Public Meeting Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Join Oxford County Archivist Liz Dommasch and Archives Technician Megan Lockhart for an evening with the Archives. Liz and Megan will be discussing the variety of programs and services the Archives offers to their patrons and community members.

The Oxford County Archives is the official repository for archival records created by, for and about Oxford County including municipal and community records from community organizations, businesses, personal archival collections, schools, churches, and more. The Archives offers a variety of research services and has a reference library available for patrons who are looking for family history information or information on the general history of Oxford County. Staff at the Archives also provide basic conservation services and have developed a variety of educational and public programs which allows members of the Oxford County community to learn about local heritage and culture, and engage with archival collections.

The Oxford County Archives’ website contains a number of online exhibits about local history, educational resources for teachers, students, and families, as well as fun interactive activity pages and online puzzles:  Learn more about what the Archives is and what they do with guest speakers Liz and Megan.

Join the Oxford Historical Society and the Oxford County Archives for a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 6:30pm.

The Zoom link is:

For all Zoom meetings use this ID#: 81906248857, no password is required.

The Zoom link will open approximately 10 minutes before the start time of a meeting

Back in the Day…

Beachville Lime Kilns, postcard from the J. Gruszka Collection, property of the OxHS

Hello Everyone,

This guest post is provided by the Ingersoll Senior Centre, via Oxford Historical Society members Doug & Janice Ferguson.

On-line presentation series hosted free of charge by the Ingersoll 50+ Activity Centre. All district residents over 50 years of age are welcome. You do NOT need a Centre membership for these presentations, nor do you need to live in Ingersoll.

Beachville Bedrock

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 2pm

Dr. Stephanie Radu, curator of the Beachville District Museum, takes you through the limestone valley, tracing the story of the early companies and the generations of people who worked there, and describing how 20th century advancements changed the lime business.

The Street Where You Live

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 2 pm

The history and stories behind the naming of a number of Ingersoll streets where you travel, where you work and play, and where you live. Told by Scott Gillies, curator of the Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum.

Discovering Your Oxford Roots

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 2pm

Whether you are a researcher or simply a curious browser, a treasure trove of Oxford County’s past is available through Oxford County library resources. Better still, much of it is as close as your computer. Your guide is Vicki Brenner, Digital Literacy and Local History Technician at the Ingersoll library.

Reserve for each at 519-485-3869 or

These are Zoom events. After you register, you will be sent an email with a link. At presentation time, simply click on the link and you will be connected.

An Ornamental Christmas!

Hello Everyone,

This guest post is provided by Kathleen Watkins, the Culture & Heritage Program Coordinator for the Annandale National Historic Site in Tillsonburg, ON.

1950’s Etched Christmas Balls

This year, in celebration of Christmas, the Pratt Gallery created a virtual school program “An Ornamental Christmas” highlighting the history of Christmas ornaments.

Here is the link for their YouTube video: An Ornamental Christmas

Pictured on the left is a reproduction of a 1900 European Christmas ornament.

Community Partners & Sponsors

The Oxford Historical Society would like to thank the Canadian Heritage Museum Assistance Grant Program for the generous grant that we received. This grant will be used in maintaining our Resource Centre, which is home to a large number of documents and records relating to Oxford County.

Along with the Canadian Heritage Grant the Society also receives grants from other organizations like Oxford Community Foundation and the City of Woodstock. These grants enable us to publish books, bring in guest speakers, hold special events like the Christmas Tour of Homes, and take part in many activities throughout the year.

The Society throughout the year works with many different organizations to bring about various events and publications. The Pattullo Press newsletter is published with the Woodstock Museum, NHS, as were the books Quizzical History and Defined Under Pressure. Together with the WERC centre we offer a Person’s Day celebration, an event held in mid-October to honour women being recognized as Persons and therefore could sit in Canada’s Senate. Tours and teas with the Woodstock Public Library and Château la Motte.

There are many more examples of how the Society and other local organizations have worked together to bring events and share local history with the residents of Oxford County. In honour of these associations a new page was added to our website: Community Partners & Sponsors page!

Postcards! Postcards! Postcards!

Hello Everyone,

Do you keep your postcards? Have you ever collected them on your travels as a way to remember the sites that you visited?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then you are not alone.

Postcards are a wonderful way to keep in touch with families and friends, a quick note to let them know that you’re thinking of them. Sometimes they are whimsical and other items they show local business, sporting events, tourist destinations. The photos used on postcards are often of a professional quality and thus are good keepsakes of your travels.

Not only do postcards serve as keepsakes they are also a very good source of visual historical records. They let you see how a city looked throughout the decades. The Society has two fantastic collections of postcards, both from long time members. The John Gruszka (J.G.) Collection contains postcards from most of the cities in Oxford County and the Don Wilson (D.W.) Collection contains mostly images of old Woodstock. Pictured below are three views of Dundas St., in Woodstock, Ontario from different eras.

Historic buildings and churches are often favourite photographic choices for postcards. Showing below are some of the historic churches from Oxford County.

Next time you’re travelling or are needing historical pictures for your project, contact the Oxford Historical Society – we might just have the postcard that you need!