Appin Cemetery Memorial

Appin Cemetery Memorial

Every July, the historical society pays tribute to our ancestors. This year we are remembering the people in Appin CemeteryApprox 1000+ burials (dates: 1914 – present)

Time: 2:00 p.m. on July 28, 2023

Location: Appin Cemetery, Thames Road (Concession 2, Lot 12)

Please bring a lawn chair.  There will be a program featuring music, poetry, and history of the cemetery. 

Afterwards we will share refreshments and fellowship and and wander among the stones to reflect on those who have gone before us.

Link to interactive G&DHS Cemetery Map.

From Glendon Drive turn north on Thames road as you leave Appin. Well marked entrance on your RH side between Glendon and Falconbridge. Cemetery is located up a long straight laneway.

Please be aware of highway traffic when entering and leaving. There will be ample parking on cemetery lanes. If inclement weather is an issue, we’ll  cancel.

Last year, the  Cemetery Memorial Service was held at the Kilmartin Cemetery

“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.   

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.)
Remembering the Gunnery School: romance, adventure and tragedy in Fingal

Remembering the Gunnery School: romance, adventure and tragedy in Fingal

Presenters: Blair Ferguson, Andrew McGill, and Paul Anderson

October 12 at The Archives, 178 McKellar St, Glencoe from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  https://glencoehistoricalsociety.ca/events/  

This is a hybrid event: Zoom AND in person! Arrive at the Archives at 6:45 p.m. so we can visit and welcome our online guests.  Start at 7:00 p.m. sharp.  

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/83371144079?pwd=QjlmRitnTlVXTUF0K0h1VlZSQXJMQT09

Meeting ID: 833 7114 4079

Passcode: 814970.   (More number below)

Blair Ferguson, local author of Southwold Remembers: The #4 Bombing and Gunnery School.  Blair Ferguson is an authority on this training facility which was located at the Fingal Wildlife Management Area during WWII. His book is filled with stories about the people who worked there. Special price $20.

 

Andrew McGill – local photographer and farmer. Andrew will present his family’s personal connection to the Gunnery School.  We’ll pay tribute to his grandfather, Blake, who was a hardworking member of the Glencoe & District Historical Society in its early years (Est. 1978).  Blair and Andrew are presenting in person. 

 

Paul Anderson, author of Eric Stirling – The Missing Son – A Recollection of His Life, published privately , New Zealand.  Paul is joining us from his home in New Zealand via Zoom.  

Paul Anderson has published the wonderful letters his uncle wrote to family back in New Zealand. 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.

Please join us to learn about what went on over in Fingal during WWII.  It was a very exciting time! 

October 12, 2022 at 7:00 p.m.

 

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Eric Stirling graduating from the gunnery school

Fresh Air Farmer – Andrew Campbell

Search through your family photos and try to find a record of the family farm, or Mother and kids at work in the garden, or photographs of the farmstead buildings. Nothing. The older the photos, the more we are interested in what we see in the background.  People didn’t have the cameras to document their lives.  Or if they did, they documented their trips to other places, never appreciating the value of documenting their daily work.
 
 
Today, with social media our local farmers are documenting ‘ A Day on Farm’. Check out dairy farmer and key note speaker, Andrew Campbell, and his YouTube Channel. A treasure trove of information about today’s family farm. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYcqz2M9zDDO0B-Ley1itkw
 
 
“I’m Andrew Campbell & we’ve milked cows on our farm for a lot of years. And we’ve done it pretty much the same way since the milking machine came along. But now with new technology on dairies around the world, we’re jumping in with both feet. Follow along as we build a brand new barn with brand new equipment – all in an effort to make the cows as comfortable as possible.”
 
 
Andrew’s Website.     Andrew’s YouTube channel includes other farms he has filmed in the past.
 
 
Andrew, your community is proud of you and your family.   Thanks for sharing the life of the dairy farmer.  It will be interesting to see how long this historical record will last on the Internet.
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

-30-

Marie Williams-Gagnon, Hayter Publications

Gough Cemetery

July 28, 2019.  Community Memorial Service.  Gough Cemetery, 5018 Scotchmere Drive, Glencoe, Metcalfe Township, ON.  2:00 p.m. Bring a lawn chair. No rain date.   In case of rain, the event will relocate to The Archives, 178 McKellar Street, Glencoe, ON.

The Archives in Glencoe, Ontario, Canada

Open House!

May 15, 2019. Open House at The Archives! 178 McKellar Street, Glencoe, ON. Come and  see what we are all about.

10 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Ribbon Cutting at 11 a.m.  Re-dedication of Rotary Memorial.  Refreshments and tours.  Draws for free memberships.

Main Price – Ancestry DNA kit.

(4:00 p.m.  Guy St. Denis is presenting his new book at the Glencoe Library.  Then he is coming to do a Q&A at The Archives.  Books available for purchase) 
6:30 p.m.  Author Guy St. Denis signing his new book: The True Face of Sir Isaac Brock
Take your lunch break with us. There will be coffee and goodies. This is a fantastic new public space that is yours to enjoy. Buy a membership. Do your family tree. Borrow a book. Bring us your family documents to preserve.

Black History

February 20, 2019. “I Continue the Journey”.

Stan Grizzle and his father both have devoted their lives to fighting racism.

Join us for this important event during Black History month. 2:00 pm. 178 McKellar Street, Glencoe.  

70th Anniversary of the Melbourne Legion Branch #510

70th Anniversary of the Melbourne Legion Branch #510

Written by JoAnn Galbraith.

Melbourne, ON: On Wednesday evening October 17th, the Glencoe & District Historical Society celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Melbourne Legion Branch #510 at their building in Melbourne. President Lorne Munro welcomed those attending and introduced the guest speaker, JoAnn Galbraith.

JoAnn announced that this year (2018), the Melbourne Legion Executive decided to update Legion records and compile photos and dialogues that Veterans and their family members have accumulated over the years. Tom Jeffrey, Wendy Robertson, Red Noble, Richard Hathaway and JoAnn Galbraith were chosen to carry out this important archival work.  For the evening.

JoAnn prepared a large display of Legion photographs and research material. She then explained the history of the first Legions which were established in 1925 after WWI.  These were special places where veterans could gather to reminisce and support one another.   Read more