Historical Society of St. Catharines

Celebrating the history of St. Catharines and its vicinity

Meetings – February to June 2016

Posted by dsharron on February 3, 2016

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00). Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission. Doors open at 7:00. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – February to June 2016.  Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, February 25, 2016: Kathleen Powell, the St. Catharines Museum’s Supervisor of Historical Services/Curator, will offer an illustrated talk about the Fallen Workers Project, dedicated to memorializing the 137 workers who died while constructing the Welland Ship Canal, 1914 to 1935 —the grim statistics of their deaths, the origin of the memorial project, and the historical puzzles encountered in trying to determine who exactly were the victims and how they died.

Thursday, March 24, 2016: Historian-archaeologist-genealogist Brian Narhi will present another of his popular illustrated talks about our local history — subject not yet determined, but come join us and be surprised!

Thursday. April 28, 2016: Historian and prolific author David Hemmings will offer an illustrated talk entitled “Virgil & Homer — History?” based on books he has recently published about two neglected topics one on the important Niagara crossroads town of Virgil, the other on the vanishing village of Homer.

Thursday. May 26. 2016: Historian Peter Vronsky, Professor of History at Ryerson University and author of a recent book on the Fenian Raid, will offer an illustrated talk about this, the last foreign invasion of Canada which occurred in June 1866, 150 years ago next month.

Thursdaya June 23, 2016: For this special meeting to be held at Rodman Hall Art Centre, historian Nancy Cameron will give an illustrated talk about “Early Artists of St. Catharines.” Come learn about the artists and see examples of their work.

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Fall 2015 Meetings

Posted by dsharron on September 8, 2015

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00). Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission. Doors open at 7:00. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September to November 2015

Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, September 24, 2015 – Every Picture Tells a Story.  David Webb, former staff member at Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, will give a World War I family photo study. Members of the audience are asked to bring in family photographs related to World War I. David will analyze the photographs, trying to draw out more information about the wartime experiences of those family members.

Thursday, October 22, 2015 – The Standard and WWI.  Dave Willer, HSSC board member and newsletter editor, will give a presentation on the St. Catharines Standard’s coverage of the Great War.

Thursday, November 26, 2015 – Experiences of a front line nurse in WWI.  local author, Elizabeth McLean, will present on the Mayholm Foundation’s newest book, “They Called Her Canada: The War Diaries of Nursing Sister Bessie Beyer.”   The book details the experiences of this front line nurse from St. Catharines during WWI.  Bessie also happens to be the mother of Corlene Dwyer-Taylor of the Mayholme Foundation.  Copies of the book will be available for purchase after the meeting.

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Winter Meetings 2015 – January through June

Posted by dsharron on February 5, 2015

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00). Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission. Doors open at 7:00. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – January to June 2015

Programs Subject to Change

Thursday, January 22, 2015 – Presentation by David Hemmings – Captured in the War of 1812: The Fate of the Prisoners of War. David will talk about the American handling of British/Canadian prisoners of war during the War of 1812. The prisoners were held in a series of camps scattered throughout the north-eastern United States. The treatment of the POWs differed greatly depending on whether the prisoner was an officer or an enlisted man. And something known as a “parole” was an important element in the whole prisoner of war process.

Thursday, February 26, 2015 – Presentation by David Webb – The Farmerettes during World War I. Former Parks Canada employee, and World War I expert, David Webb will talk about the institution of the Farmerettes during World War One – a way of utilizing women to take up the slack in agricultural work at a time when tens of thousands of peacetime agricultural workers were called away into the military. The Farmerettes proved to be so successful that they were utilized again during World War II.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 – Presentation by Brian Narhi, Co-chairman of the St. Catharines Heritage Committee and local history researcher, whose presentation will be “Tales from a Tombstone.”  The mystery is: Whose tombstone?

Thursday, April 23, 2015 – Presentation by Paul Pattison – The St. Catharines Flying Club, the Niagara District Airport, and the Elementary Flying Training School during World War II. Paul Pattison will present the life and times biography of Fred Pattison 1897 – 1983, which chronicles his growing up on a farm in Merritton, 1st World War, U.S. Marines, his affiliations in the automotive industry, establishing the first Niagara District airport, and his involvement in the training of pilots during World War II.

Thursday, May 28, 2015 – Presentation by Carla Mackie and Alan Veale – Morningstar Mill’s Water Supply: the history of Beaver Dams Creek (the cultural landscape of the area). The meeting will take place at the St. Catharines Historical Museum.

Thursday, June 25, 2015 – Tour of Rodman Hall starting at 6:30 pm for house tour and 7:30 pm for an illustrated talk. Presentation by Elizabeth Finnie -“The Other Merritts” the distinguished descendants of William Hamilton Merritt (in a meeting to be held at Rodman Hall).

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Fall Meetings 2014 – September through November

Posted by dsharron on September 22, 2014

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00).  Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission.  Doors open at 7:00.  Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September through November 2014

Programs Subject to Change

Thursday, September 25, 2014: Presentation by Ian Brindle: “Brock University: The Beginnings” – A deeply researched look at how Brock University came to be and the first years of its existence.  This is Brock’s 50th anniversary year so this talk is very well timed.

Thursday, October 23, 2014: Presentation by Nancy Cameron: “Tales for an Autumn’s Eve: Accounts of the Strange, Curious, and Mysterious from Downtown’s Past” – This illustrated talk presents a number of colourful stories from downtown’s little-known and more eccentric history, featuring extraordinary and ‘other-worldly’ events and characters.

Thursday, November 27, 2014: Show and Tell and Christmas Social.  Members will bring their artifacts, old photos and collectibles and spend up to 5 minutes telling us about them.

There will be no meetings in December.

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Change in meeting speakers – April to June 2014

Posted by dsharron on April 15, 2014

Due to a scheduling conflict, there will be a shuffling of speakers for the upcoming meetings.  Starting in April, the following speakers will present:

Thursday, April 24, 2014: Lecture, Annual Meeting and Elections. Presentation by Sheridan Alder – The Ability to Support Herself: British Army wives and Families on the Brink of 1812.

Thursday, May 22, 2014: Presentation by Mike Babiski – History of Diving in St. Catharines and Niagara including artefacts display.

Thursday, June 26, 2014: Presentation by Brian Narhi, Society Vice President – The Parnell and Read Families: An illustrated talk based upon personal papers of Fred Parnell who was the Historical Society’s first president.

Meetings continue to be at the St. Catharines Museum starting at 7:30 pm.  Doors open at 7:00.

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Meeting Schedule – February to June 2014

Posted by dsharron on March 22, 2014

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00).  Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission.  Doors open at 7:00.  Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – February to June 2014

Programs Subject to Change

Thursday, February 27, 2014: Autos and Auto People of St. Catharines – a 5-part presentation by five Society members.

Thursday, March 27, 2014: Presentation by Roger Bradshaw – A Photographic Journey of Canadian War Memorials, Battlefield Sites and Cemeteries throughout Europe.

Thursday, April 24, 2014: Lecture, Annual Meeting and Elections. Presentation by Brian Narhi, Society Vice President – The Parnell and Read Families: An illustrated talk based upon personal papers of Fred Parnell who was the Historical Society’s first president.

Thursday, May 22, 2014: Presentation by Mike Babiski – History of Diving in St. Catharines and Niagara including artefacts display.

Thursday, June 26, 2014: Presentation by Sheridan Alder – The Ability to Support Herself: British Army wives and Families on the Brink of 1812.

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Meeting Schedule – September 2013 to January 2014

Posted by dsharron on September 9, 2013

Meetings – 7:30 p.m.  Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission.  Doors open at 7:00.  Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September 2013 through January 2014

Programs Subject to Change

Thursday, September 26, 2013 – Lecture by Paul Chapman on “The Electric Street Rail System in St. Catharines”.  At the St. Catharines Museum. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.  Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow. Refreshments after lecture.

Thursday, October 24, 2013 – Lecture by John Hewitt on “The Garden City Arena” – the arena opened 75 years ago this December 2013.  John will tell us about the background, the opening and some of the events that have taken place there. At the St. Catharines Museum.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m.  Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow. Refreshments after lecture.

Thursday, November 28, 2013 – Show and Tell and Christmas Social.  Members will bring their artifacts, old photos and collectibles and spend up to 5 minutes telling us about them.  At the St. Catharines Museum. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.  Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow.  Refreshments after lecture.

Christmas Break

Thursday, January 23, 2014 – Lecture by Richard Green to recognize “Two Hundred Years of the Masonic Lodge in St. Catharines.”  One of the oldest lodges in Ontario, the lodge will be two hundred years old in 2014.  Doors open at 7:00 p.m.  with tour of the Lodge to precede the lecture.  The Lodge is located on Court Street at the corner of Centre Street.
* Note: the St. Catharines Museum will generously open its traveling exhibit gallery for viewing a half hour before each meeting at no cost to the Society.

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Venue change for June 27 meeting

Posted by dsharron on June 20, 2013

Please spread the word that the June 27 meeting will be at the St. Catharines Museum, not the Library as originally scheduled.

Thursday, June 27, 2013 – Lecture by Brian Narhi on “The Burgoyne and Glenridge Bridges”.   Doors to the Museum open at 7:00 p.m. Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow.

We will also celebrate William Hamilton Merritt’s Birthday with cake and refreshments.

We hope to see you there.

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Revised Meeting Schedule through 2013

Posted by dsharron on April 13, 2013

Lecture Program – April 25, 2013 through December 2013

Program Subject to Change

Thursday, April 25, 2013 – Lecture by Linda Bramble on “Confederates and Civil War Spies in St. Catharines”. At the St. Catharines Museum. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Society Annual meeting and elections start at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow. Refreshments after lecture.

Thursday, May 23, 2013 – Lecture by Nancy Cameron on “Downtown’s Historic Gardens (and Noted Gardeners)” At the St. Catharines Museum. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow. Refreshments after lecture.

Thursday, June 27, 2013 – Lecture by Brian Narhi on “The Burgoyne and Glenridge Bridges”.   Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow. We will also celebrate William Hamilton Merritt’s Birthday with cake and refreshments.

Thursday, September 26, 2013Lecture by Paul Chapman on “The Electric Street Rail System in St. Catharines”. At the St. Catharines Museum. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow. Refreshments after lecture.

Thursday, October 24, 2013Lecture by John Hewitt on “The Garden City Arena” – the arena opened 75 years ago this December 2013. John will tell us about the background, the opening and some of the events that have taken place there. At the St. Catharines Museum. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow. Refreshments after lecture.

Thursday, November 28, 2013Show and Tell and Christmas Social. Members will bring their artifacts, old photos and collectibles and spend up to 5 minutes telling us about them. At the St. Catharines Museum. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Brief Society meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. with lecture to follow. Refreshments after lecture.

Christmas Break

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Society Meetings for 2012-2013

Posted by dsharron on August 22, 2012

Meetings – 7:30 p.m.  Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission.  Doors open at 7:00.  Guests are welcome.

Thursday, September 27, 2012
Part #1 – Speaker: Roger Bradshaw – A photographic reminder of the War of 1812 – a 25 minute visual created by Roger that captures Niagara’s involvement in the War.
Part #2 – Speaker: Des Corran – A long time member who has been involved in military re-enactments for many years will give a 25 minute presentation on re-enactments and display some interesting items he uses to do so, along with an update of what will be taking place at the upcoming Queenston Heights event.

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Speaker: Mike Conley“The History Behind the Picture” featuring some of his most historic photos taken during his 28 years as a local newspaper photographer. The photos just didn’t happen and Mike will explain some of the activity involved in “getting the right shot”!

Thursday, November 22, 2012
Show and Tell: Theme – bring your oldest photograph of St. Catharines (place, person or event), your oldest book or artifact.  Members will be given up to 5 minutes to present their item. Christmas Social to follow.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 – at BME Salem Chapel – doors open at 7:00 p.m.
In recognition of Black History month, the Society has partnered with the BME Church, Salem Chapel to present a special program in Commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman. (Harriet died on March 10, 1913 in Auburn, New York)
We are pleased that our guest speaker will be Dr. Kate Larson, from Boston, Mass., pre-eminent researcher and author on Harriet Tubman.

Thursday, February 28, 2013
Speaker: David Hemmings“Grantham Township area known as McNab” – A somewhat forgotten area of Niagara, David is undertaking an extensive search for all things McNab. If you have any historical photos, etc., David would love to have a copy.

Thursday, March 28, 2013
Speaker: Brian NarhiWar of 1812 in Literature

Thursday, April 25, 2013
Annual Meeting. Speaker to be announced.

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Nancy Cameron will present an illustrated talk titled “Downtown’s Historic Gardens (and Noted Gardeners)”

Thursday, June 27, 2013 – at the Downtown Library at 7:30 p.m. – doors open at 7:00 p.m.
Dennis Gannon and Brian Narhi will present an illustrated History of the Downtown MarketFor further information on Society gatherings, click on “Special Events”.  Check back often for future presentations.

* Note: the St. Catharines Museum will generously open its traveling exhibit gallery for viewing a half hour before each meeting at no cost to the Society.

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