Student Museum Musings – Carrie

by Carrie Bulger, Durham College Library & Information Tech Student

Hi everyone,

My name is Carrie Bugler and I’m a second year student at Durham College in the Library and Information Technician (or LIT) course. I am currently doing part of my field placement here at the Oshawa Community Museum and I’m excited to be here. I’ve always loved museums, even before I learned that this course allowed me to work in this sort of environment. Something about the history of a town, or even just a specific place, has always been interesting to me. Working with the archives lets me have some hands on experience and it allows me to see that history up close and in a slightly more personal way.

I’m hoping that the time I spend here is as interesting as I’ve built it up to be in my mind and, from only being here for one day, I can certainly say that it’s going toward that goal. While I haven’t done much other than a bit of data entry I have been able to see some historic documents that I wouldn’t have been able to before, and that I wouldn’t have really thought about before now. I can tell that I’m going to enjoy my time here.

New Picture
The Oshawa Community Archives

Museums and Archives are amazing places that, in my opinion, do not get enough attention. There’s so much you can learn from the past that you can compare to now. Every time you look into the past you find something new and interesting to look at and learn about. It’s one of the reasons that I’m excited to be here and why I’m excited to possibly pursue a career in this field. There’s just so much to learn.

Student Museum Musings – Jodie

By Jodie, Collections Assistant Co-op Student

I have been at the Oshawa Community Museum as my co-op placement for almost five months, and it has been the most amazing experience that I have ever had. I have learnt many new things and had opportunities that were very exciting.

994.28.32x - 'At Rest', from the Farewell Cemetery archaeological collection
994.28.32x – ‘At Rest’, from the Farewell Cemetery archaeological collection


I was given the assignments of cataloging the Farewell Pioneer Cemetery artefacts and the archaeology collection that is in Robinson House (from the Grandview Archaeological Site). While cataloguing both of these collections took up most of my time here, I also was able to other things around the museum: myself and Melissa set up a display case for Archaeology Day, I’ve helped her set up a display that was being lent out to a nursing reunion, I went with Melissa to a donor’s house for a possible donation to one of her collections, and other things to take a small break from data entry.

Jodie with the display case she 'curated' for International Archaeology Day in October
Jodie with the display case she ‘curated’ for International Archaeology Day in October

And so it is with much gratitude that I thank all of the lovely people that are at the museum for this wonderful experience and making everyday one full of new information  learn.


Many thanks, Jodie, for all of your hard work and dedication this semester! We’ve all enjoyed working with you, and all the best for your future studies!

The Month That Was – January 1865

Roast Beef in Jeff. Davis’ Dominions
January 18, 1865
We lately gave an extract from the proceedings of the Rebel Congress showing that steps had been taken to permit Jeff. Davis to draw his rations from the public crib at reasonable rates, instead of paying exorbitant prices to the hucksters, butchers, and other un poetical characters, who have a higher regard for roast beef and poultry than for Rebel currency.


Freedom in Tennessee
January 14, 1865
The commercial has a special from Nashville which says Tennessee state convention has unanimously passed a resolution declaring slavery forever abolished and prohibited it throughout the state.


January 18, 1865
The Canadian Legislature had, at present, 70 members in the Upper, and 130 in the Lower Branch, making 200 in all. In this island we have thirteen Legislative councillors and thirty representatives in the House of Assembly, being forty three in all. The annual expense of the Canadian Legislature is $ 240,000; which is equal to our whole revenue for 1863.


Prohibition in the Township
January 18, 1865
In the township of Binbrook, in the County of Wentworth, near Hamilton, the prohibitory By-law has been carried by a vote of 84 to 22. In the township of Darlington, it has been carried by a majority of 172. It seems however that one of the polling days was on a holiday, which is likely to render the election void.

Memories of Lamplights Past

For over two decades, the signature event at the Oshawa Community Museum has been our Lamplight Tour.  Henry House, our traditional Victorian home, is lit with oil lamps, in Robinson House, the General Store exhibit is ready to party like it’s 1899, Father Christmas makes an appearance, and there is food, drinks, and music to be enjoyed.

OCM Staff took time to reflect on their favourite memories from the Lamplight Tour.

Laura Suchan, Executive Director
My favourite memories of Lamplight are of my children participating in the schoolroom activities.

Dylon, left, in 2004, and Tyler, right, in 2008.
Dylon, left, in 2004, and Tyler, right, in 2008.

Jennifer Weymark, Archivist
My memory of Lamplight was the year that (OHS Member) Don Sloman dressed as Father Christmas.

Don Sloman dressed as Father Christmas, 2000 Lamplight
Don Sloman dressed as Father Christmas, 2000 Lamplight

Melissa Cole, Curator
My favourite memories are the years that Anderson CVI students participated.  In Henry House, they dramatized the Henry Family getting ready for the wedding of Jennie Henry.

Anderson CVI Students, at 2004 Lamplight
Anderson CVI Students, at 2004 Lamplight

Jillian Passmore, Visitor Experience Co-ordinator
I don’t necessarily have a favourite memory of Lamplight, but to me, the smells of Henry House, from the greenery, to the cloves, and the lamp oil, help to begin the holiday season.  Lamplight is the beginning of Christmas.

Jillian decorating the tree in Henry House, 2009 Lamplight
Jillian decorating the tree in Henry House, 2009 Lamplight

Lisa Terech, Community Engagement
My favourite memories are of my first Lamplights, my first as a volunteer where I was in the General Store, and the first as a staff in the Henry House Kitchen.  Since 2010, I am the staff member in the Kitchen, and I love talking about preparing the plum pudding!

Preparing plum pudding, 2010 Lamplight
Preparing plum pudding, 2010 Lamplight

We hope that you’ll join us for this year’s Lamplight Tour and make memories of your own!
Saturday, December 6, 2014

Oshawa’s Disney Brothers: Less Animated, More Grave

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

I don’t know about you, but when I hear the name ‘Disney,’ my mind automatically jumps to the infamous mouse and anything animated.  Oh, the great strength and success of branding.  Because Disney is such a notable name, one might wonder why there is a building in Downtown Oshawa called the Disney Building.  I’ll just come out and say it, no, Walt has no known ties to our City!  But Oshawa did have its own set of Disney brothers who left a lasting mark on Oshawa’s downtown.

The Disney Building, 27-33 King Street East
The Disney Building, 27-33 King Street East

In 1882, John E. Disney married Sarah McKittrick, and together they had three sons.  William Frederick was born in 1883, Llewellyn Victor was born in 1888, and Roy Stanley was born in 1893.

LV and RS made their names known through their successful furniture and undertaking business.  In 1888, a man named Alex McLean began the business, which LV bought in 1909.  The brothers established an ambulance service, which was boasted as the finest ambulance between Toronto and Montreal.

Horse drawn ambulance, owned by LV Disney, c. 1912. From the Oshawa Community Archives
Horse drawn ambulance, owned by LV Disney, c. 1912. From the Oshawa Community Archives

The undertaking business operated at various addresses around downtown Oshawa, including along Simcoe Street and on Bond Street.  By 1923, the Disney Funeral Service was found at 31 King Street East; in 1924, the building at 27-33 King Street East is known as the Disney Block. It was originally built in 1920, and still stands in our downtown, remarkable due to the archway and the identifying ‘Disney Building’ lettering.

The Disney Building
The Disney Building

LV Disney had a variety of other interests, including real estate and local politics, serving as an Alderman.  In 1930, Matthew F. Armstrong purchased the funeral business, changing the name to Armstrong Funeral Home.  It still operates today at 124 King Street East, a location they have occupied since 1936.