Living History

By Jill Passmore, Visitor Experience Co-ordinator

I have done may different things during my time at the Museum; given tours, worked in the garden, make kids crafts, but my favourite time at the Museum was after the fire of 2003 – working in the archives. Myself and others spent countless hours cleaning and refiling photos and other important documents pertaining to Oshawa’s rich history. This time inspired me to get to know Oshawa’s history better and encouraged me to become more familiar with what is in our archives. Since then I have worked on a few different research projects, including reviewing, editing and further researching education in Oshawa with the Olive French manuscript and the initial research for ‘If This House Could Talk: The Story of Henry House’. I have also been able to use information from the archives for numerous presentations and education programs.

From all of this research I have realized that I am living history.

My house is located in the Beatrice and Grandview area of Oshawa. This was once the home of the Lake Ontario Iroquois during the 1400s. Driving down Grandview Street, I get a clear view of the ring of trees surrounding the original pioneer cemetery on Gifford Hill. Every day I stop at the corner of King Street and Harmony Road, once the home of members of the Farewell and Drew families. I arrive at work and get to spend my day in houses that are over 170 years old. When researching the early history of Oshawa for a presentation, was able to look out my window and know that what I had just read about happened directly outside. There are very few people who are as lucky as I am.

I encourage everyone to look out their windows and at least start thinking about what may have happened outside of them!

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