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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Tartan Days at The Archives

Tartan Days at The Archives

It was a damp day July 15, 2023 for this year’s Tartan Days but people were coming and going at 8:00 p.m. at the Archives. It was a festive atmosphere all day long until things wound down after 3:00 p.m. At 1:00 p.m. Mayor Allan Mayhew and Deputy Mayor Mike Sholdice opened up proceedings attended by 43 people.

A short history of the following was shared by members of G&DHS:

200 years since Ekfrid Township were incorporated (1821) – Marilyn McCallum

200 years since Mosa Township was incorporated – Ken Willis

170 years since early days of Dundonald (Glencoe) building homes and businesses along the rail line (1853) – Harold Carruthers

125 years since the Glencoe Town Hall was built (1898) and the cornerstone was laid. 

150 years since the Incorporation of the Town of Glencoe in 1873. – Harold Carruthers

45 years since the Glencoe & District Historical Society was established in 1978. – Lorne Munro

Also: 100 years since the Glencoe Library was built by the Carnegie Foundation (1923).

60 years since Quad County school and Mosa Central School opened at Pratt Siding (1963) 

Harold Carruthers showed the time capsule that is being prepared, similar to what was recovered from the cornerstone of the old Glencoe Town Hall when it was demolished in the early 1960s.  It’s been 125 years since the Glencoe Town Hall was built (1898) and the cornerstone was laid.  If you have any ideas what should be included, let us know.

Funny coincidence: next month at The Blyth Festival Theatre, a new play called the Chronicles of Sarnia is premiering and starring our very own Mark Crawford, actor and playwright. Check it out: here is the plot:

Chronicles Of Sarnia

WORLD PREMIERE. Written by Matt Murray; Directed by Miles Potter 

Passionate, retired history teacher Erin has convinced the City of Sarnia to create a 100-year time capsule for future generations to open. She organizes a town-wide meeting for community input, with a replica of the capsule itself, ready to momentously unveil.

But in spite of homemade Nanaimo bars, only her husband, a department store employee, and a young woman who is there for… complicated reasons, show up. Oh, and the janitor.

Refusing to reschedule, Erin, undaunted, takes this tiny group in hand and sets about distilling the essence of, well, of Sarnia.

June 21 Victory Garden Launched in Appin

Wonderful event held at the Appin Park. Forty people enjoyed the new community garden, congratulating the local team who have built the raised beds, set up a watering system, and nurtured the plants. Many thanks to our elected municipal leaders for taking the time to attend.

The highlight of the evening was listening to the stories regaled by Bonnie Sitter and Shirleyan English about the farmerettes, the teenagers that harvested Ontario crops from about 1942 – 1952.

Thank you Bonnie and Shirleyann. You have documented a wonderful part of agricultural history that otherwise would have been lost.

Learn more about the Farmerettes in Ontario:

Bonnie Sitter, “Farmerettes in Ontario” in Harrowsmith. February 2021.

And here’s some links to the buzz created by the release of Onion Skins and Peach Fuzz: Memories of Ontario Farmerettes. (2019). by Shirleyan English and Bonnie Sitter

Bonnie Sitter, “Farmerettes: Get Out on the Farm” in The Rural Voice. June, 2018.

Bonnie Sitter, “Farmerettes in Ontario” in Harrowsmith. 2020.

Bonnie Sitter, “Farmerettes in Ontario” in Harrowsmith. February 2021.

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.
No Guns, Just God’s Glory: Tom Wilson

No Guns, Just God’s Glory: Tom Wilson

Nov 8, 2022.  No Guns, Just God’s Glory

Rev. Tom Wilson joined us live from the French Riviera to tell us about the role of Allied military chaplains and the stories of those who died in the Battle of Normandy from June 6, 1944 to August 25, 1944.  

Tom told us about a the Allied Chaplains in the Battle of Normandy, including what is known about their lives before they joined the service and what is known about their deaths. Often there are conflicting stories of their heroism, and where their final resting places are.

The Revd Dr Tom Wilson has had an interest in World War Two military history since he was 12 years old. Rev. Tom Wilson is a local son, who for 12 years owned and managed the Why Not Shop in Glencoe and lived on a farm near Melbourne.  He was ordained in the Anglican Church in Canada and served as Rector of a parish in southwestern Ontario.

In 2007, he had the chance to spend a year in France, on university exchange program with his wife, Dr Dawn Cornelio. While there he led some of Canadian students on a visit to Normandy where they held a graveside memorial service for Canadian Chaplain Walter Brown. Padre Brown’s murder led Revd Wilson to explore all the Allied Chaplains killed in the Battle of Normandy. After serving in the Scottish Episcopal (Anglican) Church for 5 years, Revd Wilson now is the Anglican Chaplain of St Raphael in southern France where he ministers to a multi-national English-speaking congregation.

Thanks for telling us these fascinating stories, Tom! Let’s do it again!

Tom: “I look back with fondness on my time in Glencoe and SW Ontario. I confess though, I do like the winter here on the French Riviera, as it is normally sunny and warm during the days, but the nights are cool.”

Order his book, No Guns, Just God’s Glory at: OREPeditions

The #4 Bombing and Gunnery School

Three perspectives on the local  #4 Bombing and Gunnery School during WWII were presented at the Archives, 178 McKellar St, Glencoe October 12, 2022 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  

Blair Ferguson, local author of Southwold Remembers: The #4 Bombing and Gunnery School brought some great artifacts. Blair is an authority on the local training facility which is located at the Fingal Wildlife Management Area. His book is filled with stories about the people who worked there.

Andrew McGill is a local photographer and farmer. Andrew presented his family’s personal connection to the Gunnery School.   

Paul Anderson, author of Eric Stirling – The Missing Son – A Recollection of His Life, (published privately) joined us from his home in New Zealand via Zoom. Young Eric Stirling joined the airforce and like so many young guys from the Commonwealth, he was trained in Canada at the #4 B&G School. He never made it home.

The young men were SO young. The movies cast actors in their 30s so we forget that WWII was the first adventure off the farm for many young soldiers. Eric was 24. Many were not even 18.

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.

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.   

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.

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.