Harold Carruthers

Dundonald-Glencoe & area Historian

General Manager, Glencoe & District Historical Socieety

I suspect what first piqued my interest in history was sitting on my Grandmother Carruthers’ knee, with her showing me old family picture albums and letters from Scotland. She would patiently explain to me who each person was and what their connection to our family was.  I was likely only about seven at that time, and as a young boy there likely would have been more fun things to be doing but I have nothing but pleasant memories of those times. 

Then came Bessie McPherson my Sunday school teacher at the Presbyterian Church and someone I have always thought very highly of.  She was very involved in local history and taught me from 8 years to approximately 12 years old.

The third person to influence my budding love of history was my High School History Teacher Mr. Swallow. Not surprisingly, his was my best class. 

When I was 20 years old my Grandmother passed away leaving me with the nagging thought of why I hadn’t paid more attention or asked more questions of the stories she had shared over the years. From that time on I became very interested in my own family tree which also piqued my interest in the extended area’s history. From there I learned more about local businesses and homes in the area leading me to the seek out other resources from the Registry Office, local cemeteries, Latter Day Saints and more. At that time I had also joined several different organizations throughout the area.

One day while at the Post Office I ran into my very good friend Bessie McPherson and she told me there was to be a meeting at the St. John Anglican Church to see if there was any interest in forming a Historical Society.  If I remember correctly, there were approximately 13 people at that get together.

On April 19, 1978 the Glencoe District Historical Society came to fruition and I was among one of the founding charter members. The first executive appointed that night was President Reverend Hamilton, Vice President Ken McKellar, Second Vice Jack Galbraith, Secretary Doug Simpson and Treasurer Jean Simpson. Part way through that first year Jean Simpson left and Doug Simpson took her place with Doris Kendrick stepping into the Secretary position.

Around that time there was an article in the local paper indicating plans to demolish the train station. The new Executive was not at all happy to hear this news. Bessie Mcpherson made a motion that I be on the executive as LACAC Chairman dealing with the concerns over the Station .  

 I have now held many positions within the Historical Society over the past 41 years including the LACAC Chairman role, Save the Station Chair, Vice President, Property Chairman, Archive Co Chair, Equipment Chair, Membership Chair, Registry Chair, Room Volunteer Chair and Director & Moving Supervisor in 2018. 

My various areas of interest in history are quite extensive. They include but are not limited to family research, local area history, postcard photo collection, local artists, local memorabilia, early settlers, cemeteries, registry records, Peter McArthur books, antiques, Goodson-Oliver-Cockshutt tractors, memorabilia and literature and the latest interest is DNA research.

        As for some of the projects that I have been involved with over the past 54 years, there have been many. I was instrumental as Chairman of the Restoration of the Grand Trunk Wabash Station (1978-2001). Area postcard/photo collection (1968-present), transcribing area cemetery records (1970-1983), early settlers (1978-2000), saving of original transcripts, heritage signs, Peter McArthur books and I had the Registry Records returned to Glencoe (1991-1997). I also have assisted in supplying information for nine books. One of the most important things I found researching was that Glencoe was first called Dundonald from 1852-1856. 

        It is a difficult task recalling and putting into words my extensive involvement and memories over the past 54 years, but I believe I have done my best.

Regards,

Harold J. Carruthers

Updated 2023