Archives Awareness Week: 1867/1967

By Jennifer Weymark, Archivist

This article originally appeared on the Durham Region Area Archives Group website to celebrate Archives Awareness Week. This annual event, held across Ontario from April 3-9, 2017, is designed to raise awareness of the many resources that can be found in archival collections around the province.


This year marks the 150th Anniversary of Confederation. The year will be filled with celebrations, retrospection and imagining where this country will be in another 150 years. To begin the celebration, member institutions of DRAAG have looked through their holdings to find the most interesting item from 1867 and 1967 in their collections!

On August 26, 1867 an Oshawa resident by the name of T.N. Gibbs received a telegram from John A. Macdonald.  The telegram is rather significant, not only because it was sent by Canada’s first Prime Minister, but it talks about the first election after Confederation.

Gibbs was not new to politics but this election would be his most notable. He ran against Reformer backed George Brown and Liberal John Sandfield Macdonald.  While Gibbs won, it was widely accepted that he do so by corrupt practices.

Gibbs was the only successful Conservative candidate in this area.  This meant that he acted as the local confidante for Sir John A. Macdonald. So much so, that we have another little note sent to Gibbs by Macdonald in our collection.

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A960.19.5 (60-D-19); from the archival collection of the Oshawa Museum

Canada celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Confederation on a large scale. Locally, Oshawa joined in on the celebrations as well. Between beard growing contests, NHL exhibition games and special performances, the City marked the anniversary in a prominent way. Students in Oshawa schools spent a good part of the school year preparing for a Centennial Celebration held at the Civic Auditorium. The program included songs and dances, art work and projects that highlighted the differences between life in Oshawa in 1867 and 1967. The grade 7 and 8 students from E.A. Lovell School actually put on a performance showing the differences in physical training in 1867 and 1967. In the archives, we have the binder that was developed to outline all of the activities Oshawa schools engaged in related to the Centennial.

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Be sure to visit the Durham Region Area Archives Group website to see what gems are in archives from around our Region and to learn more about local archives!

Month That Was: April 1947

All news articles have come from the The Daily Times-Gazette

Tuesday April 1, 1947
Ayrshire Breeder In District Make First Shipment to China
First U.N.R.R.A. shipment of its kind from Canada, 12 head of topflight Ayrshire cattle, are rolling west by rail from here today on the first lap of the long haul to China.

Hermitage Farms, Pickering, owned by E. L. Ruddy and Son, was the key assembly point yesterday afternoon as the thoroughbred livestock where herded up the ramps into trucks in preparation for two-month trip. Three thousand miles away, a China-bound ship is waiting in Vancouver harbour for the Ontario shipment.

Arranged by the Dominion Department of Agriculture, this transfer of livestock to U.N.R.R.A. for relief of China’s decimated herds will be followed by further deliverers from other Ontario centres.

In addition to seven bulls and two heifers bred at Hermitage Farms, yesterday’s included one bull from Albert Cooper’s Netherhall Farms, Brooklin, one bull from F. G. Carswell’s farm, Brooklin, and one heifer from Cluaran Farms, owned by Charles Robson, of Oshawa.

“It’s the first sale of cattle to U.N.R.R.A. from Canada,” said Robert Ruddy, waiting for the trucks to arrive. “I think the last shipment to China like this was 14 years ago,” he added.

U.N.R.R.A. specifications were “very high”, Mr. Ruddy explained. Bulls had to be between 12 and 14 months of age and cows had to have a butter production record of 500 pounds per year running as far back as the granddam.

Mr. Ruddy said the livestock would be used for breeding purposes in China, where every phase of the economy has been riddled by ravages of invasion and civil war.

Nearly 300 applications had flooded in to U.N.R.R.A. headquarters when the agency called for men to accompany the Ontario shipment all the way to China. No one from the district had been chosen as far as Mr. Ruddy knew.

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The first shipment of its kind from this area, a shipment of 12 thoroughbred Ayrshire cattle from Hermitage Farms, Pickering; Netherhall Farms, Brooklin; F. G. Carswell’s Glen Carswell farm at Columbus and Cluaran Farms, Oshawa, is rolling toward the west coast today on the first lap of its journey to China. The shipment which was arranged for U.N.R.R.A. by the Dominion Department of Agriculture, was assembled at Hermitage Farms and loaded yesterday. The nine bulls in the shipment, left to right are: Glen Carswell Peter Pan, from the Glen Carswell Farm; Hermitage Double Burton, Hermitage Lustre General, Wallabrae Buster Earl, Hermitage Royal Charlie, all from Hermitage Farms; Brooklin Danny Boy, from Netherhall Farms; Hermitage Coronation Master, Hermitage Lord Douglas 3rd and Hermitage Lucky Noble Art, from Hermitage farms. -Photo by Campbell’s Studio

 

April. 8, 1947
AUTHORIZE CEDARDALE PLAYGROUND
Cedardale is to have its long awaited playground.

On motion of the city council last night, authorization was given to the east portion of the former Coulter property being used as a playground so long as it is not required by the city for any other purpose. Authorization was also given for the Board of Works to do the necessary grading.

The property, now owned by the city, is the site of the former Coulter Manufacturing plant and runs from Simcoe Street to Ritson Road south of the Skinner Co. plant. The portion for the proposed playground is that nearest Ritson Road.

Pointing to the need for a playground in this area, Recreation Director R.L. Coleman said it was hoped it could be put into use this summer. The site, he said, is large enough to be useful of all types of activities including sports and outings for the large industries in the area.

Mr. Coleman said the property would accommodate a hard ball diamond, there being no other diamond of this kind south of King Street. He outlined the south-east corner as the part of the new park most suitable for the children’s play area.

Tried to Pick Fight with Police
George R. Kirtley, East Whitby, was fined $5 and costs or five days, on a charge of disorderly conduct, to which he pleaded guilty in Magistrate’s Court this morning. It was pointed out that the accused had no previous record.

Constable Harvey testified he and constable Harry King were trying to stop an argument between several fellows in front of the Woolworth Building on King Street West, about 1:25 a.m. Sunday when the accused came out of the New Service Lunch and intervened.

“The accused tried to pick a fight with us when we were busy breaking up the other argument,” the officer said.

Kirtley in his own defence started that he had been drinking, but not to excess that night. He was only striking up for his friends and not trying to pick a fight with anybody.

CANCER CASES ON INCREASE V.O.N SAYS
Statistics produced by the supervisor of the Victorian Order of Nurses, Miss Edith Hill, at a regular monthly meeting on the V.O.N. executive here yesterday afternoon, show there is a vast increase in the number of cases if cancer and pneumonia in this city. Cancer in the city has risen to five cases as compared to one last year at this time.

During February, the nurse’s report said, a total of 70 admissions were made; visitations were 432; and fees received were $153.50. During March this year there were 75 admissions; visitors 468 and fees amounting to $176.50.

Miss Downey, a graduate of the public health nursing course at the University of Toronto, is taking her practical training with Miss Hill at the present time.

At yesterday’s meeting Alderman Clifford Harmon was appointed council representative on the Victorian Order of Nurses executive board here.

It was also resolved that W.E.N. Sinclair, K.C., M.P., be asked to represent the local V.O.N. branch at the 49th annual meeting of the Board of Govenors of the V.O.N. of Canada to be held in Ottawa, April 29 and 30.

 

April. 15, 1947
Quick Action Saves Child From Water
The quick action of Mrs. Harry King, Ritson Road North, saved three-year-old Marie Taylor from possible drowning this morning when the child fell into a cellar for a new house which contained two or three feet of water.

Mrs. King, who resided on the east side of Ritson Road North, two houses Rosedale Avenue, noticed an object in the water in the cellar which is just north of her house. Going out she found a little girl in the water and without delay went into the water and rescued her.

Marie, who lives in Toronto and was visiting her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. J. O’Donnell, 334 Ritson Road North, is now none the worse for her experience.

Neighbors said this was not the first time children had fallen into the water in the cellar.

Good Nickel Chocolate Bar Needed
By The Canadian Press
What Canadians want is a good five-cent chocolate bar, a Canadian Press survey showed today.

Most citizens questioned agreed with C.C.F. leader M.J. Coldwell who pleaded in the House of Commons yesterday for a return to the five-cent bar. He raised the question in commenting on the recent price increase which hiked the wartime six-cent bar to eight-cents.

The survey showed that while the average Canadian kid will go for his chocolate bar regardless of price, his more money conscious dad is beginning to smit loud squawks of protest. In some localities the price boost led to increased supplies while others noted no change in a candyless situation.

One curious feature was a wide divergence in reports of sales, Toronto reporting a 50 per cent drop in sales volume and other cities, notably Winnipeg, reporting sales of all supplies available. Some points said it was too early to note any difference in the week since the increase went into effect.

Montreal reported there was a slight dropping off in sales but most adults were buying all in sight. Dealers anticipated a further decline in sales as supplies increased. Ottawa confectioners looked to an easing in the supply situation while they reported customers were getting more “choosy” at the higher price and inclined to take only what they considered the better bars.

Toronto dealers took an optimistic view and said that when customers got used to the idea of the eight-cent bar they’d start buying again.

In the West, while complaints were frequent and there was some decrease in sales, dealers generally reported selling all they had on hand.

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April. 29, 1947
City Buys Snowloader
Purchase of a snowloader for the city was authorized last night by the City Council while tenders for a caterpillar tractor to be used in connection with the proposed sanitary land fill system of garbage disposal was referred to the city engineer for his recommendation.

The snowloader, complete with overhead loader and bulldozer blade, will be purchased from the General Supply Co. of Canada for $4,663.

Tenders from four firms were received for the tractor and after the city clerk had read the lengthy technical descriptions embodied in these it was moved the City Engineer W. Dempsey study them and bring a recommendation as to the most satisfactory. The price ranged from $6,020 to $7,270.

 

Education in Oshawa

By Jill Passmore, Visitor Experience Co-ordinator

Oshawa has a lengthy history in terms of education. As soon as people and families began immigrating to Upper Canada, men and women were teaching children from their homes and tiny schoolrooms. There are many instances of this in our immediate area.

In the early 1800s, Joseph Moore came to the small settlement here, from Boston. He founded the first school in this district and used his superior education to make his living. Not much is known about him except that he was a well-educated man and a “lawyer of parts.” Despite this fact, it has been said that Mr. Moore was much respected throughout his community as well as the whole county.

His school was situated on the farm of Benjamin Rogers on the lakeshore between Oxford Street and Park Road South. The property was still owned by descendants of the Rogers family until the 1960s. Of course, the streets, just mentioned, were non-existent then. The attendance at the school was small and the few families who lived there paid for the upkeep.

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Thornton Corners School, c. 1880. Oshawa Museum’s archival collection

J. Douglas Ross notes in Education in Oshawa that Miss Cross established a school in a log hut on the William Blair farm in 1811. This was between Oshawa and Whitby on the lakeshore. Also in the book, Ross discusses the many schoolrooms that opened in Oshawa-proper. One built on the southwest corner of King and Simcoe Street on the McGrigor farm, the Union school on Simcoe and Royal Streets in 1835 and the emergence of S.S. No 1, (Harmony School) and S.S. No. 5 (Thornton’s Corners).

It is unclear where the children that lived in Guy, Robinson and Henry House went to school. The Henry boys from Thomas’s first marriage to Elizabeth Davies perhaps attended the Union School. We can assume that they were educated because all went on to read and write as well as become successful in the community. Thomas’s younger children with Lurenda Abby might have attended S. S. No. 2 (Cedardale School), which was built in the early 1850s. Again, they all went on to read, write and become contributing members of the community.

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Centre Street School is the model that the Oshawa Museum has used in recreating its own one room schoolhouse. Younger children sit in desks arranged so that they are at the front and the older children are at the back. During March Break families are invited to come down and see what it was like to attend school in the Victorian era! The immersive experience includes dressing up in period costumes, writing with pen & ink and on slates, participating in a spelling bee and learning to sing God Save the Queen. Kids can even have their photos take with Queen Victoria!

Come down to Robinson House for all of the activities on March Break. From Monday through Friday, 9 am – 3 pm, you can drop in for all of the fun. Only $5 per child. For inquiries, please call Jill at 905-436-7624 x. 106.

MB1 - Compressed

Month That Was – March 1926

Don’t forget! You can discover more about the Month That Was March 1926 by viewing the newspapers online at Canadian Community Digital Archives. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Government of Canada for this project.


The Ontario Daily Reformer
Bus Enters Ditch to Avoid Auto
Edition 04 March, 1926

Bus Owner Lays Charge Against C. H. Read for Recklessness

A Whitby-Oshawa bus ran into the ditch on the Kingston Road at Gibbons street shortly after seven o’clock this morning, when Harold Dalton, the driver, attempted to avoid striking a car driven by C. H. Read, 96 Gibbons street, when it turned on to the Kingston road off Gibbons street. The bus went on its side in the ditch. There were about 18 passengers in the bubs at the time, but none suffered injuries, outside of one man who sustained a scratched hand.

A charge of reckless driving has been laid against C. H. Read.

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The Ontario Daily Reformer
At Local Theatres
Edition 04 March, 1926

Meighen in “Irish Luck” Opens at Regent Tonight

The famous Blarney Stone – heralded for many years in song, poem and Irish tale – has been kissed by Thomas Meighen, the Paramount star who went to Erin to make “Irish Luck,” the Emerald Isle romance which opens a three-day engagement at the Regent this evening.

Such an event in of sufficient importance as to have the exact time of its accomplishment recorded. Hence be it noted that the kissing took place at five minutes after two o’clock on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 1925.

The Blarney Stone is located, as everyone should know, at Blarney Castle. T isn’t particularly difficult to kiss, but according to Irish Icre, its effect is very hard to get rid of. It is supposed to fill the kissee with a wonderful abundance of the stuff young girls are supposed to hear just as the love-sick age.

“Irish Luck,” a romantic-drama against a background of modern Erin, has a swift-moving plot, suspense, thrills and heart-interest – and more – it has Tom Meighan in a duel role. Tom Geraghty adapted the story from Norman Venner’s Saturday Evening Post serial, “An Imperfect Imposter.” Victor Heerman directed the production, which features Lois Wilson at the head of a strong supporting cast.

Arthur Stone in a rollicking comedy creation and “Call of the Game,” a short sports film will be added attractions as will Sam Collis and his Regent orchestra. 

 

The Ontario Daily Reformer
Second Annual High School Play
Edition 04 March, 1926

Those Taking Part Are Working Hard To Make It A Great Success

On Friday evening of this week the students of the Oshawa High School are presenting their second annual play and concert in the auditorium of the school. The first part of the entertainment will consist of selections by the Glee Club of the school. The club have been practicing faithfully and well since early fall and under the able tuition of Mr. Lyonde of the Hambourg Conservatory of Music have developed wonderfully. This part of the programme will be made up of solos, duets, quartets, and choruses and should be highly entertaining.

The second part of the evening’s entertainment will take the form of a play put on by students of the school. In the presenting of plays the local students have won themselves a place in the hearts of Oshawa people by their stellar work in the comedy “Mr. Bob,” which was put on last year. Probably no play given by amateur talent in Oshawa has attracted more favorable criticism and well-deserved applause than this play and on their reputation won last year the students should have a large audience on Friday night.

…The play is being directed by Ms. Adams who was in charge of last year’s production and o whom much of the credit for the excellent showing of the students last year was due. The details regarding costumes and setting are in the hands of Miss Tuttle, Miss Armstrong and Mr. Holme, all members of the High School staff who had charge of this work in the presenting of “Mr. Bob.”

The principal parts are being taken as follows: Mr. Pickwick, Maurice Hutchinson; Mrs. Bardell, Miss M. Hart; Mrs. Cluppins, Miss M. Anderson; Mrs. Sanders, Miss L. Mundy; Mr Winkle, Donald Crothers; Sergent Buzzfuzz, Manning Swartz; Sergeant Snubbins, Hartland Callaghan; the Judge, Irwin Deyman, and the Clerk, James Kinnear.

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The Ontario Daily Reformer
Grape Market Has Not Been Injured
Canadian Press
Edition 04 March, 1926

Despite Fears Following the Adoption of Prohibition

San Francisco, Mar. 4. – Six years of grape growing in California under national prohibition have proven unfounded fears of vineyard owners that abolition of the saloon would injure the market for their product.

Shipments of grapes from this state have increased from 21,605 cars in 1919 to 72,116 last year.

Statistics of the Agricultural Economics bureau of the department of agriculture do not distinguish between so-called “wine” and “table” grapes. Therefore, they do not show whether it is hunger or thirst that caused the more than 300 percent increase in the demand of other states for the product of California vineyards.

…As the California grapegrower takes stock of his last year’s business and looks to the coming season with inquisitive eye “Winehaven” before prohibition referred to as the world’s largest storage centre for wine, is being dismantled. It was built immediately after the San Franscisco fire of 1906 on a seven-acre tract on Point San Pablo at a cost of $3,5000,000 including cottages for 200 employees. The winery had vats and cellars with a total capacity of 9,500,000 gallons. When filled, its stock had a value of $10,000,000.

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The Oshawa Junior Reformer
Children Help Children
A.S.
Edition 06, March, 1926

We wish to call the attention of all our readers to the special article (on the front page of this issue by Mr. George Speedie of Toronto, Superintendent of the Missionary Department of the Upper Canada Tracts Society’s Mission to Soldiers, Sailors, and Lighthouse Keepers etc.

I am sure all of young Oshawa feel proud to have had the chance to bring happiness to so many people and to merit the hearty thanks of Mr. Speedie.

Everyone of us knows the pleasure to be gotten from the reading of books. Living, as we do, with well-stocked libraries at hand we cannot realize what it is like to be without books and magazines to read.

To my mind, the most pleasing feature of this donation of books by the girls and boys of Oshawa is that a great many of the books have been given by girls and boys to girls and boys.

This readiness to help others is what we admire. A.S.

 

The Oshawa Junior Reformer
St. Gregory’s School Rink
Edition 06, March, 1926

The boys of St. Gregory’s School made a fine little rink which was enjoyed by not only by our own school but also by others. There were many hockey games played on it. In some of the games, the players looked like professionals. But some of the smartest games were those played by the Primary Classes; in one game the latter won by a close score, after a hard fought game.

The girls also enjoyed the rink. They held a skating party on Feb. 8, and skated until they were tired. Then they went to the hall where they were served a lunch. At last, they returned home tired but happy after their outing.

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The Oshawa Junior Reformer
Games to Play and Tricks to Preform
Edition 06, March, 1926

A Magic Trick

This clever mathematical trick, by which you can tell the month and the year of a person’s birth, will startle many of your friends says “The American Boy Magazine” Tell your friend to put down the number of the month in which he was born, multiply it by two, then add five, multiply by fifty, add his age, subtract 365, and then add 115. The two figures on the right will tell you his age, the REMAINDER will be the number of the month of his birth. For example, if the total is 615, he is fifteen years old and was born in June.

Where the Streets Get Their Names – Shakespeare in Oshawa

By Gabby C., co-op student

William Shakespeare was an English playwright who wrote his way into the hearts of many, while breaking those of his famous characters. Majority of schools make kids learn the names of these characters in English class, sitting and waiting for something to make sense. Yet, Shakespeare survives not just in the classrooms, but out and about Oshawa as well. The question is how did he manage to make it to Oshawa from across the pond? The answer is simple: street names.

shakespeare
This portrait is known as the ‘Chandos portrait’ after a previous owner, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. It was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5442977

Shakespeare was born on an undetermined date in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Within his life, he wrote more than 30 plays as well as poems. Though he is known for writing within the genres of comedy, history and tragedy, the latter is home to his most famous plays. For generations, Shakespeare has surprised, and shocked audiences while exposing humanity’s faults in the process. While there is a Shakespeare Avenue within Oshawa, there are also streets named after some of his famous characters!

Macbeth is Shakespeare’s shortest play, but that does not make it any less action packed or dramatic than the others. Macbeth centres around the title character while he dives head first into madness as a consequence of playing with fate. When a group of witches predict that Macbeth will become king, he takes their prophecy to the next level. In an attempt to go from Thane of Glamis and Cawdor, he kills King Duncan and takes the throne. However, this course of action throws the world into chaos and it is up to one not of woman born to defeat Macbeth and return order.

macbethandbanquo-witches
By Théodore Chassériau – Musée d’Orsay, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=684950

As stated, Macbeth is Thane of Glamis. In reality, Glamis is a small town in Scotland;you can find Glamis Court southwest of the Rossland/Thornton intersection in Oshawa, along with other streets named after places in Scotland!

However, Macbeth is not Shakespeare’s only plays with ties in Oshawa.  King Lear also has a couple of streets named after its characters.

cordelia-in-the-court-of-king-lear-1873-sir-john-gilbert
By John Gilbert – Bridgeman Art library (painting in Towneley Hall Art Gallery and Museum), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19793496

King Lear is another one of Shakespeare’s tragedies. It follows an old king, Lear, as he struggles with the consequences of believing lies told to him by his two oldest daughters, and banishing those – including his third daughter – who tried to help him see through the fog. The play watches as Lear descends into misery while struggling to reassume power. His three daughters, Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia, are all married. Goneril to the Duke of Albany. Duke of Albany is a real title that was bestowed to the youngest sons of the Scottish and eventually British royal family. In Oshawa, however, it is name to Albany Drive!

So, next time you’re driving around Oshawa, keep an eye out for the above-mentioned roads or any others with Shakespeare related names! There is bound to be more out there!


This blog series is typically written by Lisa Terech, Community Engagement co-ordinator, but we were excited when our co-op student offered to guest author this post!

For further reading on William Shakespeare, visit the following sites:

http://www.biography.com/people/william-shakespeare-9480323

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Macbeth-by-Shakespeare

https://www.britannica.com/topic/King-Lear

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