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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The Appin Community Garden Project

By Dylan Grubb, Appin, ON

The sense of community is one of the best aspects of living in a small town. Amongst these many things that gives Appin this feeling is the community gardens. Inspired by the World War II victory gardens used to help provide produce to towns and cities in Canada, the project started early in the spring of 2023.

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Blood on the Snow – lecture about the Donnellys

Blood on the Snow – lecture about the Donnellys

Glenn’s talk on YouTube – give it a listen

Glenn Stott tells about 33 years of troubles that took place in Biddulph Township and Lucan Ontario region in Upper Canada from 1847 to 1880 and ended with the murder of five members of the Donnelly family.

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Arnold Warren Nethercott 1928 – 2020

The Loyalist Gazette. Spring 2021

Obituary

On December 21, 2020, Arnold Nethercott passed away at Country Terrace Nursing Home, Komoka, Ontario. Arnold was the beloved husband of 32 years of Barbara (Balch) Nethercott nee: Dadswell. He was a dear stepfather of Ruth Truesdale (Brian), Kathy Bedford (Larry), Greg Balch (Kim), Mark Balch (Linda), Bruce Balch (Kim) and Chris Balch (Yvonne). Loving grandfather of 14 and great-grandfather of 15.

Arnold is also survived by his brothers Marv Nethercott (Mary) and Bill Nethercott (Roxann) and by his sisters Lois McLean and Phyllis Munro (Lorne). He was the loving uncle of 13 nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and great-nephews. Predeceased by his parents James Percy Nethercott and Mary Louise (Warren) Nethercott, his sister Eleanor Wells and his brothers-in-law Vin Wells and Jack McLean.

Arnold achieved the rank of Captain as a Forward Air Controller in fixed-wing aircraft and as a helicopter pilot while in the Canadian Armed Forces. He served in peacekeeping duties in various locations around the world including Cyprus. He was also a respected Past President of the Ontario Genealogical Society (www.ogs.on.ca) and the United Empire Loyalists Society of Canada. (www.uelac.org)

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

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Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications

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.

Stuart W. “Skip” Patterson, HMCS Prestonian, WWII

 

Excerpt from Royal Canadian Legion Yearbook:

Stuart Patterson was born 6 April 1928, in Rodney, Ontario.  He joined the Royal Canadian Navy on March 9, 1944 and was sent to Cornwallis, Nova Scotia for basic training in WWII.  He was assigned to HMCS Prestonian 18 November 1946 as part of escort group 28 out of Halifax.  At the end of the war, Stuart volunteered to serve in the Pacific.  He was is discharged 4 Jan 1946.

Stuart returned to Rodney where he farmed as well as worked for Union Gas for 30 years.  He helped found Rodney Legion Branch and he also founded Rodney Christian Mission and served as its pastor . He volunteered at the Parkwood Hospital in London, a veterans’ hospital.  Stuart and his wife Betty have 5 children.