Opening of The Archives

Certainly the major event of our spring schedule was to host our official opening at 178 McKellar Street, the new “Archives”, on a bright and sunny May 15th. Much planning and preparation went into making this wonderful day a success. The extended hours of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. planned for our event enabled visitors to come and go as their time allowed. The ribbon cutting at 11 o’clock was attended by SWM Municipal Council, our G & DHS Executive and about another fifty-five or so people. This gathering also was present for the re-dedication of the Rotary Memorial at the front of the Archive building, and for the awarding of lifetime memberships to long serving members Ina Nelms and Louise Campbell. Congratulations to them.

Throughout the day guests and visitors were encouraged to sign the guest book and enter the draw for prizes. Visitors also toured the building and displays, chatted with volunteers and members and enjoyed the refreshments provided. In the early evening, we were pleased to have historical author Guy St. Denis talk about his fascinating new book “The True Face of Sir Isaac Brock“. 

Much appreciation goes out to those who made this day possible and to the approximately 180 people who came through our doors. We were pleased to have the opportunity to share “who we are and what we’re about” with our community.

Harold’s Photos of Glencoe

Harold’s Photos of Glencoe

On Wednesday evening April 17, 2019, the Glencoe & District Historical Society hosted the Annual Meeting at the new ARCHIVE facilities. President Lorne Munro welcomed those attending and introduced the guest speaker, our own historian Harold Carruthers. Fifty people attended this event, the first program to be presented at 178 McKellar Street, Glencoe.

Although President Lorne introduced Harold, no introduction was needed. Harold mentioned that the presentation is a continuation of one that he did last April 2018 at Glencoe’s Historic Train Station.

Harold showed 300 images spanning the period between the 1880’s and the 1960’s, focussing on the street scenes of Glencoe Ontario. Harold also focused on the human perspective, highlighting parades and social events. Many people, long gone, were recognized by members of the audience.

Upon conclusion of the display at 8:15 p.m., President Lorne Munro thanked Harold for his interesting narrative. A time of fellowship followed the presentation and audience members enjoyed exploring the new facility. The Annual Meeting and Election of Executive Officers led by President Lorne Monroe followed.

The Archives Open!

Glencoe:   The Glencoe & District Historical Society has moved its archives from the old Carnegie Library building on Main Street Glencoe to the old Registry Office building, which until very recently was the home of the Glencoe Library.

Two years ago when the Historical Society started hearing rumours that a vision was taking shape for a new library, the members starting dreaming of moving their collection to the building that would be vacated, 178 McKellar Street.  

On February 16, 2018, the Society made a formal request to the Southwest Middlesex council and in early June, Council gave permission to the Society to move in.   The members were thrilled and grateful.  Not only was Southwest Middlesex gaining a modern new library but the community would gain an accessible archives just down the street.  

Glencoe & District Historical Society formed in 1978  and their growing collections could no longer be contained in the old building.  Worse, was the access problem.  Access into the building involved a difficult set of stairs; the bathroom was in the basement; precious books and collections were deteriorating without climate control; member meetings had to be held in another venue; and parking was poor.  The dear old Carnegie library just did not work anymore.Packing began in September and the move took place November 26.  On December 13, 2018, the Executive held their first meeting at the new facility.

This historical reference library houses archives from various community groups.  There is a book shop.  It has the original land registry documents and deeds.  Computers are available to the public for research.  There are special scanners, microfiche readers and photocopiers.  A meeting area that community organizations are welcome to use (donation welcome).  A reading room.  Family histories. Historical photographs.  Cemetery records.  Come visit and see for yourself.