Historical Society of St. Catharines

Celebrating the history of St. Catharines and its vicinity

Archive for the ‘St. Catharines’ Category

Meetings – September 2017 to June 2018

Posted by dsharron on September 11, 2017

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 p.m., presentations begin at 7:30. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September 2017 to June 2018.  Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, September 28, 2017: “Guided Spirit Walk tours at Victoria Lawn.” Adrian Petry, Visitors Services Coordinator at the St. Catharines Museum, will talk about what it takes to put on the Guided Spirit Walk tours at Victoria Lawn.  The lecture will feature some of his favourite research materials from the collection.

Thursday, October 26, 2017: “Mapping the Historic Welland Canals one lock at a time – My Story.” Colleen Beard, Map Librarian and Head of the Map, Data & GIS Library at Brock University, will present her Historic Welland Canals Mapping Project that portrays the First, Second, and Third 19th century canals as they appear on today’s landscape. She will share her stories of the mapping adventure and demonstrate the interactive website where the digital content can be explored by others.

Thursday, November 23, 2017: The Historical Society presents its annual evening of Show and Tell, where Society members and friends are invited to bring in their family’s favourite local historical artifacts and step forward to explain their history and meaning. Please contact Dan at –
drsundy@vaxxine.com to participate. The ability to participate is open to everyone with a good story.

Thursday, January 25, 2018: “The Morningstar Mill.” Carla Mackie, Historical Services Coordinator for the City of St. Catharines will give an illustrated talk about the Morningstar Mill.

Thursday, February 22, 2018: “Welland Canals Landscape.” Terry Hughes Welland historian will recount the evolution of ships, the traffic organization, the Welland by-pass and the accidents to ships and canal structures.

Thursday, March 22, 2018: “The Archaeology & History of Welland Sailing Canalers. A locally developed ship-type!” Dr. Kimberly E. Monk, Department of History at Brock. (Dr. Monk will also be lecturing, Sunday, May 27 to the Canadian Canal Society about her research on the Shickluna shipyards in St. Catharines.)

Thursday, April 26, 2018: “Turney’s Crossroads.”  Dr. Laurence Steven, retired professor of English at Laurentian University in Sudbury, will explore the different manifestations through time of the area surrounding the point once known as Turney’s Crossroads – where St. David’s Road crossed Davis Road just north of both Lock 21 of the Third Canal, and the old Thorold Cemetery.

Thursday, May 24, 2018:  “John Brown House.”  More details to come.

Thursday, June 25, 2018: Group lecture from Lock 3 museum staff on preservation of your historical treasures at home. They will describe how to handle and store objects.

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Meetings – September 2016 to June 2017

Posted by dsharron on September 8, 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 – September 2016 to June 2017.  Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, September 22, 2016 – Rochelle Bush welcomes us to the BME Church on Geneva Street where she will discuss “Another Side of Harriet Tubman,” about an under-researched aspect of the life of Tubman.  The address for the BME Church is 92 Geneva – http://salemchapelbmechurch.ca/index.html.

Thursday, October 27, 2016 – Richard Merritt presents an illustrated talk entitled “Training for Armageddon”, describing the role that Camp Niagara in Niagara-on-the-Lake played during World War I.

Thursday, November 24, 2016 – Stan Skrzeszewski presents an illustrated talk entitled “Facer Street, the Foreign Quarter Stands Alone.”

Thursday, January 26, 2017 – The Historical Society presents its annual evening of Show and Tell, where Society members and friends are invited to bring in their family’s favourite local historical artifacts, and step forward to explain their history and meaning.

Thursday, February 23, 2017 – Dennis Gannon gives an illustrated talk about “World War I on the Home Front in St. Catharines.”

Thursday, March 23, 2017 – Isabel Bachmann will give an illustrated talk entitled “Medical Services on the Welland Ship Canal, 1913-1932,” describing measures taken to care for the workers injured while doing the dangerous work required to complete that project – field hospitals, first aid stations, doctors on call, ambulances, and the like, from one end of the Canal to the other.

Thursday, April 27, 2017 – Debra Antoncic, Director/Curator of the RiverBrink Art Museum in Queenston, will give an illustrated talk about “Art and Poetry on the Canal,” reviewing the art and poetry inspired by the four Welland Canals, 1824 to date – this a preview for a special exhibit on that subject that will open at Riverbrink in late September of this year.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 – Sarah King Head – Thorold’s Honourary Historian – will be giving an illustrated talk about “Tragedy at Lock 6: Worker Deaths on the Welland Ship Canal.”

Thursday, June 22, 2017 – Retired Brock History Professor Wes Turner will discuss the background to Confederation in this, the 150th anniversary year of Confederation.

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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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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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Roster of Speakers for the 2011-2012 Season

Posted by dsharron on September 1, 2011

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

Thursday, September 22, 2011 – Lecture: Anne McPherson, who is a direct descendant of the McCordick Family, will tell us about the McCordick family and the McCordick business. The McCordick leather works remained active in St. Catharines for many years … do you remember it?

Thursday, October 27, 2011 – Lecture: Dr. Wesley B. Turner, noted WAR of 1812 author and researcher, will provide insights into the life of Sir Isaac Brock the subject of his newly published book “The Astonishing General, the life and legacy of Sir Isaac Brock“

Thursday, November 24, 2011 – Show and Tell – an opportunity for members and guests to bring along their own item of interest and spend 3-5 minutes telling us about it … this fun evening has proven to be very entertaining in the past and is followed by a Christmas Social. (Members are encouraged to bring a small contribution to the bake table!) There will also be a book sales table for that little Christmas gift purchase.

Thursday, January 26, 2012 – Lecture: David Hemmings will bring John McFarland to life in his lecture titled: “The House of John McFarland, Niagara’s Timber Trader.” The lecture covers shipbuilding, boat repairs, prisoners in 2 wars, Fort Niagara, 2800 acres of timbered land, farms in Niagara and Thorold/Port Robinson, tea trading, his family, Keefer Mansion and various other houses and of course the newly refurbished McFarland House on the Niagara Parkway.

Thursday, February 23, 2012 – Lecture: Brian Nahri will present a unique lecture using actual diaries of two local black families, Talbot and Mills, to tell their story. This program coincides with February being Black History month.

Thursday, March 22, 2012 – Lecture: Janis Barlow will share with us her collection of information on the Kiwanis Horse Show, this once famous horse show that will surely bring back memories to those who once attended this event.

Thursday, April 26, 2012
7:30 p.m. – ANNUAL Meeting – presentation of annual reports and elections. (note: elections this year will be for up to 6 Directors only as the executive positions do not expire until 2013. If any member is interested in standing for a directorship, please advise any executive member).

8:00 p.m. (estimate) – Lecture: Alun Hughes – his lectures are always well attended and very “animated” …. stay tuned for the title!

Thursday, May 24, 2012
6:30 p.m. – Oille Fountain Potting Ceremony will take place at the Oille Fountain on the corner of James Street and King Street.

7:30 p.m. – note: this will take place at the Downtown Centennial Library – Mills Room. Lecture: “Oille and Water; the rest of the story” – Dr. Lucius S. Oille – his life, career and legacy. Long time Society members John Burtniak, Dennis Gannon and Bill Stevens will be collaborating on this presentation.

Thursday, June 28, 2012
6:30 p.m. – Celebration of William Hamilton Merritt’s Birthday 219 years ago on July 3, 1793 – a brief ceremony will take place at the National Historic Plaque outside the museum’s canal side entrance, followed by serving of birthday cake!

7:30 p.m. – Lecture: John McKenty, author of a book titled Canada Cycle & Motor, The CCM Story will tell us about the Welland Vale Manufacturing Company, which merged with five bicycle operations to form CCM in 1899. As the Greater Circle Route passes by the museum, if you have a CCM bicycle, why not bike to the meeting (or bring it along) and show it to us!

Program is subject to change without notice.

For 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.

Posted in Historical Society, Meetings, Special Events, St. Catharines, War of 1812, William Hamilton Merritt | Leave a Comment »

Fall Meetings 2011

Posted by dsharron on August 25, 2011

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. – all 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 22 – Anne McPherson will be speaking about the McCordick and Smith families of St. Catharines.

Thursday, October 27 – Dr. Wesley Turner will talk about his new book, The Astonishing General: The life and legacy of Sir Isaac Brock.

Thursday, November 24 – “Show and Tell” and Christmas Social.  Everyone is invited to bring and show an item of historical interest (preferably a local item).  Anyone wishing to bring treats for the social afterward are encouraged to do so.

For 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.

 

Posted in Historical Society, Meetings, St. Catharines, War of 1812 | 1 Comment »

Unstrung Hero

Posted by dsharron on August 11, 2010

Contributed by Gail Benjafield

(A version of this article was first published as an ‘Ode to St. Catharines’, in The Downtowner, Vol.5, no. 2 February/March 1989; it is also a feature in the Summer 2010 Society Newsletter)

In the mid-19th century, St. Catharines was graced by the presence of an extraordinary citizen whose name has since become synonymous with doggerel, or rather wretched poetry. The kind of florid Victorian poetry was practiced by many, but James McIntyre became a master. His works and that of four other Canadian poets of that era have been immortalized in W. A. Deacon’s book ‘The Four James’. All four shared the same given name.

James McIntyre was born in 1828 in Scotland and emigrated with his parents, Peter and Primrose McIntyre, to St. Catharines in 1841. In 1850 he opened a business as a cabinetmaker and undertaker in Thorold.  Cousins of James were in the same business in downtown St. Catharines, variously known as McIntyre’s Furniture and Undertaking on St. Paul Street. Until recently, another funeral home, Passmore’s, worked from that same building on the SE corner of St. Paul and Carlisle. One cousin of James became prominent in his own right by becoming the city’s mayor in the latter part of the 19th century.

But none of the McIntyre’s shared the zeal for literature that infused James’ life. He penned poetry on anything that came to mind, and is immortalized for his best known bad poem Ode to the Mammoth Cheese which he wrote about the Oxford County dairy industry. He may have moved to that county, but he is one of St. Catharines unsung, or as I have labeled him, unstrung heroes. He plied his trade in Ingersoll, and penned his poetry at off times.  His neighbour in Ingersoll, James Harris, created a legendary-sized piece of cheese which went on show at exhibitions. After Harris molded the Big Cheese, James McIntyre wrote:

We have seen thee, Queen of cheese

Laying quietly at your ease

Gently fanned by evening breeze,

Thy fair form no flies dare seize

He has become known as The Cheese Poet.  When he heard the cheese was going to France for an exhibition, he added these lines:

May you not receive a sear as

We have heard that Mr. Harris

Intends to send you off as far as

The great World Show at Paris.

Doesn’t scan? Consider then McIntyre’s only known offering to our own city – he penned the following poem which he read at the Welland House at an Oddfellows Grand Lodge banquet:

St. Catharines famed for her mineral waters

And for the beauty of her daughters,

For some do worship at the shrines

Of the fair St. Catharines.

St.Catharines your greatness you inherit

From the genius of a Merritt

You still would be a village dreary

But for this canal from Lake Erie

But on its bosom there doth float

Full many a ship and steamboat,

Brings world’s commerce to your doors

And many gifts on you it pours.

Among its many great rewards

It gives you dry docks and shipyard

To drive your mills great water power

It doth give you as a dower.

Since we above did lines compose,

Through new canal vast steam it flows,

The lock gates at the hill of Thorold

Cannot be equaled in the world.

Well what can one say to that?  Some would say that this ‘poetry’ rivals the world’s famous bad poet, McGonnigle. I, for one, am glad to have found at least one of McIntyre’s poems which ostensibly celebrates our city.

Gail Benjafield is a member of the Society, and proud owner of a copy of The Four James.

Posted in St. Catharines | 1 Comment »

Future Meetings of the Historical Society

Posted by dsharron on March 5, 2010

Meetings – 7:30 p.m. – all 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.

March 25 – “History of St. John’s Anglican Church in Port Dalhousie” by Brian Leyton – Society Member – Come out and learn about the heritage of this well established church, its congregation and its connection to the community in this “fire-side” style presentation.   

April 22 – Annual General Meeting and presentation: “Brock Monument Restoration” – by Peter Martin, Military Co-ordinator at Fort George.  Mr. Martin will present a slide show and talk on the restoration of Brock’s Monument in preparation for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
 
May 27 – “History of Local Mills and their Packaging Techniques” – by Nina Stahlschmidt, local quilter and author. A presentation and “trunk show” on local mills and their forms of packaging – from wooden barrels, to cloth bags, to paper. Nina will have many bags and quilts to show and invites members/guests to bring along any of their own bags to show and share.

For 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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Programs for Winter 2010

Posted by dsharron on January 5, 2010

Happy New Year from the Historical Society of St. Catharines.  We hope to see you out at many of our meetings this year.

Meetings in the Winter 2009 – 7:30 p.m. – all 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.

January 28 – ” Cholera Reaches Niagara 1832″ by Elizabeth Finnie – Society Secretary.  With all of the pandemic talk these past few months, this is a timely look at a serious outbreak in Niagara over 170 years ago.

February 25 – “Charting the Great Swivel Link – Maps of the First Welland Canal” by Alun Hughes – Society Member.  What better way to explore the history of the early Welland Canal than through a look over the maps of this important system by Brock University’s resident cartography expert and local historian.  

March 25 – “History of St. John’s Anglican Church in Port Dalhousie” by Brian Leyton – Society Member – Come out and learn about the heritage of this well established church, its congregation and its connection to the community in this “fire-side” style presentation.   

For 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.

Posted in Churches, Historical Society, Meetings, Port Dalhousie, St. Catharines, Welland Canal | Leave a Comment »

Honour Roll of Members of St. Catharines Sports Hall of Famers

Posted by dsharron on June 12, 2009

Compiled by Bill Stevens:

1990 – Jack Gatecliff, Walt McCollum, Rudy Pilous, Ashton Morrison, Roy ‘Pung’ Morton, Stan Mikita, Peter Neumann, Leroy Pickard

1991 – Rex Stimers, Lloyd Alguire, Vic Teal, Bill Whitaker, Jack Lowrey, Neil Campbell, Gerry Cheevers, Dennis ‘Duke’ Diggins

1992 – Tom Garriock, Marianne Allen, George ‘Mooner’ Manoogian, Douglas ‘Percy’ Favell Sr., Joseph Thomas James ‘Joe’ Cheevers, Brian Cullen, Warren Dell

1993 – Craig Swayze, George Howard, Bill DeMars, Joe & Rose Engemann, Peter Cameron, Bobby Thorpe

1994 – Walter Marsh, Jim Minards, George ‘Toughy’ Hope, Frank ‘Geezil’ Madsen, Douglas Cove, Christine Jurgenson, Marilyn Bodogh

1995 – Angie Pastore, Doug Favell Jr., Ed Dixon, Frank Martin, Fred Conradi, Joe McCaffery, Douglas J. ‘Ozzie’ Hill, Bill ‘ Whitey’ Frick

1996 – Peter Bicknell, Marty Calder, Steve Oneschuk, Wendy Wiebe, Wilfred Garrett, Alen Kelogg, Tim Rigby, Marg Schram

1997 – Susan Erskine, Edgar L. ‘Ed’ Moir, George Stauffer, Davey Moore, Helen Chyplik, Edward ‘Ted’ Howe, Douglas Court

1998 – Joan Gray-Brunshaw, Harvey Hutcheon, Jack Rountree, Bill Sadler, Ross Wilson, Elmer Vasko, J. Stan Elliott, David Howes, Benny Newman, Armand Difruscio

1999 – Chris Critelli, Marvin Edwards, Carl ‘Gus’ Madsen, Ivan Little, Douglas McNichol, Ronald French, John Newman, Dale House

2000 – WBC Burgoyne, Brian Bellows, Gerry Hinton, Hector Pothier, Mike Martyk, Jim Lamore, Ted Collins, Jerry Fitzgerald

2001 – Harry Edmonstone, Jim McNulty, Gil Boa, Karen Strong, Jim Robertson, Dennis Hull

2002 – James Douglas, Ken Hodgkins, Bob Davis, John Stevens, Harry Argent

2003 – Clint Page, Chester Warchol, David Dore, Bill ‘Lefty’ Allen, Virginia Thompson

2004 – Tom Smelle, Carl Smelle, Donald ‘Nip’ O’Hearn, Craig Woodhouse, Levio ‘Red’ Ferracuti

2005 – Bob Luey, Jimmy Joy, Terry O’Malley, Doug Robinson, Al McDonough

2006 – No inductees

2007 – Peter Berge, Gloria Campbell, Dean McBride, Rob Stoddart, Hap Walters

2008 – Ken Croft, Norm Defelice, Bob Gear, John Mouradian, Neil Stevens

2009 – Bruce Erskine, Marianne Groat, Robert ‘Buff’ McCready, George ‘Clickey’ Taylor, Mark Walters

Posted in Awards, Sports, St. Catharines | 2 Comments »