Welcome to the Oxford Historical Society!

Andrew Pattullo
Andrew Pattullo; Photo Courtesy of Woodstock Museum, NHS.

The Oxford Historical Society was founded in 1897 by Andrew Pattullo, (pictured on the right), in order to preserve and promote the history of Oxford County, in south-west Ontario by recording oral histories and interviews with knowledgeable Oxford County residents. For the past 100 years, the OxHS has worked to further public interest in the history of the county and to maintain records for future generations.

Andrew Pattullo was a local business man who came to Woodstock in 1875 as a junior partner of the Sentinel newspaper. In 1880 he bought out his brother’s interest in the Sentinel and merged it with the rival Review newspaper to form the Sentinel-Review, which is the current newspaper of Woodstock. He was the president of the Canadian Press Association from 1890 to 1892, the founder of the Ontario Good Roads Association and served as MPP for North Oxford in 1886, 1892 and 1902.

Maid of the Mist Fountain. Photo courtesy of Chris Packman
Maid of the Mist Fountain; Photo courtesy of Chris Packman

The Patullo fountain, known as the Maid of the Mist,  was erected in downtown Woodstock to commemorate his memory. The fountain was officially opened on May 29, 1917 and can still be seen today. The Society publishes a quarterly newsletter, Pattullo Press in honour of the fountain.

The Oxford Historical Society is here to:
Promote – the history of the people and places of Oxford County and Woodstock
Develop – brochures for walking tours of Woodstock, driving tours of Oxford County
Prepare – photographic exhibits of buildings and sites in Woodstock and Oxford County
Maintain – an archival collection of material about Woodstock and Oxford County
Assist – visitors and students researching local Oxford County history
Publish – a quarterly newsletter in January, April, July and October; books and brochures

Throughout the year the Society presents free talks, usually historical in nature, on a variety of topics. The majority of these presentations are held on the last Wednesday of the month at 6:45pm at the Woodstock Museum, NHS. At these meetings there is a guest speaker, who is knowledgeable about some aspect of the city, the county or of other historical areas. The speaker is followed by a refreshments and a chance for members to talk with one another. Our Events page lists the latest meeting information.

The Society also arranges Christmas Home Tours, an annual outing, walking tours and participates in events with other local organizations and various trade shows.

Oxford County has a rich and vibrant history and is conveniently located at the crossroads of the 401 and the 403. It can easily be reached by road from London, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Stratford and many other towns throughout South Western Ontario. It is also easily accessible by Via Rail as it is part of the Windsor to Montreal corridor. Oxford County is home to many museums, cemeteries, historic buildings and a vibrant history filled with interesting characters.

Please click on the map link for travel directions to Oxford County

Please check the Upcoming Events tab to view the latest events.There are no meetings in February, June, July, August or December.

If you have a topic that you wish to present to the Oxford Historical Society (OxHS), please contact us at info@oxhs.ca.

The Society operates a Resource Centre located in the old Governor’s Building located in Court House Square, in Woodstock, Ontario. To find out the hours and more about the Resource Centre click on the Contact tab.

There are many exciting opportunities to volunteer with the Oxford Historical Society. To find out more about the opportunities please click on the Volunteer tab.

If you wish to become a member of the OxHS please click on the Membership tab.