George Leslie Mackay 2022 Calendar

Hello Everyone,
This guest post is provided by Michael Stainton, in honour of George Leslie Mackay.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of George Leslie Mackay’s arrival in Tamsui on March 9, 1872, and the beginning of Canada’s engagement with Asia, the Canadian Mackay Committee has produced a bilingual English-Chinese wall calendar with historic and contemporary pictures from Taiwan and Canada, plus informative text and dates.

To order this commemorative calendar, please see the contact information in the ad below.

Street Names of Woodstock

Ever wonder where some of Woodstock street names came from?

Mrs. E. J. Canfield did too! So she did some research and in 1932 presented a paper to the Oxford Historical Society at the AGM. Her paper was subsequently published in its original text by the Society and in the Sentinel Review on Friday, May 20, 1932.

In 1970, Mrs. W. R. Ward added to Mrs. Canfield’s research. Her supplement was added to the original document and was published by the Oxford Historical Society.

Then, between 2017 and 2021, Kathie Richards and Elaine Becker, both of the Oxford Historical Society, updated the research to include the majority of Woodstock’s street names.

The Oxford Historical Society has made both of these documents, the 1970 version and the 2021 available for download. They are also located on our Resource Page.

Mrs. Canfield’s Street Names of Woodstock 1932 & OxHS Street Names of Woodstock 2021.

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!

Resource Centre Re-opening!

OxHS Resource Centre, photo by Chris Packman

Hello Everyone,

As of Tuesday, August 3, 2021, the Oxford Historical Society Resource Centre will be re-opening. We will be available By Appointment Only. Research and photocopying fees may apply.

To make an appointment please contact the Society at info@oxhs.ca

The Society follows all Covid-19 protocols as mandated by Southwestern Public Health, which includes wearing masks, social distancing and limiting the number of visitors allowed in the building.

Oxford County requires ALL visitors to their buildings to complete a short health form. There are signs at both entrances to the building listing instructions for completing the form.

“So They Came – the young men farmers”

Hello Everyone,

Dr. Elaine Becker’s newest local history book on the story of Burnside Lodge is coming together.

Here is an excerpt from the book:

The young men responded to advertisements or word of mouth information with application to the Salvation Army.  If they had the proper backing and references, they were sent for training at Hadleigh Farm Colony. The young men were trained and tested and then sent to Canada or Australia for employment with local farmers.  In Canada they went to many centres but Smith Falls or Woodstock Ontario were primary centres with officers assigned for follow-up.

The boys were warmly greeted and were transported to the lodge or marched from the train station as the occasion allowed.  They were fed and, on many occasions, spent the first night there before proceeding to their appointed local farms.

Before proceeding to the farm, The Salvation Army made financial agreement between all parties for the Army to protect the wages of the young men.  The wages minus any funds advanced to the young man were kept in trust by the Army and records were kept to ensure fair wages were received. 

Elaine is now at the stage where she is looking for volunteer(s) to help design the cover.

If you are interested in designing the book cover for “So They Came – the young men farmers”, please email Elaine at ebecker2@sympatico.ca.

Canada Day in the Bag!

Hello Everyone,
please see the guest post from Annandale NHS.

Annandale NHS and Sobeys Tillsonburg are EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE that they have
“CANADA DAY IN THE BAG!”

Families can create their own Canada Day Fun Fair with the purchase of a $20 + ($22.60 Total) “Canada Day in the Bag” kit

Contents are based on some of the most popular booths at the museum’s annual Canada Day Fun Fair

  • A cake mix & can of icing (Complements of Sobeys Tillsonburg)
  • Canadian Flags (paper)
  • Canadian Flag pin (one per family member – will supplies last)
  • Otter pictures to create your own Otter Find in your home
  • Canada Trivia Quiz
  • Jar of Jelly beans  (Jelly bean counting game) with sealed answer
  • Supplies to make a “Mountie” craft
  • Balloons and insert papers to create “Balloon Pop” game
  • Bag of prizes
  • Assortment of Canada Day temporary tattoos
  • Small bag of sparklers
  • All in a reusable Bag compliments of Sobeys Tillsonburg

In honour of Canada’s 154th Birthday there are 154 Canada Day in the Bag kits available for purchase.

To reserve your “Canada Day in the Bag” email Kathleen Watkin, Culture & Heritage Program Coordinator at kwatkin@tillsonburg.ca no later than 3 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2021.  

Payment and pick-up in the museum parking lot between 9 am and 4 pm Tuesday, June 29 and Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Total cost with tax $22.60 (Cash ONLY, please)

Reminder – Zoom Meeting Tonight – Wednesday, May 26, 2021 @ 6:30pm

Don’t forget to join the Oxford Historical Society in welcoming George Emery, Scott Gillies and Vicki Brenner for their presentation on George Emery’s newest publication: Public Festivals in Ingersoll, 1855-1930.

The presentation will take place on Wednesday, May 26 at 6:30pm via Zoom. The Zoom information is listed at the bottom of this post.

From the book’s introduction by George Emery: “The book enriches the literature on Ingersoll’s local history. It describes Ingersoll’s street festivals in their late-19th-and early-20th-century times and furnishes guidelines for their interpretation.  It supplements newspaper descriptions with photographic images, drawn from the rich archives of Ingersoll’s Cheese & Agricultural Museum and the Ingersoll Library. In the process the book showcases those archives as gateways for research on our community’s local history Gateways, indeed! The digital files on the Oxford County Library local-history website offer access to documentary sources –from the comfort of one’s home.  Moreover, the Ingersoll Historical Photo Gallery, developed in collaboration with Scott Gillies of the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum, provides a brilliant introduction to 30 some dimensions of Ingersoll’s past. The library’s rich digital files, in turn, lead directly to photographs and artifacts in Scott’s Cheese & Agricultural Museum–simply a gem of a place to visit.  Through its several book publications, the Ingersoll & District Historical Society is an essential third agency for promoting knowledge of our local past.

The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81906248857

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

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


If you have pictures and articles concerning the history of Oxford County that you would like published on the Society’s blog please email us at info@oxhs.ca.

Zoom Meeting Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Please join the Oxford Historical Society in welcoming George Emery, Scott Gillies and Vicki Brenner for their presentation on George Emery’s newest publication: Public Festivals in Ingersoll, 1855-1930.

The presentation will take place on Wednesday, May 26 at 6:30pm via Zoom. The Zoom information is listed at the bottom of this post.

From the book’s introduction by George Emery: “The book enriches the literature on Ingersoll’s local history. It describes Ingersoll’s street festivals in their late-19th-and early-20th-century times and furnishes guidelines for their interpretation.  It supplements newspaper descriptions with photographic images, drawn from the rich archives of Ingersoll’s Cheese & Agricultural Museum and the Ingersoll Library. In the process the book showcases those archives as gateways for research on our community’s local history Gateways, indeed! The digital files on the Oxford County Library local-history website offer access to documentary sources –from the comfort of one’s home.  Moreover, the Ingersoll Historical Photo Gallery, developed in collaboration with Scott Gillies of the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum, provides a brilliant introduction to 30 some dimensions of Ingersoll’s past. The library’s rich digital files, in turn, lead directly to photographs and artifacts in Scott’s Cheese & Agricultural Museum–simply a gem of a place to visit.  Through its several book publications, the Ingersoll & District Historical Society is an essential third agency for promoting knowledge of our local past.

The Zoom link is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81906248857

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

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


If you have pictures and articles concerning the history of Oxford County that you would like published on the Society’s blog please email us at info@oxhs.ca.

Oxford County Archives Online Resources

Hello Everyone,

The information for this post is provided by The Oxford County Archives.

The Oxford County Archives has a new “online resources” section of our website which includes a variety of resources we have made available to help researchers find local history information. These resources include: a searchable County Council database; list of Ingersoll Mayors; list of Tillsonburg Mayors; list of District of Brock Council Members; list of County Wardens; and more. We will continue to add resources to this new page of our website in future. To check out these new resources visit Oxford County Archive Online Resources.

Discovering Your Oxford Roots: Paths to the Past

Hello Everyone,

Please see this guest post from to of the Oxford Historical Society Members, Janice & Doug Ferguson, for the Ingersoll 50+ Activity Centre.

Back in the Day…

Discovering Your Oxford Roots: Paths to the Past – Tuesday, May 18 at 2:00 PM

An on-line presentation hosted free of charge for all district residents over 50 years of age by the Ingersoll 50+ Activity Centre. (You do NOT need a Centre membership for this presentation.)

Presented by Vicki Brenner, Digital Literacy and Local History Technician, Oxford County Library Ingersoll Branch

A treasure trove of Oxford County’s past is available through Oxford County library resources, whether you are a serious researcher or simply curious about family, people, places and events of long ago. Better still, much is as close as your computer. This is your opportunity to discover these paths back in time. A question and answer period follows.

Reserve your spot by Friday, May 14 at 519-485-3869

This is a Zoom event. 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.