Aug 21 The McEachren Collection @ Forty-87

Aug 21 The McEachren Collection @ Forty-87

August 21, 2024

7:00 p.m. 

The McEachren Collection @ Forty-87 

4087 Olde Drive, Glencoe, ON

7:00 p.m.  Arrive at 4087 Olde Drive, Glencoe, ON.  Bring your lawn chairs.  Stroll around the half-acre tractor collection.  

7:30 p.m.  Dave McEachren will tell us about local dealer history.  

8:00 p.m.  Explore the new museum.  

As a 10-year old boy, Dave witnessed a few fellow neighborhood farm boys displaying their collections of farm toys at the Glencoe Fair.  It was that day that he decided to stop “playing in the dirt” with his toys and start collecting them instead.  More than a few decades later the dream of opening his own museum to share his ever-growing John Deere collection has come to light.  

The McEachren Collection @ Forty-87 includes over 40 real tractors, thousands of farm toy models, and tens of thousands of pieces of memorabilia and sales-related literature.  There will be something of interest for everyone, from local dealer history to samples of equipment you may never knew existed. 



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.

Read more

Lecture about the Donnellys: Blood on the Snow

Glenn Stott – Blood on the Snow: The Donnellys and the Biddulph Tragedy

December 16 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Register :

The talk will be a livestream on YouTube channel:

The Donnellys are one of Southwestern Ontario’s most notorious families. This talk will be an overview of the 33 year troubles that took place in Biddulph Township and Lucan, Ontario region from 1847 to 1880 and ultimately ended with the murder of the five members of the Donnelly family.


The “Black” Donnellys were an Irish Catholic immigrant family who settled in Biddulph township, Canada West (later the province of Ontario), about 15 km northwest of London, in the 1840s. The family settled on a concession road which became known as the Roman Line due to its high concentration of Irish Catholic immigrants in the predominantly Protestant area. Many Irish Canadians arrived in the 19th-century, many fleeing the Great Famine of Ireland (1845-52). The Donnellys’ ongoing feuds with local residents culminated in an attack on the family’s homestead by a vigilante mob on 4 February 1880, leaving five of the family dead and their farm burned to the ground. No one was convicted of the murders, despite two trials and a reliable eyewitness

AGM: Show & Tell. Celebrating 45 years.

7 p.m. Annual General Meeting.  

Join the Glencoe & District Historical Society and come to the meeting of the members to review the accomplishments of 2022 and make plans for the coming year.  Individual Memberships are $20 and family memberships are $25.  Tax Receipts will be issued by Membership Secretary Harold Carruthers.

Show and Tell!  Bring a family heirloom, artifact, or mysterious thing from the past to share with the group.  We’ll have some fun with this.


Existing members: this is your official notice to attend the annual general meeting to be held at the Archives, 178 McKellar Street, Glencoe, Ontario.  

Or attend via Zoom meeting.

Topic: Glencoe & District Historical Society Annual General Meeting 45 years!

Time: Apr 19, 2023 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 832 8272 7090

Passcode: 298019

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Battle Hill Memorial

Memorial Service: Battle of Longwoods

Join us on March 5th as we commemorate the Battle of Longwoods which was originally fought on March 4th 1814.  Arrive at 1:45 p.m. and park carefully.  We will remember them. 

We will  remember those injured and killed at the Battle of the Longwoods in 1814.

Battle Hill National Historic Site, 2945 Longwoods Rd, Glencoe, ON N0L 1M0



Click to Facebook Event by the Upper Thames Military Re-enactment Society

Co-hosted by the Glencoe & District Historical Society

McGill Farm History & the Gunnery School

My name is Andrew McGill, I’m a young farmer and a photographer. I grew up on a farm 6 kilometres north of Glencoe, Ontario. In mid 1940 my great grandfather Fred McGill purchased a farm building which was to be moved from the site of the No. 4 Bombing and Gunnery School at Fingal Ontario. The building was dismantled and moved 45 kilometres north of Fingal to its final resting place on the McGill farm at Taits rd. Glencoe where it has sat to this day. My father and I think the building was then reassembled with a new roof sometime in 1941. The site of No. 4 B&G school sat on a swath of 724 acres of land that was returned to the crown for the purpose of building the training facility. One can imagine the numerous agricultural buildings on the land that would have had to be dismantled and moved in short order to make way for the multiple airplane hangers and triangle runway of the Fingal school. 

Aerial photo of the McGill farm circa 1977. The building in question can be seen directly to the left of the barn. (Photo care of McGill family Archive, 1977.)

McGill farm building moved from Fingal Bombing And Gunnery School site in 1940. (Photo: Andrew McGill. September, 2022.)
Aerial photo of the site of the Fingal Bombing and Gunnery School. (Photo: Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum.)
Route from Fingal B&G school site to the McGill farm. (Photo: Google Maps)
Interior detail of the McGill farm building which continues to house tools and horse equipment which would have been used by the late Fred McGill circa 1940’s. (Photo: Andrew McGill, 2016.)
A restored 1942 Minneapolis Moline “Waterloo” tractor stored in the building on the McGill farms site. (Photo: Andrew McGill, 2022.)
Winifred (Eddie), Fred, and Blake McGill using their 1942 Minneapolis Moline Tractor to plant sugar beets for seed to aid the allied forces war effort. (Photo care of McGill family Archive, 1942.)
Alternate angle of Winifred (Eddie), Fred, and Blake McGill using their 1942 Minneapolis Moline Tractor to plant sugar beets for seed to aid the allied forces war effort. (Photo care of McGill family Archive, 1942.)
Clare McGill and Dorothy Brown in front of the McGill homestead with the 1942 Minneapolis Moline “Waterloo” tractor. (Photo care of McGill family Archive, 1942.)
Clare, Winifred (Eddie), and Blake McGill in front of the McGill homestead to mark the moment King George VI announced enlistment of eligible men into the military in Canada. (Photo care of McGill family Archive, 1941.)


Blake McGill standing with his newly restored 1942 Minneapolis Moline tractor on the McGill farm in 1993. (Photo care of McGill family Archive, 1993.)
McGill Farm
Aerial photo of the McGill farm taken the year of its 100th anniversary in 2016. The relocated building can be seen clearly to the left of the barn. (Photo care of McGill family Archive, 2016.)
Dorothy (Knapp), Doug, and Ron McRae in Ilderton Ontario, 1955
Dorothy (Knapp), Doug, and Ron McRae in Ilderton Ontario, 1955. During WWII, as a 13 year old, my grandmother Dorothy along with her schoolmates were tasked with finding a plant called Alder Buckthorn, which because of its consistent burn time was used to create fuses for depth charges used to sink German navy vessels. It is told that Dorothy found enough of the valuable plant for her father to pay off the mortgage of their farm. (Photo care of the McRae family Archive, 1955.)

How to Transfer Municipal Records to a County Archive.

Check out this YouTube presentation for The Hasting and Belleville Community Archives entitled “How To Access The Community Archives When They Are Closed”. Published October 2020, their archivist, Amanda Hill, describes the Archives facility which was established ten years ago. She shows people how to access the collections from a computer.

The Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County is a service provided by the County of Hastings and the City of Belleville to help the municipalities of Hastings County preserve and provide access to their documentary heritage. 
This two-page document describes the process of transferring municial records to the county archives.

Although the Middlesex Centre Archives do not have the Municipal Records for Middlesex Centre, they do use a similar process. Each donor signs a Deed of Gift for their donation. The number for that donation is recorded on the Deed of Gift and every article within the donation. That is part of the processing work of donations.

When completely processed (number added, repairs completed), the donation is placed in the Archives on a specific shelf in a specific bay of shelving. The donation and its place in the Archives are then recorded. That donation can be found at any time with all its pertinent information. Access is easy and timely. If the donation has privacy implications, it is filed in the restricted files area. 

All these policies are already in place at the Middlesex Centre Archives under the direction of Archivist, Carolynn Bart-Riedstra. The processes were designed so that when Middlesex County establishes an archive facility, some of the work is already done and easily transferable.

Written by Carol Small, Chair, The Committee To Establish a Middlesex County Archives

Southwest Middlesex has a duty to save records

Municipal Act and Responsibility

Legal Mandate

  • Federal and Provincial Governments in Canada have mandated that public records be officially archived for legal, governance, and historical purposes.  
  • The division of records kept usually coincides with jurisdictional boundaries: Federal, Provincial, County, and Municipalities.  (Library and Archives of Canada Act, S.C.2004).
  • Ontario has further mandated that preserved public records be available to the public.  (Archives Act, RSO 1990; Archives and Recordkeeping Act, 2006; Archives and Recordkeeping Amendment Act, 2019.
  • The Ontario Municipal Act 2001, S.O. 2001. C. 25 Section 254 further states that municipal offices must preserve certain documents and they are to be publicly accessible. Those records need to be adequately stored.  It further indicates that municipal offices could deposit their records in an archives.

Many neighbouring Ontario counties have created their own archives to fulfill their legal obligations and to preserve important heritage materials. These include Elgin, Oxford, Huron, Perth, Grey, Bruce, Lambton, Haldimand, Wellington and more recently in 2020, Norfolk.  Middlesex County has not done so yet.

Often records are not easily accessible due to the location of the records in the municipality.  They are either stored off-site in another municipal structure or are not available for access to the public.  Whether in digital or hard copy, records need to be accessible in a timely manner, especially when there are MFIPPA requests.  

Environmentally controlled (EC) storage facilities are necessary for preserving records.  The temperature must be 18-21 degrees Celsius, which is colder than an office environment. Relative humidity (RH) should be between 45-50%.  If both elements are not met, mold can occur if humidity is too high, and paper can deteriorate if the temperature and RH are too low.  Based on the surveys returned from the municipalities in Middlesex County, none of the records are in EC areas. A few municipalities indicated the records are stored in their community centres. While these facilities may have air-conditioning, the RH control is still an issue.  

Even if municipal records are covered in Records Retention Schedules as per the Municipal Act 2001, S.O. 2001. C. 25 Section 253, some records have historical value that can be retained for researcher and/or historical value.   When records no longer serve administrative value, they could still have cultural value for information.  Less than 3% of municipal records are archival. While it might not be a lot, municipal records like tax assessment rolls, building plans, environmental assessments and other documents should be considered for placement in the Middlesex County Archives. 

Written by the Committee to Establish a Middlesex County Archives, July 2021

We Need a County Archives

Middlesex County does not have a county archives to protect our history for future generations.

Report from the Committee To Establish A Middlesex County Archives (CEMCA):

Unlike other counties that have established a County Archives (Lambton, Kent, Elgin, Oxford, Norfolk, Perth, Huron etc.) to house municipal as well as important historical materials, Middlesex County has not. In February 2020, representatives of historical societies and interested citizens from across Middlesex County gathered to ascertain the interest in establishing a Middlesex County Archives. The group had concerns about what would happen to their precious historical documents due to aging volunteers and lack of resources.  The group gave resounding approval to the initiative and the Committee to Establish a Middlesex County Archives was born. After two meetings, Covid-19 halted those for the year but work remained ongoing.  In February 2021 virtual meetings commenced via Zoom. 

How best to achieve the goal? The primary focus had to be municipal records. Through legislation, County and Municipal governments are mandated to officially store public records for legal, governance, and historical purposes.  The Ontario Municipal Act 2001, S.O. 2001. C. 25 Section 254 further states that municipal offices must preserve certain documents, and that they are to be publicly accessible.  Those records need to be properly stored and available in a timely manner.  It further indicates that municipal offices could deposit their records in an archive, to be secured. In addition, many historical societies hold historically significant documents and still more remain in private hands. Without a County Archives, there is concern about the location and condition under which many valuable historical documents are being stored.

CEMCA, through a survey to Mayors and Clerks, and another survey to Historical Societies within Middlesex County, ascertained much data – most materials were not stored in secure, environmentally-safe areas and most were not easily accessible.  That is a problem for municipal as well as local historical documents.

In June, CEMCA developed a series of “Facts Sheets” and other pertinent information to be sent weekly to County and Municipal Councillors and Administrative Staff. Information included: Municipal Act and Responsibilities, What is an Archives? How Will the Municipality and Clerks Benefit? Where Are the Records Now? Who Would Use the Middlesex County Archives, Resources Required and Challenges and Opportunities. To see any of this information, please check Middlesex Centre Archives webpage: or email

Committee representatives from each municipality are contacting their councillors and/or making presentations to their councils. On September 28, 2021, CEMCA will be making a presentation to County Council to formally ask that a Middlesex County Archives be established.

Who benefits from a County Archives? Municipal clerks, town planners and developers, lawyers and architects, heritage advocates, scholars and educators, genealogists and family historians, tourists. The biggest benefactors will be our future generations!!!!!!!

How can you help? Contact your county councillors by writing, email or telephone to express your support for the Archives. For more information, please email

Let us lose nothing of the past, it is only with the past that one builds the future. Anatole France