Museum News

There's always something happening at the South Grey Museum. Whether its a new exhibit pulled from our artifact room; genealogy research; group tours or special events - History is Alive at the South Grey Museum in the beautiful village of Flesherton in Grey Highlands. Come on out and check out our collection; our historical library resources and share your stories of local history. We're here to listen, engage and share the adventure of local heritage!

Roundtables a successful part of Cultural Development Fund project

posted Oct 8, 2014, 11:34 AM by William Flesher   [ updated Apr 19, 2015, 12:20 PM ]

The Museum is currently in the midst of a collaborative project with the Grey Highlands Public library. For more details on this - see our "Developing Our Culture" page or the "Cultural Roundtable" link at visitgreyhighlands.ca.

Museum partners with Grey Highlands Public Library on new grant

posted Oct 8, 2014, 11:33 AM by William Flesher

Thanks to some creative partnering and a history of positive collaboration, the Grey Highlands community will soon benefit from project funding to enhance local culture.
The Grey Highlands Public Library and the South Grey Museum have received $53,000 in funding from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport through the Cultural Development Fund.
“This is great news for our community,” said project lead Wilda Allen, CEO of the library system, which has had strategic cultural grants in the past to enhance online resources, digitize important community information and develop a virtual branch.  “We can now build on previous community initiatives and really learn how to work together to promote culture in our area.”
Over a two year span, the library, in partnership with the museum and municipality, will build on previous ministry-funded projects seeking to increase the creative environment and capacity of regional cultural sector through a variety of project components.
Through hosting cultural roundtables the partners hope to attract individual and group participants from a wide-range of interest groups. A consultant will work closely with staff to investigating innovative models of collaboration and governance as well as develop integrated strategic planning to enhance the sustainability of the cultural sector.
“This project offers two perspectives on the same issue,” said museum curator Kate Russell, who coordinated a recent provincially-funded Creative Communities Prosperity grant for the municipality, in collaboration with the library, to develop a cultural assets database (online at visitgreyhighlands.ca); update the community profile; survey the community and reach out to various groups to develop a municipal Cultural Plan, approved by council in 2013. “Culture and heritage are so important to community development and economic prosperity this is essential work.”
Russell also coordinated the Chamber of Commerce community prosperity grant, which was essentially Phase 1 of the municipal project which culminated in the Cultural Plan. In that project, the Chamber developed the first cultural assets database, developed a community profile and hosted a 3-day municipal cultural planning workshop, which led to the formation of a volunteer Community Cultural Planning group, which has since disbanded.
“We need to pick up where others have left off,” explained Allen, who sees this as an excellent way to carry forward the Cultural Plan and bring more local individuals and groups into the community collective to promote Grey Highlands as a whole. “So many groups already work together, but there’s always someone or some group who may feel left out. We want to reach everyone we can and get lots of involvement from the community.”
The project will also see the partners enhance their use of digital tools and social media communications and other creative ideas to establish, maintain and expand local and regional networking. Resources on capacity building and tool sharing as well as board development workshops and training , will expose the larger non-profit sector and various people to the wisdom gained through the project.

Museum partners with Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery on OTF project

posted Jul 26, 2014, 10:27 AM by William Flesher

PIONEER CEMETERY GETS FUNDING: The Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery Committee has received an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant for $38,000 to build a new display pavilion for the four remaining gravestones at the site. The burial ground for the original Black settlement along the road was recognized as an important cemetery in 1990 and has been maintained by the volunteer committee ever since.

The last remaining gravestones at the Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery on County Road 14 near Priceville will get a permanent home and conservation display thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) announced this week.
The Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery Committee (ODRPCC) partnered with the Grey Highlands municipal South Grey Museum in Flesherton. The application to the provincial foundation was successful in obtaining $38,000 for the project.
“We are delighted to work with the museum on this project,” said ODRPCC president Naomi Norquay. “The history of the area’s Black pioneers is becoming better known through exhibits at the museum. This new display pavilion at the cemetery where many early Black settlers were buried will further enhance public engagement with this important history.”
Established around 1830 as the burial ground for the Black pioneer settlement, the cemetery served this purpose until the 1880s. By the 1930s the burial ground had become a farmer’s field – the headstones either ploughed under or removed. In 1989 the Old Durham Road Pioneer Cemetery Committee was formed to reclaim the burial ground and register it as a cemetery with the provincial government.
In addition, the committee set out to find missing headstones. In June, 1990 four headstones were discovered in a stone pile north of the site. A display case to house the stones was built and a large boulder, inscribed with information about the site, was set in place as a memorial to the settlers. The site was dedicated October 13, 1990 by then Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander.
A design competition for the pavilion is being held to choose an appropriate open structure which will honour the site and provide a maintenance free home for the gravestones and opportunity for interpretation and reflection on the site. Details on the competition are available at the museum or by emailing wildberry935@rogers.com.
A leading grant maker in Canada, the Ontario Trillium Foundation strengthens the capacity of the voluntary sector through investments in community-based initiatives. It is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to building healthy and vibrant communities.
For more information on the project or to get involved, email museum@greyhighlands.ca or see the website at www.southgreymuseum.ca. For more information on the Ontario Trillium Foundation visit www.otf.ca.

posted May 31, 2013, 7:50 AM by William Flesher   [ updated Oct 25, 2013, 7:02 AM ]




History of Christmas cards linked to local man

posted Dec 21, 2012, 10:18 AM by William Flesher

Highlands Heritage

By Kate Russell

Curator at South Grey Museum

The new Christmas exhibit at the South Grey Museum offers a view into the heritage of Christmas cards and the
importance of these holiday greetings throughout history.

Using a collection of World War 2 era Christmas cards, the exhibit shows how one local family – the
MacArthur family of Priceville – received almost 100 greetings that year. From family, friends and businesses,
these cards carried well wishes for Minnie’s ill mother, condolences over missing their son Jack who was to
New York that year and best of luck blessings for the coming New Year of 1946.

Also featured are some military greetings – one card notes the sender is “With the Canadians in Italy –
Christmas 1944.” Sender Jack Haig notes it is “plenty cold with nine inches of snow.”

Another Christmas letter from Private Bob Carson of Dundalk writes to thank “Amy” for a care package, which
arrived intact even though it had been salvaged from a shipwrecked boat. He says he was in Antwerp, where the
“bombs and rockets made one rather uncomfortable.” He says he’s been in Belgium for many months, which he
says “is outstanding for its cafes where beer and liquors are in abundance.”

In researching the exhibit, we came across the interesting historical link between former Osprey Township and
the heritage of greeting cards. The Coutts – Hallmark card company had local humble beginnings.

From the book Peace, Plenty and Progress – A History of Osprey Township, we learned William E. Coutts was
born May 10, 1882 on a farm two miles east of Maxwell. He was the only son of William Coutts, a native of
Aberdeen Scotland and Mary Jane Horton of Osprey Township (daughter of Edward Horton, recognized as the
“founder” of Feversham). When William was four months old, a team of runaway horses killed his father (Sept.
28, 1882). His mother then took William and his three sisters to live with his grandmother in nearby Feversham.
Four years later his mother died from pneumonia. (Apr. 14, 1886). He and one of his sisters were sent to live
with an uncle in nearby Wareham.

From such a tragic early life, it is no wonder this man became such a sentimentalist.

At the age of 16, William married Charlotte Robinson and the young couple moved to Toronto where he began
work in the stationery business. He developed an idea for a greeting card company so acquired a collection
of 125 quality designs and added social communications to them and started the Wm. E. Coutts Co. Ltd.
According the Grey County Luminaries virtual exhibit at www.greyroots.com, we read that the company Coutts
founded, grew from a one-man operation to a major concern employing nearly one thousand people, selling
greeting cards across Canada from 1916 to 1931.

The Hallmark history page at http://corporate.hallmark.com/Company/Company-History notes that in the
1930's Coutts determined a close link with the Hall Brothers Company (Kansas City, U.S.) could strengthen his
company and proposed to owner Joyce C. Hall, to manufacture the Hall Brothers cards in Canada on a royalty
basis. The relationship between these two men and the companies bearing their names flourished over time, and
eventually in 1948, a handshake agreement with Hall Brothers President, Joyce C. Hall, established that a 40
per cent interest in Coutts' company would be purchased. Ten years later (1958) the Hall Brothers Company,
under Donald Hall, purchased the remainder of Coutts' company. The company became simply Hallmark.

He also started the Coutts-Hallmark Foundation, granting art scholarships to senior High School students and
encouraged many young artists. William Coutts changed the look of social communications. He died in 1973.

The South Grey Museum recently acquired a collection of poetry books from the estate of Wilma Coutts, poet
and daughter of William. Titled Daily Dozen; It Happened in Grey County and Saugeen Sonnets these volumes
offer a poetic view of the history of the area. It seems the sentimentalism carried on through the generations.

So, as you send and receive your Christmas cards this season, remember their local heritage and celebrate our
South Grey history throughout the holidays.

Museum Talks of Trails and War Tales

posted Dec 18, 2012, 1:07 PM by William Flesher

Heritage Highlands
By Kate Russell
South Grey Museum Curator

Over the past month the South Grey Museum has hosted two speakers as the finale to the annual
speakers’ series. On October 17 outdoor educator Bob Henderson brought his “Every Trail Has a
Story” presentation, sharing experiences he has had over the years on heritage travels throughout
Canada.

Henderson, who is the author of a book of trail stories, editor of Pike’s Portage and Nature First,
has been an outdoor educator for many years. His talk drew almost 40 people to the Museum,
including local paddlers and hikers attracted to his great experience following the pioneering
paths of early explorers into the backwoods wilderness across Canada.

With an eclectic slideshow, Henderson guided his audience through a myriad of fascinating
stories and fantastic wilderness views from his heritage travels. He has followed the trails of
historic adventurers across the country – with epic portages and river travels – often finding
100-year-old camp remains to tell the tales of those who have gone before.

On November 7, the stories turned from heritage travel to war history as pocketbook historian
George Auer was on hand to relate stories of when Grey County went to war. Auer has spent 16
years researching the Grey Simcoe Foresters, who served valiantly in The Great War in many
capacities. Call ups of troops from the Dominion of Canada in the first world war had 100s of
local men heading off to the front lines in Europe – many never to return.

Auer has used local cenotaphs, sparse records and family oral histories to piece together
a fascinating history of the men who served and fell for our freedom. He has served in
peacekeeping forces and was posted to the Foresters in 1996. Our local Primary Reserve Unit,
the Grey and Simcoe Foresters fought with distinction in almost every major battle in WWI.

He spoke of the personal sacrifice of men who fell in the war.

“Private Thomas Mather of Priceville, who would have been only remembered as one of the
many who were killed at Passchendaele if it had not been for the work of the Durand Group,”
explained Auer. “As part of a documentary the group did on Vimy during its 90th rededication,
they entered the Goodman tunnel and filmed much of the graffiti etched on the walls and
amongst the many names one stood out and caused a stir in the county, for there was the name
T.L. Mather, 838326 A Co. 4 CMR, Pricevelle, On, Canada.”

Images of this graffiti and Private Mathers story is featured in the current war history exhibit at
the Museum. His great niece Lynn Weimer travelled to Belgium to find her honoured ancestor,
sharing with the Museum stories and photos of her trip. Images from other sources show the
young men gathered from the Foresters for service – uniformed and gathered together for
photos before embarking on their treacherous journey. Many did not return again and are only
remembered on cenotaphs and in family albums.

Like the historical images of Reuben Jukes, who painted watercolours on the battlefield. The
paintings, which were used as a backdrop during Auer’s talk, are stored in a box under the bed
of his son. They are on display for a short time at Grey Roots Museum. Showing true scenes of
the trenches, these relics and other forgotten manuscripts have informed Auer’s research as he
prepares a book – Soldiers of the Soil – which will incorporate his database of over 4,000 men
who served with the Foresters over the years and are now the targets of his historical tracking.

Auer shared many other stories of men from across the county, as well as the nursing sisters who
served alongside them, caring for them and sometimes perishing with them as at times when
a hospital ship was sunk by a German U-boat – killing all but 24 aboard. This war crime was
credited with cementing the resolve of the Canadian Corps as it was later remembered at the
Battle of Amiens, where the name of the ship “Llandovery Castle” or the initials LC marked
correspondence from Canadian Corps as they advanced further toward German lines.

But the story doesn’t end with the tragic tales of war, for after the war, with all its death – death
had touched every community in Grey County and the county. Something else had been planted
in the consciousness of the people. According to Auer, our county’s contribution assisted Canada
stand on its own as a nation in its own right.

“Beginning at Vimy and continuing to the end of the war, a sense of nationhood was born,” he
said. “Until Vimy we were British subjects, colonial troops, but Vimy proved that we could give
as good as we had taken and the Corps racked up a string of victories that could not be ignores
by Whitehall, so at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Canada was one of the signatories of
the treaty in her own right.”

This Remembrance Day, we reached back to thank those who fought and often fell for our
freedom. Our Royal Canadian Legion system was born out of the First World War and has
maintained the legacy of remembering through the years. We shall never forget.

Here at the South Grey Museum, our collection and exhibits remind us of the importance of
all those who have come before. Whether they were adventuring explorers into the unknown
wilderness or soldiers who journeyed to far off lands to fight for us, we owe our future to our
shared heritage. By telling their stories, we know it was the daring and courage of people, not
any war or event that really shaped the hearts and minds of our county and our country.

Sinclair’s stories and poems delight

posted Dec 18, 2012, 1:00 PM by William Flesher

Heritage Highlands

By Kate Russell, Curator

South Grey Museum

Local poet and inspirational speaker Sharon Sinclair delighted her audience at the South Grey
Museum recently with stories of local people and poems from her travels.

Sinclair was raised in Ceylon, Ontario, but worked in Toronto for many years before returning to
Grey County. She now resides in Kimberley, where she lived as a commuter when she worked
as a teacher and was considered the “poet in residence” at Albion Heights Junior Middle School
in Rexdale. It was a long cry from the one-room school house she was taught in, but it informed
her poetry and her life just the same.

From her history and work with young people, Sharon created three CDs of poetry for parents
and teachers to inspire them to engage young people. Good Luck…Little Duck offers poems for
children. Tales From a Teacher has background stories to poems about important life events
and experiences. Then there’s Queen Quenella’s Kingdom: The Story of Alphabet Alley, which
became a mainstay as she taught youngsters how to like their words with the sounds they make.
Many teachers still use this story for teaching sound-symbol correspondence, thereby giving
children the skills to express their own ideas in writing.

An excellent speaker with a familiar presentation manner, Sinclair showed her talent for
storytelling as she regaled the over 20 people in attendance with tales of early Ceylon, her
ancestors, life as a teacher and the wonder of coincidences she often celebrates with her poems.

She remembered the significance of the appearance of a rainbow to remind her of life’s grace.
From her CD and booklet Water from the Moon the poem “City Car, Country Car” details the
lucky happenstance of her local car dealer, Randy Boyd, appearing on the scene minutes after
she struck a deer while driving into the Beaver Valley on an inky black night. His business card
was in her hand but her phone was dead.

Bringing along her own family heirlooms and artefacts from her past, she displayed images of
her parents and grandparents on the Flesherton Station ticket wicket, run by her grandfather who
was the Flesherton station agent for nineteen years. Sharon spoke of her love for this area and
how important it has been to her – forming her into a caring and nature loving adult.

In her winters spent away in Fairhope, Alabama, she writes her Carpe Diem Chronicles, named
after the motto of the historic and now gone Flesherton Highschool. Book One was inspired
by sunrise reflections watching the waves of the Gulf of Mexico flow into her life. The first
edition of this latest project was launched as part of this exceptional evening of poetry and
remembrance.

Sinclair’s CDs are available at the South Grey Museum or by contacting the poet directly. She
is always encouraging fellow writers through workshops, her poetry club "Precious Gems" and
her website at www.poetryspeaker.com. If you are seeking your own inspiration, this might be a
good place to start.

The evening of poetry was part of the Museum’s Speaker Series. The next installment in October
17th with outdoor educator and author Bob Henderson author of Every Trail Has Story. He will
speak about Canadian heritage in trails and outdoor storytelling. Attendees are invited to bring
along items from their own life’s trails to add to the interactive evening. For information call
519-924-2843.

Journey through time tells a liar’s tale

posted Dec 18, 2012, 12:59 PM by William Flesher

Highlands Heritage

By Kate Russell

Curator – South Grey Museum

Hindsight truly may be 20/20 when you are peering back in history with today’s knowledge.

So many attendees at a recent talk at the South Grey Museum learned. Speaker Les MacKinnon
took over 20 people back to the beginnings of the universe to explain a simple fact – what is true
today may not be the truth tomorrow.

From Aristotle’s idea that the earth was the centre of the universe to the medieval flat
earth theories there have been many popular ideas later proved untrue. Hence, the topic of
MacKinnon’s talk was Lies We Live By.

In what he called an “experiment,” the local environmental health professional discussed a
new perspective on reality – one that seeks the truth behind written history and today’s media
propaganda.

“My interest is ongoing in historical issues and changing social patterns and how they influence
our decision making processes both as individuals and as members of a society,” explained
MacKinnon, who has been an active member in various committees. “My primary interest was
to bring local history to light and reclaim desecrated cemeteries, including the reprint of the
book Broken Shackles edited by Peter Meyler and the documentary Speakers for the Dead by the
National Film Board of Canada.”

From an overview of the debate over the age of the planet and the eras of mankind to the
interpretation of scripture and its effect on society, MacKinnon led his audience through a
fascinating exposé of the ways even learned people have “got it wrong” through the centuries.

“When we discover history has been manipulated and used as propaganda we are often
challenged to come to terms with those contradictions,” said MacKinnon, who suggested modern
society is so caught up in its own greed it is missing how the finite resources of the planet are
disappearing. “My interests link the environment, history and public health, including the study
of animals and how they may hold answers to some environmental questions.”

During his talk, MacKinnon highlighted some great resources for finding the truth in history,
including Journey to the Ice Age: Discovering an Ancient World by Peter L. Storck, whose book
features the Thomson Point, a 10,000-year-old spear point found in 1970 in the Boyne River
Valley in Flesherton. The original point is at the Royal Ontario Museum, but a cast of it is on
display at the South Grey Museum.

Storck’s book tells of how after the Ice Age, South Grey was a trading area for early Paleo-
Indians. MacKinnon expanded on this indicating how the valleys and tracks created by retreating
glaciers formed natural pathways used by Native peoples and later by escaped slaves continuing
beyond the Underground Railroad to settle in this area. These people pre-dated the common
theory of Irish and Scottish settlers opening up the South Grey area to habitation. This influx
came after earlier residents.

Looking through history’s lens, MacKinnon showed how immigration, wars and conquests of
the “New World” defined modern man’s reliance on false assumptions to rationalize everything
from breaking land treaties and governing foreign populations to the mass murders of the
witchcraze and genocide.

He explored the concept of freedom from various perspectives. Do we have negative “freedom
from” issues or positive “freedom to” do creative actions? Or are we all “still dominated in our
thinking and behaviour by ideas of ‘common sense’, the advice of experts and the influence of
advertising.”

It was an interesting journey through the mind of modern MacKinnon led, ending with
suggestions for getting out of the propaganda rut society is in. He suggests we need to start
teaching geology in elementary school; increase literacy at all ages; make history inclusive and
non-judgmental and re-establish our connection to the earth through food and improve our ways
of living not on but with the earth.

MacKinnon’s talk was part of the South Grey Museum’s 2012 Speaker’s Series. The next
installment is on September 19th at 7 p.m. at the museum, when local poet Sharon Sinclair
will share her “Sky Messages” and release her latest CD in the Carpe Diem Chronicles series.
Admission is $7 per person, $12 per couple of $5 for members. For more information call 519-
924-2843 or email museum@greyhighlands.ca.

Bacher talk outlines salvation of Grey County forests

posted Dec 18, 2012, 12:58 PM by William Flesher

Highlands Heritage

By Kate Russell

Curator – South Grey Museum

It was standing room only at the South Grey Museum on Wednesday, July 18 as Dr. John
Bacher gave a fascinating presentation on Edmund Zavitz, father of modern reforestation and
conservation authorities and saviour of Ontario’s forests.

“The forests of Grey County were essentially regarded as a great ‘ashery’,” explained Dr.
Bacher in his talk, referring to the early years after the 1836 Saugeen Treaty made between the
aboriginal people and then governor of Upper Canada the “mad” Francis Bond Head. “Farmers
would finance their operations by burning down trees for ashes to be shipped to Great Britain,
rather than cultivating a crop.”

He shocked the over 35 people in attendance with images from Zavitz’ collection, showing the
dust bowl Ontario was becoming by the mid-1800s. The deforestation in Norfolk County and
along stretches of the Niagara Escarpment, including the Oak Ridges Moraine led to erosion,
floods and a sand dune strewn province with little or no good cropland nor pasture for cattle set
out to eat any remnants of grass left in the sandy soil.

Reports of streams drying up in summers and the potential failure of local mills due to erosion
from vast tree cutting came in from all parts of the area. The mighty Sauble River, with its many
branches was called “Mud River” and by 1910 some ninety per cent of the county’s forests had
been stripped away.

There were floods and landslides with bridges swept away and high waters destroying the all-
important mills. In 1869 the Toronto Globe recorded “the bridges on the Saugeen River have
been carried off by a freshet,” while a second flood carried away “nearly all the mill dams”
around Mount Forest and threatened to knock out a major bridge in Owen Sound.

Despite constant complaints and reports to Ontario’s first Clerk of Forestry, William Phipps,
who worked to get cattle out of the woods, where they destroyed underbrush and caused more
damage, the problems persisted until the province established a reforestation centre in Midhurst
on what had been barren sand swept wastelands. Farmer Premier E.C. Drury was finally
convinced of the problems by Zavitz. The Midhurst reforestation area included picnic areas in
a park setting to attract people to witness the devastation and garner support for reforestation
efforts.

After these early moves to save the area, Grey County began purchasing large tracts of land.
From 1939 to 1996 the County Forests bought up 8,340 acres of forests in 39 different tracts.
Many are now criss-crossed by the Bruce Trail, which would be a wasteland today had it not
been for the efforts of Zavitz and others he convinced to join the cause. The county also joined
in on campaigns of the Ontario Conservation and Reforestation Association (OCRA), which
toured people through the area to show off successes and continuing problems. This effort led to
the Conservation Authorities Act and the Trees Act in 1946 - which for the first time restricted
logging on private lands.

Dr. Bacher reported the Conservation Authorities Act began in Grey County in 1950 with the
establishment of the Saugeen Conservation Authority.

“In that time, flooding on the Saugeen was so serious the inundation of Walkerton had become
an annual event,” he said. “Boats had to be used for rescue, cellars of all the stores on the main
street were flooded, families were evacuated, factories were forced to close and rail service was
suspended.”

Zavitz was instrumental in all this struggle, as a provincial employee, demoted to Chief Forester
of Ontario from his position of Deputy Minister of Forests, he was able to work with local people
and politicians to create the Midhurst station to expose people to the problem and lobby to
protect not only forests and create reforestation programs, but also to establish safekeeping for
the Niagara Escarpment lands.

Dr. Bacher’s book Two Billion Trees and Counting: The Legacy of Edmund Zavitz goes into the
full story with details, an extensive bibliography outlining his research and an index. He sold
many books after his presentation and signed them for those in attendance. A limited number of
signed editions are available at the South Grey Musem. Published by Dundurn Press’ Natural
Heritage imprint, this 274 page softcover book is available online and at bookstores.

South Grey Museum Update: July 2012

posted Jul 16, 2012, 12:19 PM by William Flesher   [ updated Jul 16, 2012, 5:36 PM ]

The new Curator/Manager at the South Grey Museum in Flesherton is already finding exciting stories and activities from our local heritage to inform our current and future culture!

In her first week, Curator Kate Russell reports she was welcomed by local residents and Museum supporters and greeted many visitors at our door. Over the past month, two school groups have come through the museum from MacPhail Elementary and visitors from the area, the province, the US and Europe have signed the guest book.

We have had interesting visitors including a man and his family who are cottagers on Lake Eugenia – his dad built the very first cottage on the lake. He was interested to see the historic images of Eugenia Falls we have on display and offered his old video of the lake before it was surrounded by cottages.

A woman and her daughter stopped by on their way from Parliament Hill – where they visited Agnes MacPhail’s bust - back to their home in Edmonton, Alberta. She is the daughter of the last agent at the Flesherton Station in Ceylon. She was elated to see the old ticket wicket we have on display and pointed out her bedroom window in historical images. This mother daughter team were on the trail of “Our Aggie” and were very interested in the online Digital Collection of her writings and documents completed by the Grey Highlands Library in the last few years.

Naomi Norquay was in to let us know about 23 teachers she led on a walking tour of the Old Durham Road Black settlers’ homesteads. She filled me in on the Community Memories Project coordinated through the Muesum soon to be online. It will be a virtual museum with images of the local Black History celebrated in our region with the annual Emancipation Festival in Owen Sound. She got me in touch with a fellow who runs the local Heritage Pathways group to ensure we have the resources to direct visitors tracing their cultural roots.

A fellow returned some military items loaned to Grey Roots Museum & Archives for a display there. We spoke about important contributions of local veterans remembered on “Our Honoured Past” website. He expressed hope for us to have more displays to honour veterans in the future. He got me in contact with some re-enactors for possible special events in the fall.

We’ve met with Helen Jones of Artemesia Dance about a potential “Steps Back In Time” children’s dance dramatization workshop series and presentation this summer. I’m also working on ideas for more creative ways to animate Memorial Park for all ages this summer – in cooperation with the municipal Recreation Department. An Edwardian Nature Studies art camp will involve youngsters traditional “nature studies” conducted in paints by Edwardian children, using as models the plants in our Heritage Herb Garden.

Our Speaker’s Series, originally organized by previous curator Jennifer Stenberg, is underway. These interesting educational opportunities are scheduled for Wednesday evenings. Jennifer has volunteered to continue helping through to their completion. Cost is on $5 for members or $10 per member couple. Stan Bain and Doug Larson have already presented fascinating topics. Mark your calendar for the following:


 Date  Speaker  Title
 July 18
John Bacher Edmund Zavitz Rescues Ontario: His Impact on Grey County 
August 15 Les McKinnon Lies We Live By
September 19  Sharon Sinclair Sky Messages
October 17 Bob Henderson Every Trail Has a Story 
November 14  George Auer  Remembering Our Fallen 

FOR DETAILS SEE OUR PROGRAMS PAGE

The Exhibits are changing up as we are able – with no special exhibits planned at this stage. Still, the focus is already on more interactive and hands-on displays, including an area now featuring the history books and genealogical resources of our Historical Library.

Seasonal interpretive displays from our artefact vault are in the planning – with spring’s theme being Pioneer Planting and Shearing. This dovetailed nicely with students visiting. They had a chance to write on a slate tablet (using chalk not clicking a computerized one) and card some raw wool – thanks to the hands-on Edukit just returned from a school loan.

There’s a lot happening at the Museum! Members get free admission for rotating exhibits; discounts on special events; regular updates and volunteer options to get involved and help steer your Museum into the future. Donations are welcome and tax deductible for amounts over $10.

Please consider visiting soon and getting reacquainted with local history. Become a member and watch us grow our stories! Preserving our past gives us a clear identity to move with pride into our future! So please support us and help keep local history alive!


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