The Beaver City Enterprise: A Conundrum

By Kes Murray, Registrar

Today, just like many days over the past week, I am faced with a wall of unknowns. An actual wall. I call this area of the archives the “Found in Collection” shelves. Many archives and museums face this challenge. Items that are found in the collection that can’t be identified either for historical content or even how they came into the museum. Every day is a new challenge.

The “Found in Collection” Shelf

The biggest challenge is when an item is both unknowns: no provenance or historical information. And of course, we have one such item.

The Beaver City Enterprise is truly a mystery. This newspaper was found in our collection around 2020. Searches through many archives have resulted in no answers to what this newspaper was. What we can tell from the contents of the newspaper is that it was focused on agriculture and machinery. It also dates to the late 1870s. Beyond these facts, we know nothing else.

This situation highlights the importance of proper provenance for archives and museums. In the archive/museum field, provenance is the origin of something, or the path that an item will take to come into archives/museums. For example, a person may buy something then donate it to an archive or museum. That provenance is clear. But our Beaver City Enterprise has no information of how it came to us thus making my job a little more challenging.

Although this post is a way for me to tell you all of the important and amazing work I am doing, it is also a call for information. If anyone has any information about the Beaver City Enterprise, please let us know! We want to make sure we have correct information about this unique newspaper.

Or if you are simply interested in looking through the Beaver City Enterprise, please check out the images below.

Student Museum Musings – A Student Placed at Home

By Nova S., Trent Child & Youth Studies Intern

From the beginning of my university career, I had my eyes set on a particular fourth year course in my major. Said course allowed students to try field-based learning, a chance to gain practical experience. Students could actually apply what they were learning in the classroom.

Well, so much for that.

So much for field-learning, and heck, so much for classrooms, too.

I never minded online learning. Really, I didn’t. It seems like most people would gape at me for that, but there were benefits for someone with anxiety like me. Yes, maybe it was an escape of sorts, but at times, in-person was overwhelming sensorially, with all the people and noise. So it was, honestly, sort of a nice break. Online, I didn’t have to commute. Online, I didn’t have to face the cold. Online, I could go at my own pace, and rewind my professor as many times as I needed.

It took a while for someone with anxiety like me to miss people, but wow, do I miss people. (Some people, at least. I think my fear of crowds is worse now than ever, along with everybody else’s). The benefits of being online were all still there, but the cons began to sink in.

Somehow, moving forward from there, I made a couple of friends from my university. I also made friends out of others on the Internet in general, because where else are you supposed to hang out? Okay, I think to myself, still, being online isn’t so bad.

And then it came time for my field-based learning.

Before I was a fourth-year, I took advantage of a few other opportunities to meet and interact with kids. I guess now would be a good time to mention that my major is Child & Youth Studies.

I volunteered at my family’s church for a special day of activities. My brother was, not-so-coincidentally, assigned to be my helper. We spent the day going from station to station, corralling kids only a few years younger than my brother at the time, holding hands, making crafts for them to show their parents afterwards, and encouraging participation in song and dance. We helped each other, we kept track of each other, and we made sure we all felt included.

Though I’m not in touch with that church anymore, I’m sure special days like that are no longer running – at least on such a grand scale.

I joined the Pen Pal Club at my university, in which we were paired up with a student from an elementary school nearby. The letters were fun to write, using different colours and stickers, but it was even more fun to receive. Messy and scribbled spelling mistakes, drawings you have to squint at to figure out what they’re supposed to be, excited retellings of their accomplishments in school, and eagerness to meet you! Yes, we would meet two or three times a year at the university and have a few stations we would rotate through, where stories would be told, colouring would be done, magic would be performed, and more. And at the end of the day, the kid paired with you would hug you goodbye and file out the door with their class.

When the pandemic started, we had already established pen pals and written to them once. It was a couple of weeks before the kids were supposed to come in person to visit when the whole thing was cancelled.

Lastly, I had a part-time job at an indoor playground, mainly rented out for children’s birthday parties. Usually, supervision was the job of the host parents – whoever’s kid’s birthday it was. But, rather frequently, we helped kids down from parts of the playground they’d climbed up and then realized too late that they were scared. We served food and got thank yous. Once, even, this adorable girl asked me to help her wipe her face and hands.

My boss texted us not too long into the pandemic that we were closed until further notice. And so, I waited. And waited. It wasn’t until I tried applying for other jobs and needed them for a reference that I texted my boss and discovered that, actually, the place had closed permanently. I guess it was a smaller business that was one of the many to, unfortunately, not survive this pandemic.

And now, here I am. I have a placement, yet I am not out in the field with kids, but at home. And I finally realize that I miss the kids more than I miss adult people, probably. (Sorry).

It’s nobody’s fault, after all. We all have to continue being safe or this will really never end.

Still, it’s not all that bad. I was fortunate enough to be able to go in-person once for a brief initiation, and my supervisors, both at the museum and at the university, are determined to make sure I benefit as much as possible from it.

I was, as I’m sure many people are, never focused on history. Sure, it was fascinating, and I was fortunate enough to have a pretty good history teacher in high school. But like many others, I moved on from it after graduating with my own interests in mind.

My first duty after being accepted by Oshawa Museum was to familiarize myself with their programs, exhibitions, values, and blog. I didn’t expect to get so sucked into it. Everything looked so fascinating. I fell into a rabbit hole of sorts, clicking link after link, reading letters, viewing photographs, learning, and being fascinated.

Here at the Oshawa Museum (from my home), my main task is to improve on and build programs. Children’s programs, flexibly built for online or in-person, that are mindful and expressive of the diversity within ourselves and within others.

I’m determined to help make kids fascinated in history, because our present and our futures have roots in the past. As I have had the fortunate opportunities to see, kids are full of excitement, wonder, and curiosity. But it’s not about what those kids will be in the future – it’s about what they are now. They are fully capable of forming their own opinions and being participatory citizens, and I hope I can play a part in inspiring them to realize that they can do plenty in diversity and equality activism just as they are now. It all starts with that fascination.

One Year, Three Museums

By Kes Murray, Registrar

Ever since I was young, I have loved museums. All that history and knowledge within one building spurred me from gallery to gallery. Flash forward to today. Me, a recent graduate with a museum studies degree and one year of experiences working in three different museums.

As we enter into a new year, I like to reflect upon my 2021. Like everyone, 2021 was a challenging year. From online school, to trying to balance my personal and professional life, I was constantly burnt-out. Thankfully, one shining light of 2021 was all the museums I had the pleasure of working in. In total, I worked in three museums. Now, please don’t mind me as I reminisce about my 2021 museum adventures.

Royal Ontario Museum

At the start of 2021, I began my journey at the Royal Ontario Museum. The ROM is one of the largest museums in Canada, and navigating this large institution taught me many things.

At the ROM, I worked in the Registration Department. If you are unfamiliar with the role of a museum registrar, don’t worry! I was too. I learned that a registrar is mainly responsible for museum objects that enter and leave the museum. This includes travelling exhibits, loans to other museums, and objects that are leaving the museum’s collection permanently. Because of the diverse tasks a registrar must do, they have to be knowledgeable in many areas of museum work, like how to properly handle museum objects, how to write copyright agreements, and how to process objects that come into the museum.

The absolute highlight of my time here happened in January 2021. I was invited to help de-install a travelling exhibition. The registrar’s part in this is straightforward; all objects that are leaving need to be inspected to see if something has happened to them during their time on display. This process is called condition reporting. Along with some other tasks, my week went by very quickly.

Me, condition reporting at the ROM, January 20/2021.

As I reflect on my time there, I realize the depth of my learning. I learned here how to process objects that are coming into the museum’s collection, how to be observant that meet museum standards, how to work with other departments, and, most importantly, not to be afraid to ask questions.

Algonquin Provincial Park

I always remember that museum can be found just about anywhere. My adventure into Algonquin Park was a big reminder of this. In September 2021, I began a month-and-a-half contract in Algonquin Park as a museum technician.

I have never in my life lived outside of southern Ontario. So, moving to a provincial park in Central Ontario seemed rather intimidating. And it was quite the drive, let me tell you. But, after a six hour drive from London, Ontario, I arrived.

My experience in Algonquin was like nothing I have ever experienced in a museum setting before. I mainly worked at the Visitor Centre at the information desk. I answered questions and watched over the bookstore. The Visitor Centre was a unique building. It housed the Friends of Algonquin offices, where I worked, and also a lookout deck and a museum that took you through the natural and human history of the park. My favourite part of working at the Visitor Centre was the Visitor Animal sightings board, a simple white board where visitors can record their wildlife sightings. Everyday, visitors would record different animals they saw. It was hard not to be excited with them. From moose sightings to wolf sightings, it was an excellent way of seeing animal movement in the park, and maybe a good recommendation to another visitor where they may see a grouse or a Canada Jay.

Visitor Sightings Board, October 15/2021

Other times, I worked at the Logging Museum. The Logging Museum happened to be a part of one of the Park’s trails. So when I was at the Logging Museum, I got to walk the trail at least once a day to make sure all the structures on the trail undamaged.  

And of course it wouldn’t be Algonquin without a fun animal story. The trail at the Logging Museum passes a creek, where a mischievous beaver would regularly dam the log shute, a structure that tells one part of the history of logging in the park. Apparently, this happens a lot, and when I told my supervisor of the clogged shute, I was met with sighs and shaking heads. The beaver had struck again.

Log shute dammed by beaver on Logging Museum Trail, September 18/2021

Oshawa Museum

My last museum journey of 2021 brought me here, to the Oshawa Museum. The beginning of December 2021, I started as one of two registrars working on a large backlog of donations to the museum. Now, I’m on the waterfront. From being in the urban jungle of downtown Toronto, to the forests of Algonquin Park, to Lake Ontario, I feel like I have seen all the wonderful places in Ontario where museums are situated.

Outside look of Guy House, December 21/2021

As for my work here, I have sorted through brochures, photographs, and now cassettes. Myself and the other registrar, Savannah, have made a considerable and noticeable dent in the backlogged donations. Every day brings its own fascinating discovery and challenge. As we move further into the New Year, I am very eager to continue my work here, to say the least.

Every 2021 museum I worked in was, to me, an adventure. I didn’t know what to expect and came somewhat prepared. Navigating a new workplace and environment brought its own challenges. But, if I had the chance to do it all again, I would.

As the New Year is a time of reflection of the year that has past and the year to come, I am excited for what 2022 has in store for me, especially if it means more museums.

The Month That Was – December 1866

All articles originally appeared in the Oshawa Vindicator

December 05, 1866, Page 2

AN OUTRAGE
On Friday night last, some person or persons entered the office of the Cobourg Sentinel, and knocked into pi a large quantity of standing type, scattering the forms in all directions upon the floor, and thus causing very great trouble and loss. The matter disarranged was the first, third and fourth pages of the paper, two cases of small type, and a quantity of standing type, set up for last week’s Sentinel. The cause of the outrage was the appearance in a previous number, of a treasonable article. The editor, however, says it was written by a correspondent and set up without his first examining it.

LUCKY
The Port Perry Observer of last Thursday has the following: – Mr. Thos. Paxton of this place yesterday received a telegram from his agent in Petrolia, informing him that the oil well, in which he holds a large interest, commenced flowing at the rate of a thousand barrels a day.

We wish Mr. Paxton the best of luck, but we don’t believe the story. A Western paper reported an 800 barrel well but added that amount ought to be received with caution.

December 05, 1866 Page 03

YACHT RACE ACROSS THE OCEAN
A yacht race across the Atlantic has been arranged in New York and is now exciting a good deal of interest in that city. Three yachts – the Fleetwing, owned by Mr. Osgood; the Vests, by Mr. Lorillard; and the Henrietta, by J. G. Bennet, Jr., start from New York for Cowes on the 11th of December, the one arriving first to be entitled to the sum or $90,000, which has been staked on the result. The season selected for this race is the most inclement of the year, and the excursion under the circumstances is likely to be anything but a pleasant trip.

December 12, 1866, Page 2

OSHAWA SKATING RINK
We have been requested to state that the Rink is now open to the public. There is a capital sheet of ice on it. Tickets can be had at J. A. Gibson’s Book Store, or from any of the members of the committee.

POLICE COURT
On Monday David Webb and Wm. Tallamy were brought before S. B. Fairbanks, charged with being drunk and fighting on Saturday evening last. They were fined five dollars and costs each.

A NARROW ESCAPE
On Thursday last, Mr. J. O. Guy, Reeve of East Whitby, had narrow escaped with his life. He went over to the barn of Mr. Thomas Henry, who was there engaged in threshing. Whilst standing near the tumbling shaft talking to Mr. Henry a pin in the shaft caught his coat and winding it around and around and drawing him closer to the shaft. Mr. Henry seized Mr. Guy, and by their united exertions the coat was torn off. When the machine was stopped there was but a piece of one sleeve left.

December 19, 1866, Page 1

A LONG KICK
Two Irishmen engaged in peddling packages of linen, bought an old mule to aid in carrying the burdens. One would ride a while, then the other, carrying the burdens. – One day, the Irishmen who was on foot got close up to the heels of his mule-ship, when he received a kick on one of his shins. To be revenged, he picked up a stone, and hurled it at the mule but by accident, struck his companion on the back of the head. Seeing what he has done, he stopped, and begun to groan and rub his shin. The one on the mule turned and asked him what was the matter. ‘The crathur’s kicked me,’ was the reply, ‘Be japers,’ said the other, ‘he’s did the same thing to me on the back of the head.’

December 19, 1866 Page 03

Page 2

Married
In Toronto, on the 12th inst., by Rev. S. Rose, Mr. Thos. Conant and Miss Margaret Gifford, both of East Whitby.

December 26, 1866, Page 2

NOMINATION OF COUNCILORS
Pursuant to the provisions of the new Municipal Act, a public meeting was held in the Town Hall for the nomination of candidates for the offices of Reeve, Deputy Reeve, and Councilors, for 1867. The number of ratepayers present at the opening of proceedings with small, about 50; And did not increase to the end. The following is the list of nominations with their proposals an seconders for the several officers:-

At the conclusion of the nomination, the old council were called upon for a statement of the affairs of the village for the past year.

SB Fairbanks came forward and gave an abstract of the village accounts. Before doing so, however, he alluded to some changes which had been made in the assessment act, whereby all property would be henceforth assessed upon its real value, and thus renters would not be compelled to pay more taxes in proportion than freeholders.- From an abstract of receipts and expenditures which he read, the Reeve showed that the receipts for the year were $8365.87, and the expenditures $7963.38, leaving a cash balance in the hands of the treasure of $402.49. This added to notes due on the 1st of January, and certain ammunition on hand valued at $147.96, would leave on the 1st of January a balance, after deducting some liabilities which now cannot be exactly determined, of about $750. …

Proceedings were then adjourned until the first Monday in January, when the election will be held. Who will run, and who will not, is a question that it would be difficult to answer; Some caucusing and scheming will take place before the tickets are made out. It is to be hoped that matters may yet be arranged to avoid a contest. It is not likely that all will go to the poll.- Mr. Duliea has already requested that his name be taken off the list.

THE LATEST- We understand that Messrs. Fairbanks and Michaels are to be the candidates for Reeve, and Messrs. WH Gibbs and Fowke for Deputy. The tickets further than this are not fully determined upon.

Died
At Port Oshawa, on Friday morning, the 21st inst., Eliza Jane Henry, wife of Thomas Guy, aged 35 years.

In Oshawa, on Saturday evening, the 22nd inst., Julia Ann Bates, wife of Dr. William McGill, aged 48 years.

The Month That Was – November 1869

All articles originally appeared in the Oshawa Vindicator

November 3, 1869, page 2

Heavy frost– the extraordinary weather of the season culminated on Tuesday night with one of the severest frosts known to have occurred in the month of October for years. The three days before, snow fell to a considerable depth north of the ridges, making good sleighing on Wednesday. Scugog Lake was frozen over the first time in the memory of the oldest inhabitant. The whole apple crop remaining on the trees in this and neighboring townships is destroyed. The Tallmin Sweet is the only apple that at all withstood the frost, and these are injured. At least 2/3 of the apples were on the trees, and are now useless, unfit even for cider. Some are experimenting in the way of making vinegar, but without full success. The value of the crop destroyed cannot now be estimated. There are instances where the loss is as high as from 400 to 1000 bushels per orchard, and some farmers have not an apple left eat. In a few cases, the potatoes were also damaged, but only to a slight extent.

3 Nov. 1869, p1.

Sheep.- Mr. Joseph Gould has, during September and October, purchased 871 sheep and lambs. On the 5th of October, he shipped 371 blooded sheep. These were bought in East and West Whitby, at from 5 to $30 each. They were sold to an American, and by him resold in the state of Maine. Mr. Gould has now on hand 500, purchased in East Whitby, at from 3 1/2 to $5. They will be shipped in December for the Montreal markets.

False alarm– an alarm of fire was given on Monday evening, and the fire brigade was soon out searching for the conflagration. It did not succeed in finding it, and returned with the apparatus. It proved that some zealous person had seen the flames rising from the burning of some rubbish in the garden of Mr. WH Gibbs, and ran at once for the bell.

Fifth November– LOL 686 intends to celebrate the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot by a supper at Pringles’ Hotel on Friday evening. The supper will not begin until 9:00 o’clock, in order to give those who desire time to attend the Sons’ demonstration. The supper is not limited to the members of the order.

3 Nov. 1869, p3.

Halloween– the youngsters celebrated Halloween on Monday night with the usual fooleries. Some of them went farther than pounding doors with cabbage stumps, and in the back streets pulled up sidewalks and tore down weak fences. Such mischief ought to be stopped.

November 10, 1869, Page 2

Thanksgiving– Friday last was observed by the Canada Presbyterian and Wesleyan Methodist churches, by sermons in the former by the Rev. Dr. Thornton in the afternoon, and in the latter by Rev. Dr. Jeffers in the evening. The sermons were practical, appropriate and eloquent, but the congregations were not as large in either case as they should have been.

10 Nov. 1869, p1.

Early on Saturday morning someone started a big bonfire near the commercial hotel and then went and rang the fire bell. This has been charged upon those who were at the Orange supper, but we understand that not a single person had at that time left the room.

Died.
At his residence, on Church St, Oshawa, after an illness of eight days. November 3rd, 1868, James Barclay, aged 54 years and five days.

He was a native of Cupar, Fifeshire, Scotland. He came to Canada with his parents in the year 1817 who were among the first settlers in the Township of Pickering. His remains were followed on Sunday last to the Union Burial Ground by a large number of his friends and acquaintances. He leaves a widow, six sons, and four daughters to mourn the loss of a husband and father.

10 Nov. 1869, p3.

November 17, 1869, page 2

The Chief Constable was terribly bothered the other day, because some extra windows in the old Town Hall had mysteriously disappeared. He at once conceived that some evil disposed persons had formed the design of making away with the building piece meal. – After some hours search for the miserable offenders, he discovered that the missing property had been loaned to some carpenter in town for a day or two. We are sorry there is no prospect of getting rid of the venerable ruin even by the process of stealing.

17 Nov. 1869, p3.

Accident- yesterday, Mr William H Thomas was about to drive a commercial traveller to Brooklin, but stopped outside of Craig’s blacksmith shop. As he was getting in the person who held the horses let them go before he had the lines. The horses backed up into the ditch. Seeing that the wagon must go over he and the traveller sprang out, the former falling on his face, getting it very badly cut. The wagon was ripped over and badly smashed.

A heavy snow is raging as we go to press (Tuesday evening)

Page 3

CA Mallory
Lives in Enniskillen still, and there is a little timber in the Pine Ridge is left. During the last three years I have worked up over $9000 worth, a good evidence of my success in my business I am now prepared to take contracts for the construction of all kinds of buildings, and furnish either at the stump or delivered, terms cash or credit to suit customers.

Buildings moved and raised to order. All the necessary tools for the purpose kept on hand. Remember the name in place.
CAMallory
Enniskillen, November 12, 1869.

November 24, 1869, Page 2

The storm.– the storm of Tuesday night and Wednesday of last week has been declared to be the worst remembered to have taken place in any November. Fortunately, the damage has not been a tithe of that anticipated. All of the vessels belonging to this port got into some harbor without suffering damage. The Wharf was somewhat shattered, but the cost of repairs will not be great. On Lake Ontario, a few vessels have been driven ashore, but no loss of life is yet certainly reported, although it is feared that the entire crew of a Kingston schooner, picked up abandoned, or last. The storm seems to have spread over the continent. At Colorado, it was pronounced the worst windstorm that ever passed over the country, and the Telegraph reports serious damage on Wednesday and Thursday all the way to the Atlantic.

First skating of the season, on Monday. First skating last year, on 2nd December. Snow fell heavily on Monday night, making good sleighing yesterday morning. Sleighs and cutters made their appearance in town from the north last week to find only mud in the streets. It is feared that the large quantity of turnips yet out of the fields are buried for the season.

Wanted, a stout boy as an apprentice at the office of this paper. Oshawa, November 16th, 1869.

24 Nov. 1869, p3.

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