Historical Society of St. Catharines

Celebrating the history of St. Catharines and its vicinity

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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Speaker change for April 26 Meeting

Posted by dsharron on April 12, 2012

On April 26, John Burtniak will replace Alun Hughes as the primary speaker following the Annual Meeting.  Mr. Burtniak will be speaking on “Menus of Niagara”.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 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.

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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.

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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 »

Extra Meeting Scheduled for June 23

Posted by dsharron on May 24, 2011

Due to the severe wind storm in April, the Annual General Meeting was cancelled.  The Annual General Meeting has been re-scheduled for May 26.  The speaker will be Gail Collins on the topic of home children.  On June 23, John Burtniak will present on the April topic of the historic churches of Merritton.

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, May 26 – Gail Collins will be speaking about British Home children with a particular focus on local descendants. A “Home Children” quilt will be shown.  The Annual General Meeting is also on this date.

Thursday, June 23 – John Burtniak will be presenting on the historic Merritton Churches.

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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Spring Meetings 2011

Posted by dsharron on April 7, 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, April 28 – Annual General Meeting and John Burtniak will be presenting on Merritton Churches.

Thursday, May 26 – Gail Collins will be speaking about British Home children with a particular focus on local descendants. A “Home Children” quilt will be shown.

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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New Website Page – History Tidbits

Posted by dsharron on February 24, 2011

At the top of the Society website, you will see a new tab entitled “History Tidbits”.  This section will feature interesting historic pieces that were featured in the Society’s newsletter over the years.

Check in from time to time to see the new entries.  Enjoy.

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Winter / Spring Meetings 2011

Posted by dsharron on January 10, 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, January 27 – dann j. Broyld, a PhD candidate from Howard University, will speak about Black Americans and Canadians along the border during the ten years before the American Civil War.  The presentation is entitled, “Borderland Blacks: Rochester, New York and St. Catharines, 1850 to 1860.”

Thursday, February 24 – Harald Ensslen, a local architect, will present “Why architecture matters: mid-century design in St. Catharines”.  Gain an understanding of our city’s unique structures.

Thursday, March 24 – Alun Hughes, Brock University geography professor and local historian, will speak about Joseph Pell and the Inception of the Welland Canal.

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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The Women’s Literary Club of St. Catharines

Posted by dsharron on December 4, 2010

By: Bill Stevens 

Shaeffe's "Path to Victory" monument

The Women’s Literary Club of St. Catharines was organized when Mrs. J. G. Currie, considered the founding member, held a meeting at the YMCA on Queen Street on December 3, 1892 at which fifteen women attended. Mrs. Mary E. McClive became the first president. The group grew to forty-one members within the first year. The Club met in the afternoon in various halls: the Banner Hall, the Beaver Hall, Y.M.C.A., Wherry’s Hall, Church Sunday Schools, the Oban Inn when it was where C.K.T.B. is now, Mill’s Memorial, Camera Club, Chamber of Commerce, and St. Hilda’s School for Girls on Yates Street. When Mrs. Currie suffered an accident in 1898, and was unable to go out she invited the Club to her home. Others followed suit and it became the custom of members to entertain the Club in their homes.

The 1890’s was an era of horse and buggy, but many of the members also had bicycles. They would go cycling all the way to Grimsby Beach where one of the members had a summer cottage. In 1896 the Club decided to hold a Pilgrimage to see historical sites in Niagara On-The-Lake where William Kirby acted as their guide. It was such a success that this became an annual affair known as The Pilgrimage to Historical sites. Livery stables, Sanderson’s on Mary Street and Traceys, would provide the club with vans or large carioles for these outings. In 1898, five vans assembled to convey the members to Queenston Heights.

It was through the study and promotion of this area’s history that resulted in the Club installing several markers at historical sites. The Club placed markers at historic spots: at St. David’s commemorating the Burning of St. David’s by the Americans in 1813; one at Mackenzie House; one at the Homestead of Laura Secord; and one at the foot of Queenston Heights to commemorate the strategy of General Sheaffe’s Path to Victory.

It was also during the first decade of the Club, that Mrs. Currie wrote the “Life of Laura Secord and Canadian Reminiscences.” When this was published she used the funds to promote the erection of a monument to Laura Secord. She importuned the Government to help and in 1910 the present monument at Queenston Heights was unveiled. The Literary Club attended and laid a wreath. Newspapers reported that over 3000 attended the ceremony.

The club held its last official meeting on February 19, 1994.  The archival records of the Club are available at the Special Collections and Archives in the Brock University Library.

 

Shaeffe's "Path to Victory" monum

Monument Sheaffe’s Path to Victory

Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe was born in 1763 in Boston, Massachusetts.He was a member of the British 5th Foot that came into Upper Canada in 1787. By 1802 Sheaffe was in command of part of the 49th Regiment stationed at Fort George. When the American force invaded at Queenston and General Brock was killed, it was Sheaffe who took command and eventually led the British forces to victory at Queenston Heights. In 1908, The Women’s Literary Club of St. Catharines erected a marker near the site where Sheaffe led his forces up to the heights of Queenston. The Club minutes of June 5, 1909 read: “At the lowest spot on the mountain range there will be a marker to show where General Sheaffe ascended the Heights taking the enemy in the rear, producing such a glorious results. This will be called “Sheaffe’s Pass” to commemorate the third engagement of the 13th October 1812.”  The marker reads: “Sheaffe’s Path to Victory October 13th 1812”

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