The Henry Grandkids – Ambrose Henry

By Jill Passmore, Visitor Experience Co-ordinator

Ambrose Henry was the first child born to John Henry and Elizabeth Hait; he was the first grandchild.  At the time of his birth, November 3, 1847, his father and mother were living in a 1 ½ storey frame home in Darlington Township.

Ambrose married Sarah Anne Tuer on January 14, 1869 in Bowmanville.  In 1871, John and Sarah lived in Darlington Township and John farmed.  They had two children during their marriage, Hortense, born in 1871, and Martia.  It seems Martia was born in 1872 and possibly died in the same year.

By 1881, his father John is living with Ambrose and Sarah and acting as a land agent.  Mary Tuer, Sarah’s mother, is also living with them and their daughter Hortense. 

The 1891 Census lists them as being Methodist instead of Christian and living in East Whitby.  Thomas Henry raised all of his children as Christians/Disciples of Christ, and Ambrose’s father, John continued this.  It is unknown how they came about the decision to change denominations.

By 1901, Ambrose and Sarah’s parents who were living with them had both passed away.  A woman named Edna Drinkle was listed as their servant and Ambrose was a merchant.  In 1906, Ambrose was elected as Warden for Ontario Country.

In 1911, he worked at a local grocery; in 1921 he is recorded living at 66 Drew Street, Oshawa with his daughter Hortense and her husband John Herancourt.

Ambrose Henry died on May 26, 1929 of myocardia failure due to arteriosclerosis at the age of 81; he is buried in Union Cemetery near his parents.  The following is Ambrose’s obituary from the Toronto Daily Star:

Pioneer is Dead

The death took place early to-day of Ambrose E. Henry, one of the most prominent citizens and pioneers of this district, at his home on Drew St.  Mr. Henry was in his 82nd year and for more than half a century was connected with the Masonic order.  He was born in 1848 on the Henry homestead at Oshawa-on-the-Lake, the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Henry, and saw Oshawa grow from obscurity to its present position.  He entered the grocery business, retiring twenty years ago to enter the employ of General Motors as foreman of stockrooms, and retired from that five years later.

To Mr. Henry is given credit for the building of the Masonic Temple here, and during his illness his suffering was mitigated by many tributes from local Masons.  He was a grand steward of the Grand Lodge of Canada and in the Royal Arch Masons he was past grand superintendent of district number 10.  Funeral service will be held on Wednesday, Rev. Ernest Harston officiating.  Mrs. John Herancourt, a daughter, survives.

Toronto Daily Star, May 28, 1929
Henry Headstone, Union Cemetery

Newsworthy Affairs

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

One of our regular series on the blog is The Month That Was. The OM started the MTW feature at least a decade ago when we used ‘Facebook Notes’ to share these newspaper stories, and when the blog got off the ground in 2013, the series migrated to this forum.

I am very grateful when our high school co-op students have helped compile the posts for various months, because this series can take quite a bit of time between reading, transcribing, finding images, and scheduling the posts. A few students especially enjoyed this task when it meant using the microfilm reader in the archives, dusting off this technology relic, and yet still a mainstay.

Every so often, when tasked with writing the MTW, I get lost in the articles. My interest piques when I see a familiar name or read about a well known historical event. Last month, I couldn’t help but share with my colleagues when I read a marriage announcement:

Married

At the residence of the bride’s father by Rev. T. Henry, on Saturday evening, the 7th inst, Mr. Albert N. Henry and Miss Harriett T. Guy, both of Port Oshawa.

Oshawa Vindicator, June 11, 1862

Sadly, Harriett died in 1866 due to a typhoid epidemic in the community.

And while I thoroughly the catchy songs in the movie musical The Greatest Showman, we know in real life, PT Barnum was not the sympathetic hero he was portrayed as by Hugh Jackman. This was remarked on in 1865:

Barnum’s expressed design of exhibiting Tom Thumb in France, has called forth a good witticism from Ledru Rollin.  “Tom Thumb should exhibit Barnum,” said he, “for the latter is the greater curiosity.”

Oshawa Vindicator, December 6, 1865

Often, I laugh at what the newspaper deems worthy to print, giggling as I type it out for others to read. For example, in 1872, the Ontario Reformer had an article devoted to the calendar make up, as follows:

The year 1872 contains 52 Sundays. September and December each begins on a Sunday; January, April and July on Monday. October is the only month beginning on a Tuesday. February begins and ends on Thursday; consequently we have five Thursdays, which will not occur again until the year 1900.  In the year 1880, February will have five Sundays which will not occur again until the year 1920.  The year 1871 began on Sunday and ended on Sunday.

Ontario Reformer, January 19, 1872

And in our latest entry for the MTW, in the Oshawa-on-the-Lake column, the following was reported:

The lake water [can] get very cold, nevertheless, a number of campers take a regular morning dip. The first lady bather of the season is Mrs. Sparks of Toronto, who is visiting with the Misses King. She ventured out alone on Wednesday afternoon.

Ontario Reformer, July 11, 1902

There are, unfortunately, gaps in Oshawa’s newspaper history, and we are very fortunate when hard copies exist and are donated to the archives. Because of this, we have sometimes looked to surrounding community’s newspapers for news items about Oshawa.

Pupils of Mae Marsh Delight Big Audience at Masonic Temple

Parents and friends strained the capacity of the Masonic Temple, Oshawa, on Saturday afternoon, to see the dance recital presented by the Lillian Mae Marsh School of Dancing.  Picturesque costumes that would have qualified for a Broadway show and a smartly paced program held the interest of the audience.

Canadian Statesman, April 4, 1952

Perhaps the MTW that looked the farthest afield was April 1937. This was the month of the strike that saw the recognition of the auto workers union, and the strike itself made headlines in Canada and the US. As reported in Indiana,

Premier Hurls New Threat in Oshawa Strike
Oshawa, Ont., April 13 (AP) – A move by Canada’s minister of labor to mediate the Oshawa strike pivoted today upon consent by General Motors of Canada, Ltd.

Meanwhile, other developments added fuel to the already heated controversy of international scope: Hugh Thompson, John L. Lewis’s right-hand man in the Oshawa strike, asserted the US supreme court decision on the Wagner act would cast the United Automobile Workers’ union in the role of sole bargaining agent for the General Motors workers here and the in the United States.

Premier Mitchell Hepburn of Ontario accused Lewis of trying to become “economic and political dictator” of both the United States and Canada and declared that, if he came to Canada and sponsored any overt act, or if any of his aids should do so, they would be jailed “for a good, long time and there wouldn’t be any bail.”

Lafayette Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), 13 April 1937

When I randomly chose the Month That Was December 1872, I was highly interested to learn that it was during this month that a great fire affected downtown Oshawa, the paper remarking Oshawa had been ‘Chicagoed’ likening this disaster to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. I’d recommend reading this month in its entirety, HERE.

Be sure to watch our blog on the first of every month for the latest edition of The Month That Was, and I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoy researching and writing them!

The Month That Was – July 1902

All articles originally appeared in the Ontario Reformer

July 4, 1902

Page 1
Lost. On or about the 21st of June, between Conlin’s School House and Oshawa, a finger glove used in ball playing, was lost. The finder will be liberally rewarded by leaving it at this office. July 3, 1902.

Page 4
Mr. John Goyne, formerly of Oshawa, is a member of No. 3 Field Hospital and Bearer Company, of Montreal, which won first prize in the first aid work and drill competition at St. Helen’s Island last week. The squad, which is comprised of six men, won 279 marks of a possible 300. John will be in Oshawa next week to spend his summer vacation.

Oshawa Old Boys Reunion – Many towns throughout the province have of late been holding re-union celebrations and on all occasions the event has proved successful in every respect. We think it now up to Oshawa to make a move for such a festival and suggest that action be at once taken in the matter.  There is plenty of time for a citizens committee to take hold of this scheme and make a successful demonstration here on the Annual Labour Day holiday.  We feel confident that whoever offers to take the matter in hand will receive the support of the entire community.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Deaths
Farewell – In Saulte Ste. Marie, on Wednesday, the 2nd inst., Dr. George M Farewell in his 65th year.  The Funeral will leave the family homestead at Harmony, on Saturday afternoon, 5th inst., at 2:30 o’clock.

Page 8
Kawartha Lakes
Before deciding on a place at which to spend the vacation this summer, it is will to take into consideration the many advantages of the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario, Canada.  As a place for camping the region has to superior.  For the most part, the shores of the lakes are untouched by man. Nature is seen in all her grand disorder, there being nowhere that artificiality which, to the true lover of nature, often spoils landscape.  Pure air and water, each which is a factor in choosing a summering place, are assured in that region.  Transportation on the lakes is also amply provided by a steamboat line plying between Lakefield and Coboconk, a distance of 70 miles.  There is an additional attraction for the angler, as the fishing in the lakes is very good.  The gamey maskirouge (sic) and black bass are there to reward the sportsman.

July 11, 1902, page 6

July 11, 1902

Page 2
Coronation in August

Report Says that It Will Be Earlier Than Expected
A despatch from London says King Edward will be crowned between August 11 and August 15.  His recovery has been so rapid and satisfactory that the above decision was arrived at today.  No [official] announcement of the fact has yet been made, however.  The pageant through the streets and the ceremony at Westminster Abbey will be much curtailed from the original plan.  Their Majesties will drive from Buckingham Palace to the Abbey through the Mall to Whitehall and thence to the Abbey, the same route as taken at the opening of Parliament.

Page 3
Oshawa-on-the-Lake
The warm weather of the past week has at last brought down daily a large crowd of visitors who spend a few hours with us and return home much refreshed

The cottages are now all occupied, as also are the rooms over Henry’s restaurant and the campers are thoroughly enjoying all the pleasures that life at the resort affords.

The lake water [can] get very cold, nevertheless, a number of campers take a regular morning dip. The first lady bather of the season is Mrs. Sparks of Toronto, who is visiting with the Misses King. She ventured out alone on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr CA Mallory for the past few years has become prominent resident as the resort [is not] with us this year, and his familiar form is greatly missed.  He has rented his restaurant to Mr. Ed Thomas and with his wife will sail to England to spend a month or so there.

July 11, 1902, page 7

July 18, 1902

Page 1
Oshawa-on-the-Lake
A number of picnics have been booked for this month and next at AD Henry’s grounds.  To-morrow Mount Carswell Sons of Temperance will be here, and Saturday, the 25th inst. the annual picnic of the employees of the Malleable Iron Works will be help. This picnic has been setteled for the 19th but owing to the large crowd coming from out of town on that day to attend the big lacrosse match up town, the Oshawa Railway found it would be impossible to handle the crowd.

On Wednesday the Argyle brought some seven hundred from Toronto to picnic at the Park., Some of our young ladies seem to look forward with great delight to the days the boat brings picnics and remains all day.  It is nice they can find some attraction on the boat since our resort affords them none.

Page 3
To visit Khartoum
The Prince, the Khedive and Lord Kitchener
A despatch from London says – it is stated that the Prince of Wales and General Kitchener will be present with the Khedive of Egypt at the formal inauguration of the great Assouan dam in December.  The party will afterwards visit Khartoum.

July 25, 1902, page 5

July 25,1902

Page 1
Reward
The undersigned will pay the ten dollars to any person who will give information that will convict the party or parties that broke in the door of the weigh scales at the Harbor, or [     ] the name F. Finnigan on the new store house at the Harbor
Henry Salter, [       ] of Words

July 25, 1902, page 6

Page 4
Proclamation
Civic Holiday
In accordance with a resolution of the Town Council in that behalf, I hereby proclaim

Monday, the 4th day of Aug – prox. A Public Holiday for this Corporation.  Accordingly all citizens are respectfully requested to refrain from their ordinary avocations on that Day.

FL Fowke, Mayor
Mayor’s Office, July 23, 1902

ArteFACTS – Lancashire Clogs

By Melissa Cole, Curator

Originating from northern England, Lancashire Clogs have also gone by the names Northumberland Clogs or Yorkshire Clogs. 

Unlike the more famous Dutch clogs, Lancashire clogs have a leather upper; some lace up like ordinary shoes while others contain an engraved metal clasp, such as the ones in our collection.  Clogs were not only cheaper than leather shoes, they were safer against penetration and less likely to be adversely affected by snow, moisture and mud. They were long lasting and comfortable.  

These wooden soled shoes, with strips of steel attached underneath like a horseshoe, were the everyday footwear of working people in England.  At first glance they may look fairly simple, but in fact their simplicity is what made them popular in Britain from the 1840s until the 1920s. Although traditionally associated with Lancashire, they were worn all over the country.

The wearing of clogs in Britain became more visible with the Industrial Revolution, when industrial workers needed strong, cheap footwear. Men and women wore laced and clasped clogs respectively, the fastening clasps being of engraved brass or more commonly steel.   The soles are carved from a hard wood, such as alder and shod with irons to stop the wood from wearing away.  Nailed under the sole at the toe and heel were clog irons, generally 3/8″ wide x 1/4″ thick with a groove down the middle to protect the nail heads from wear.  The uppers are tacked onto the soles and made from leather. Each component of the shoe is made to be easily repaired. 

Symbolic of the working class, this style of shoe was worn by the thousands of people who worked in the cotton mills throughout northern England.  This particular pair of clogs was worn by Mrs. T.H. Campbell before she emigrated from England to Canada in 1910.    Wherever it was damp or wet underfoot, clogs were the preferred footwear due to their cheapness (to buy and to repair), their long-lasting wear, and their comfort.

In England, the wearing of clogs gave rise to clog dancing, a popular form of dancing that eventually developed into tap dancing. It has been suggested that clog dancing originated with workers synchronizing foot tapping with the rhythmic sounds made by the loom shuttles. The predominant style of Lancashire clog dancing was termed ‘heel and toe.’ Many of the steps emulate the sound of the shuttle and other parts of the cotton spinning and weaving machinery.

Clog dancing was a cheap form of popular entertainment. Not only was clog dancing common, it took place on street corners, there were professional clog dancers and competitions, and proficient clog dancers could improve their situation by dancing professionally in music halls.  One notable Lancashire clog dancer who ultimately succeeded was Charlie Chaplin who performed in a troupe called the ‘The Eight Lancashire Lads.’

Dancing clogs were termed ‘neet’ clogs. They did not have irons on the soles and were lighter than the heavier working clogs. The uppers were usually highly tooled (decorated) and often coloured. 

One final note on Lancashire clogs. Men who wished to settle differences frequently did so by squaring off against each other by “clog fighting.” In Lancashire it was curiously known as “purring,” with a contemporary account from Chris Brady who states the following:

It is all up and down fighting here. They fought quite naked, excepting their clogs. When one has the other down on the ground he first endeavors to choke him by squeezing his throat, then he kicks him with his clogs. Sometimes they are very severely injured.

Chris Brady

Watch Melissa talk about the Lancashire Clogs in our video podcast:

Pride Month in Durham

By Jennifer Weymark, Archivist

June is a month of celebrations.  From National Indigenous Heritage Month, to Pride Month and Fiesta here in Oshawa, it is month of celebrating people and cultures of our community. Each of these celebrations look to highlight the amazing diversity within our community.

Pride Month’s history is connected to the gay rights protests held across Canada in the 1970s. The first protest march was held on August 28, 1971 in Ottawa on Parliament Hill. The march concluded with the protesters presenting a petition to the government outlining a list of ten equal rights and protections they wanted the government to enact. These protests came after years of the LGBTQ2S+ community striving to gain equal rights. Canada has a long history with criminalizing homosexuality, and the fight for equal rights was not easy. Over the year, laws against homosexuality actually became more harsh and worked to criminalize anyone gay who was not celibate.  Bill C-150 was passed in May 1969 which decriminalized gay sex in Canada. This bill was only a first step towards the equal rights and the protection of those rights.

In August 1973, the first national Pride Week celebrations happened with events being held in several Canadian cities, including Toronto, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. The first “official” Pride Marches were held in 1979 in both Toronto and Vancouver.

Here in Durham Region, the first official Pride event was held in Whitby in 2004 by the Durham Pride Association.  The event was held just two years after Marc Hall, a student at Monsignor John Pereyma Catholic Secondary School in Oshawa, made headlines across the country by taking the Durham Catholic School Board to court over discrimination.

Hall took the DCSB to court after he was prevented from purchasing a ticket for himself and his boyfriend to attend the prom together on the grounds that homosexuality was incompatible with Catholic teaching. The lawsuit thrust Hall to the forefront of the fight for gay equality as the story became international news. In an interview with Global News a decade after his lawsuit, Hall noted that he wasn’t someone who wanted to be the centre of attention, and that he found the media swarm to be scary. The Justice involved in the court proceedings issued an injunction ordering the school to allow Hall to attend prom with his boyfriend given that the suit would likely take years.  Hall attended prom with Jean-Paul Drummond.  In 2005, Hall dropped the case against the DCSB knowing that it would likely drag on for years. This experience helped Hall to become an advocate for gay equality.  A documentary was produced examining his fight against the DCSB, and there was even a TV movie produced. Hall’s lawsuit helped shine a light on the ongoing fight for equal rights that members of the LGBTQ2S+ community faced and continue to face.

Oshawa’s Pride Parade, 2015

The first Pride event held by Durham Pride Association saw 150 people attend.  Since then the organization has grown and became a non-profit in 2008.  The organization works to support the LGBTQ2S+ community by hosting events in all the towns and cities in Durham Region. Like so many other events, this year’s Pride March had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. Organizers are already planning for next year’s event.


Resources:

Kennedy, John R. “10 Years Later, Marc Hall is much more than ‘the prom guy’” https://globalnews.ca/news/290335/10-years-later-marc-hall-is-much-more-than-the-prom-guy/

Pride Durham. “Our History.” https://www.pridedurham.org/history

Queer Events. “History of Canadian Pride.”  https://www.queerevents.ca/canada/pride/history

The Canadian Encyclopedia. “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights in Canada.” https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/lesbian-gay-bisexual-and-transgender-rights-in-canada

The Canadian Encyclopedia. “Pride In Canada.” https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/world-pride-2014-toronto