Historical Society of St. Catharines

Celebrating the history of St. Catharines and its vicinity

Archive for the ‘William Hamilton Merritt’ Category

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 »

Treasures from the Vaults – St. Catharines Museum – March 2009

Posted by dsharron on April 1, 2009


Curator Arden Phair holding the Trans-Canada / McKee Trophy won by Murton Seymour in 1940.

At every meeting, the St. Catharines Museum brings out one of the interesting artifacts from its collection to share with the Society.

This week Arden Phair selected the McKee / Trans-Canada Trophy.  This trophy was awarded to Murton Seymour in 1940.  Murton Seymour was born in St. Catharines in 1892.  When a young boy, his family moved to British Columbia.  Out west, he learned to fly and helped to start one of the first flying clubs in Canada.  His interest in flight eventually led him to joining the Air Force during World War I.  

After the War, Seymour returned to St. Catharines.  He represented the City as a solicitor for over forty years.  He was also responsible for incorporating the St. Catharines Flying Club in 1928 and became a founding member and director of the Canadian Flying Club Association.  When the Second World War broke, Seymour’s influence was pivotal in converting flying clubs all over Canada into training facilities for war pilots.  For these critical efforts, Seymour was given the McKee / Trans-Canada Trophy in 1940 for his efforts undertaken in 1939. This award was bestowed to the individual who best advanced aviation in Canada.  Seymour was also inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame and was made an officer in the Order of the British Empire.

The Trophy was donated by Elizabeth Seymour – 2002.172.1.

Posted in Special Events, St. Catharines, William Hamilton Merritt, World War I, World War II | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Birthday Mr. Merritt

Posted by dsharron on June 24, 2008

Statue of William Hamilton Merritt in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario.It isn’t everyday that you turn 215!

The Historical Society will be celebrating William Hamilton Merritt’s birthday on Thursday, July 3.  The event will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Merritt statue on St. Paul Street at the east end of the Burgoyne Bridge (opposite of the Cenotaph).  It will include a historical walk around Mr. Merritt’s old neighbourhood including sights of the first and second Welland Canals. 

All are welcome to attend.

Posted in Historical Society, Special Events, St. Catharines, Welland Canal, William Hamilton Merritt | Leave a Comment »