Public Meeting – Wednesday, May 25, 2022 – featuring Gold Medallist Ella Shelton

Ella Shelton in Canada’s Olympic Jersey 2022

Hello Everyone,

The Oxford Historical Society is honoured to have one of Team Canada’s Hockey Gold Medallists from the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, Ella Shelton, as our next speaker. Ella is from Oxford County and grew up on a farm near Ingersoll. Her love of hockey began at a very young age and her dream of playing for Canada came true in 2020.

Please join us at 6:30pm on Wednesday, May 25 at the Woodstock Museum, NHS to here Ella Shelton speak about her experiences growing up in a small town and how her love of hockey led her to an Olympic gold medal.

This is free event and all are welcome to attend. As this is an in-person event all Covid-19 protocols will be followed.

So They Came: Young Men Farmers

Hello Everyone,

Once again the Oxford Historical Society had the privilege of participating in the Oxford County Library’s Annual Oxford Local History Day! For this event Elaine Becker created a video about her latest publication – So They Came: Young Men Farmers. Her video presentation and the 16 other local history presentations are available on the Oxford County Library YouTube channel.

Please enjoy watching Elaine’s presentation of So They Came: Young Men Farmers!

The book So They Came: Young Men Farmers is available for purchase for $20.00 (taxes included), either by contacting the Oxford Historical Society directly at, 226-242-4774, or for pick-up at the Woodstock Museum, NHS.

Oxford Historical Society & Woodstock Museum Holiday Social December 9, 2021

Hello Everyone,

Please join the Oxford Historical Society and the Woodstock Museum, NHS for a Holiday Social on Thursday, December 9 from 1-4pm.

If you wish to attend the 15 minute talk on the new Heritage database, either at 1:30pm or 3pm, please reserve your spot as space is limited:

We hope to see you at the Social!

The Village that Straddled a Swamp

Hello Everyone,

The Oxford Historical Society and the Woodstock Museum, NHS are pleased to once again offer this publication for your reading pleasure.

This wonderful book tells the story of Woodstock Ontario, from 1799 until more modern times.

The Village that Straddled a Swamp will be available for purchase at our booth at the upcoming Arts Market in the old Dairy Capital building. It is $25.00 (taxes included), cash only.

This publication can also be purchased by contacting the Society at or at the Woodstock Museum, NHS gift shop.

Cross Stitch Patterns of Woodstock

Hello Everyone,

The above cross stitch patterns were designed by Helen Mackenzie. Helen has long admired her adopted home of Woodstock, especially for its preservation of its historical buildings. She has chosen to capture elements of her favourite buildings in cross stitch patterns.

These patterns are available on her Etsy shop page: Blyss Stitch Designs

Complete kits of the patterns are also available for sale at the Woodstock Museum, NHS. The kits include the pattern and all the materials needed – hoop, fabric, needle, embroidery floss etc., to complete each project. Each kit also includes some historical information about the buildings. Contact the Woodstock Museum, NHS for pricing.

Doug Symons’ Tribute

Hello Everyone,

Please read this guest post from the Woodstock Museum, NHS.

Give a shout out to historical stories!

In honour of the re-release of Doug Symons’ popular book “The Village that Straddled a Swamp”, the Woodstock Museum would like your help in reminiscing about a favourite piece of writing or photo from the book, and also if you have memories of Doug personally you’d like to share.

Please look through the book, choose an article, a photo, a quote or two about a certain local history site or story you find meaningful or interesting to you and share that story with the Museum. We would like to do a short bit of filming to pay tribute to Doug’s writings in a specific local history way. Some memories may be included in an upcoming exhibit related to “The Village that Straddle a Swamp”.

If you want to participate but are unsure of what to highlight we have some prepared prompts for anyone not familiar with the book. A voice recording may also be an option. If possible, we would like to set up a time for you to come into the museum during the first week or two of November.

Contact Kerrie Gill to set up a time at (519) 537-8411 ext. 2903 or    

Virtual Curator Talk: The History of the John White Building

Hello Everyone,
This is a guest post from the Woodstock Art Gallery:

Virtual Curator Talk: The History of the John White Building

Thursday, October 14

Registration Link:

Join Assistant Curator of Education Julia deKwant for a virtual curator talk on the current exhibition, Ten Years in the Building: The John White Co. Inc.

This exhibition celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Woodstock Art Gallery’s move to the historic John White Building. With artifacts and photographs from the Woodstock Museum NHS and Oxford County Archives, the exhibition traces the building’s history of commerce and enterprise beginning with the formation of the John White Co. Ltd., which spanned three generations of the White family and 100 years. Follow along as Julia explores the curatorial practices used in the creation of the exhibition and the unique challenges of placing historic artifacts within an art gallery space. Q & A to follow.

The exhibition is currently on view until January 22, 2022.

So They Came: Young Men Farmers

Hello Everyone,

The Oxford Historical Society is very pleased to announce that ‘So They Came: Young Men Farmers’, is now at the printers and will soon be available for sale!

Elaine Becker will be at the Market Square in Woodstock, ON at the BIA tent on Thursday, August 19th from 1-2pm, for the first sale of the book.

The cost is $20.00 (includes HST).

This is the story of the brave young men who left family and country to begin a new life in Canada.

Elaine wishes to thank all of the contributors for the information that has helped to put real faces on these young men. She hopes to see you at Market Square.

After August 19th, the book will be available for sale at the Woodstock Museum, NHS.

Please share this post with others who might be interested.

Thanks again to everyone for their support and contributions!

Oxford Historical Society 2021

Postcard from the Don Wilson Collection

Dear Members,

As President of the Oxford Historical Society, I would like to introduce the Executive Board for 2021:

  • President: Kathie Richards
  • Vice President: Vacant
  • Treasurer: Elaine Becker
  • Secretary: Laura Centore
  • Membership: Judy Klages
  • Archives: Eleanor Gardhouse
  • Communications: Laura Centore
  • Members at Large: Don Wilson & Jim Groulx
  • Museum Liaison: Karen Houston

These are the same people who served in 2020 with the same vacancy in the Vice President’s position. We do encourage members to nominate someone who would be willing to serve on the Board.

While 2020 was a difficult year due to Covid-19, we are hoping for a better 2021.

Since we are unable to hold in person meetings at this time, your board is working towards offering presenters via Zoom. We hope to have the first of many public meetings in March.

Even though the Society had to scale back operations, we were able to respond to numerous research questions, produce 4 Pattullo Press newsletters, and keep in touch with our members through our blog. We will continue to do so during 2021.

In 2021 we hope to publish a new book and possibly republish an old favourite!  In keeping with the modern times, we are looking at offering some of our publications as eBooks.

It was decided that over the next few years we will look at digitizing our collection and allocate the holdings to other appropriate organizations, with the goal of eliminating the Resource Centre. This decision was based on several factors – not enough volunteers to staff the centre, the expense of maintaining the centre (in excess of $6000.00 annually between rent and insurance), and there are now other organizations better suited to maintaining an archival collection like the Woodstock Museum, NHS and the Oxford County Archives.

Even without the Resource Centre the Society will still participate in events like the Spirit of Christmas Tour of Homes, publish member’s works, organize speaking events, publish the Pattullo Press, respond to inquiries and perform many other functions as we do now.

The Society is continuing to research grant and funding opportunities. In the past we have received grants from the City of Woodstock, the Federal government, and Oxford Community Foundation.

We will keep you informed.  Do keep in touch with us and other Historical Society members.

Kathie Richards

Woodstock Museum, NHS Survey Request

Woodstock Museum, NHS

Hello Everyone,

The Woodstock Museum, NHS is requesting assistance to determine what types of programs to offer next year. They would very much appreciate you taking the time to complete the short survey.

Here is the link for the survey: Woodstock Museum Survey

This survey is also being sent to Museum members, so some of you may receive it twice but you only need to complete it once.

If you have any questions about the survey please contact Kerrie Gill, Education Office, Woodstock Museum, NHS. She can be reached at 519-537-8411 ext. 2903.

The Woodstock Museum, NHS thanks you in advance for completing the survey.