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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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. 

 

 

Battle Hill plaque

Memorial 2024: Battle of Longwoods

Join us on March 3rd, 2024 to 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 those injured and killed at the Battle of the Longwoods in 1814.

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

Watch this beautiful short video of the MOURNING RING OF LIEUTENANT PATRICK GRAEME OF THE 89TH REGIMENT OF FOOT. KILLED ON MARCH 4, 1814, WHILE LEADING THE BRITISH ATTACK AT THE BATTLE OF LONGWOODS.

Organized by the Upper Thames Military Re-enactment Society  https://www.royal-scots.com/.

Their facebook Page.

Local organizations and families are encouraged to place a wreath.  Call JoAnn Galbraith 5192895954 to put your name on the list.  Or arrive early and approach the organizers to add your name and organization to the list.

Co-promoted by the Glencoe & District Historical Society

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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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

Watch this beautiful short video of the MOURNING RING OF LIEUTENANT PATRICK GRAEME OF THE 89TH REGIMENT OF FOOT. KILLED ON MARCH 4, 1814, WHILE LEADING THE BRITISH ATTACK AT THE BATTLE OF LONGWOODS.

 

Click to Facebook Event by the Upper Thames Military Re-enactment Society  https://www.royal-scots.com/

Co-hosted by the Glencoe & District Historical Society

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.

Oakland Cemetery Memorial

Oakland Cemetery Memorial

“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 community 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 eventually contained approximately 500 burials between 1841 – 1931.  It still exists and is classified as ‘abandonned’.  

 

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.  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 

Link to interactive G&DHS Cemetery Map.   

 

 

 

 

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

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.

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.