Oxford Local History Day 2022

Hello Everyone,
This guest post is provided by Oxford County Libraries.

Your invitation to participate in Oxford Local History Day 2022!

Oxford County Library will again be taking the spirit of Oxford Local History Day online with our 2nd annual event celebrating the history of Oxford County.

On Saturday, April 23 we are hoping to again showcase a full day of virtual local history presentations that will bring to light the story of Oxford. Experience collections, exhibits & featured stories from archives, museums & heritage groups from around Oxford County.  

Are you interested in telling the story of Oxford? Consider creating a short video or a narrated slide presentation to provide education around your collections and promote your organization that could be featured on Oxford County Library social media sometime during Oxford Local History Day.

Explore our outstanding submissions from 2021 on the Oxford County Library YouTube Channel:

If you would like to participate in this initiative, please indicate your willingness to do so by Monday, March 28.  Video presentation submission deadline is Thursday, April 14.

Oxford County. We’ve made history!

Contact: VICKI BRENNER
Digital & Local History Technician | Oxford County Library
519-485-2505 ext. 3280 | vbrenner@ocl.net

Klondikers: Dawson City’s Stanley Cup Challenge & How a Nation Fell in Love with Hockey

Hello Everyone,

This guest post is from one of our members, George Calder.

George has this to say about Tim Falconer’s newest publication:

The author is Tim Falconer who is familiar with the Yukon but lives in Toronto. The book is a great record of the growth of the game of hockey in Canada. But it also focuses on the assistance given to it by Joseph Whiteside Boyle and the hockey team from the Yukon managed by him that challenged for the Stanley Cup in 1905. A great read.

From the GoodReads website:

Join a ragtag group of misfits from Dawson City as they scrap to become the 1905 Stanley Cup champions and cement hockey as Canada’s national pastime An underdog hockey team traveled for three and a half weeks from Dawson City to Ottawa to play for the Stanley Cup in 1905. The Klondikers’ eagerness to make the journey, and the public’s enthusiastic response, revealed just how deeply, and how quickly, Canadians had fallen in love with hockey. After Governor General Stanley donated a championship trophy in 1893, new rinks appeared in big cities and small towns, leading to more players, teams, and leagues. And more fans. When Montreal challenged Winnipeg for the Cup in December 1896, supporters in both cities followed the play-by-play via telegraph updates. As the country escaped the Victorian era and entered a promising new century, a different nation was emerging. Canadians fell for hockey amid industrialization, urbanization, and shifting social and cultural attitudes. Class and race-based British ideals of amateurism attempted to fend off a more egalitarian professionalism. Ottawa star Weldy Young moved to the Yukon in 1899, and within a year was talking about a Cup challenge. With the help of Klondike businessman Joe Boyle, it finally happened six years later. Ottawa pounded the exhausted visitors, with”One-Eyed” Frank McGee scoring an astonishing 14 goals in one game. But there was no doubt hockey was now the national pastime.

If you wish to purchase this book you can do so through the GoodReads website or through amazon.ca.

2022 OxHS Membership Fees are Due!

Market Square – downtown Woodstock, circa 1940’s
From the Don Wilson postcard collection, property of the OxHS

Hello Everyone,

It’s that time of year again when the annual membership fees are due. Please pay by the end of February.

Membership fees are $25.00 for an individual and $30.00 for a family membership.

Fees can be paid by cheque to the Oxford Historical Society, or by e-Transfer to purchases@oxhs.ca.

If paying by e-Transfer please send you membership form in a separate email.

Click here to download the 2022 OxHS Membership Form and include it with your payment.

Our mailing address is:

Oxford Historical Society
PO Box 20091
Woodstock ON N4S 8X8

Southwestern Ontario Black History Tour

Williams Family in Milldale, around 1880
Photo courtesy of the Norwich Archives

Hello Everyone,
This guest post is provided by Matthew Lloyd, Curator of the the Norwich and District Museum.

I am delighted to announce that Norwich and District Museum, along with several other partner museums under the auspices of Museum London, is part of the Southwestern Ontario Black History Tour. This project encompasses four developing tours in Oxford County, Middlesex County, Chatham-Kent, and Essex County. In the spring, the current historical photos will be joined with contemporary photos to bring this history into the present. Please see the attached media release for more details.

Matthew Lloyd, Curator Norwich & District Museum

The tours can be seen online:

Oxford County: https://onthisspot.ca/cities/oxfordcounty
Middlesex County: https://onthisspot.ca/cities/middlesexcounty
Chatham-Kent: https://onthisspot.ca/cities/chathamkent

Media release provided Matthew Lloyd:

February 2nd, 2022

Discovering the Black Historical Experience in Southwestern Ontario: A Virtual Tour of Southwestern Ontario’s Black History Launched for Black History Month

Museums and heritage sites involved in the interpretation of the region’s Black historical experience have launched a new online Black history tour. Coordinators from four areas have selected over 40 images that represent some of the key persons, events and structures in their communities, all delivered right to people’s mobile devices.

Four online tours are planned, covering areas in Essex-Windsor, Chatham-Kent, the London Region and Oxford County. Each tour begins with the Underground Railway and the arrival of thousands of formerly enslaved persons fleeing the United States before the Civil War, followed by more recent historical events and people such as Emancipation Day celebrations and the Chatham All-Stars Baseball Team.

The group behind the initiative includes museum curators, historic site administrators, and community historians, relying on the assistance of libraries and archives throughout the region. The group set out two years ago to revise a driving tour guide of the region’s Black history sites originally produced for an exhibit at Museum London. The goal was to provide a guide for educators and the general public searching for resources to assist with learning about the Black historical experience. It would also inform each site about others who were involved in this work.

Then COVID hit and for the next two years many of the sites in the guide experienced repeated lock downs. But along with it came a renewed interest in Black history and so the search began for a way to put the guide online. An app developer – onthisspot.ca – was found with a record of creating historical tours for communities large and small. In some cases, the company had worked with historical societies and museums and therefore knew what constraints the group was working under, including financial.

The resulting tours will be available on-demand and at no charge, once the free app is downloaded. Future components of the app will include virtual tours of the interior of the museums and historic sites and the inclusion of recorded narration of stories and music.

The tours can be accessed anywhere, however the organizers hope that users will actually visit the region in person. The Oxford County component of the tour can be viewed through your browser, here: https://onthisspot.ca/cities/oxfordcounty. The tours are ideal as cycling adventures and of course visitors are welcome at any of the museums and historic sites, once it’s safe to do so.

The project was funded by a Canada Healthy Communities Initiative grant received by Museum London and through contributions from the participating museums and sites.

Media Contact:

Matthew Lloyd (he/him)
Curatorial Administrator | Norwich & District Museum
80 Stover St. North, Norwich ON N0J1P0
norwichdhs@execulink.ca
(519) 863-3101

George Leslie Mackay International Symposium June 24, 2022

Hello Everyone,

This guest post is provided by Michael Stainton, from the Canadian Mackay Committee.

The Canadian Mackay Committee, along with co-organizers from the Knox College Centre for Asian-Canadian Theology & Ministry, and York Centre for Asian Research are hosting a one-day George Leslie Mackay symposium in honour of his founding of the of the Canada Presbyterian mission in north Formosa on March 9, 1872.

There is a call for papers and presentations from scholars, students, communities and non-academics. The symposium will have both in person and virtual presentations and will be open to the public. The deadline for submission is Friday, February 18, 2022.

For more information about the event and to contact the organizers please download the attached document: GL Mackay June 24, 2022 Symposium

2022 OxHS Membership and AGM!

Otterville ON – Winter Street Scene
From the J. Gruszka postcard collection, property of the OxHS

Happy New Year and welcome to 2022!

We are working on lining up speakers for this year, either via Zoom or in person. If you or anyone you know would be interested in presenting at a meeting please send an email to info@oxhs.ca.

It’s that time of year again when the annual membership fees are due.

Membership fees are $25.00 for an individual and $30.00 for a family membership.

Fees can be paid by cheque to the Oxford Historical Society, or by e-Transfer to purchases@oxhs.ca. If paying by e-Transfer please send you membership form in a separate email.

Click here to download the 2022 OxHS Membership Form and include it with your payment.

Our mailing address is:

Oxford Historical Society
PO Box 20091
Woodstock ON N4S 8X8


Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 6:30pm via Zoom. During the meeting all paying members may vote for this year’s executive board.

The following lists the current board members:

President: Kathie Richards
Past President: Jim Groulx
Vice President: Vacant
Treasurer/Research: Dr. Elaine Becker
Secretary: Laura Centore
Communications and Newsletter: Laura Centore
Membership: Judy Klages
Archives/Architecture: Eleanor Gardhouse
Board Members at Large: Jim Groulx, Don Wilson
Museum Liaison: Karen Houston

We encourage all members to consider serving on our executive. If you would like to serve on the board email the OxHS at info@oxhs.ca. We are accepting nominations until Saturday, February 12, 2022.

The speaker will be Brenda Boswell, her topic will be Harvest Excursion. Harvest Excursion looks is about the men who went out west in the fall to assist with their harvest season. More information about our AGM and Brenda’s presentation will be posted at a later date.

OxHS Board Nominations

Hello Everyone,

It’s that time of year again when the current Oxford Historical Society Board reaches out to its members to see who might be interested in serving on the 2022 Executive.

Our current Board members are:

President: Kathie Richards
Past President: Jim Groulx
Vice President: Vacant
Treasurer/Research: Dr. Elaine Becker
Secretary: Laura Centore
Communications and Newsletter: Laura Centore
Membership: Judy Klages
Archives/Architecture: Eleanor Gardhouse
Board Members at Large: Jim Groulx, Don Wilson
Museum Liaison: Karen Houston

If any member would like to serve on the upcoming Board please email us at info@oxhs.ca.

Board members are voted in at our AGM on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. You must be a member of the Society to serve on the Board. The positions are held for one year.

New Book about Cassie Chadwick

Hello Everyone,

Thomas Crowl’s new book ‘Queen of the Con’ tells the story of Cassie Chadwick, a successful swindler and con woman. In this very well researched book the life of Cassie Chadwick, born Elizabeth Bigley in 1857, tells the story of her life from her humble beginnings to becoming a clairvoyant, a fraudster, an imposter posing as Andrew Carnegie’s illegitimate daughter and many other cons along the way.

This book is available for purchase from Amazon.ca using this link – Queen of the Con: From a Spiritualist to the Carnegie Imposter