Month That Was – August 1928

Rum Runners Are Outside at Falls
August 17, 1928

Niagara Falls, Ont., Aug 17.-A section was caused in this district by an announcement of the Queen Victoria Park Commission against rum-running on the boulevard. The order provides that motor trucks or other vehicles, loaded with liquor, must not be parked anywhere on the parkway, which extends from Bridgeburg, through Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake.

August 1928 (2)
Ad for the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto

Building Permits for New Houses
August 18, 1928

Storie has taken out building permits at the City Hall today for the erection of two $3,000 houses, one to be erected at 104 Bloor Street and the other at 100 Bloor Street, between Oxford Street and Oshawa Creek. They will be of the brick veneer type, with floors downstairs of birch and pine. The model will be that of a cottage. T. B. Motherstill and Company have been given the contract of building the houses.

Three garages show that building in this line is not slumping. Walter Arkwright, 287 Nassau Street east, will erect a $50 garage at 75 Cadillac Avenue south. A garage costing $150 is to be erected by S.J. Dennis at 615 Christie Street on the east side.

A Boy of the Streets, playing at the New Martin (later Marks) Theatre
A Boy of the Streets, playing at the New Martin (later Marks) Theatre

Contributes $25, 000 to the Industrial Research
August 22, 1928

R.S. McLaughlin, president of General Motors of Canada, Limited, has contributed $25,000 to the Industrial Research Foundation according to a Toronto morning paper. The establishment of this foundation was authorized by the Ontario Legislature at its last session, the Province subscribing $1,000,000 on condition that manufactures did the same. Twenty-five men and firms have now subscribed the necessary amount, and the establishment of the foundation is assured.

A partial list of the donations: Canadian Pacific Railways, $100,00; Robert Simpson Co., Ltd., $25,000; R. S. McLaughlin, Oshawa, $25,000; J. H. Gundy, $25,000; Canadian General Electric, $25,000; Sir Joseph Flavelle, $10,000; Sir Edward Kemp, $10,000.

Laugh, Clown, Laugh, starring Lon Chaney, playing at the Regent Theatre
Laugh, Clown, Laugh, starring Lon Chaney, playing at the Regent Theatre

100 Railroad officials to be Guests of G.M.C
August 22, 1928

More than 100 officials of the two Canadian railroads as well as representatives of several of the United States lines, are expected to be guest of General Motors of Canada, Limited, in a tour of the G.M.C. proving grounds at Detroit on Friday, September 7.


Foundation work under way for new car barns
August 22, 1928

Foundations are going on at the new car barns of the Oshawa Railway Company, at the HIllcroft street intersection of their North Oshawa spur line. Bathe & McLelian, who have the general contract for this $100,000 building, are pushing it forward rapidly, and expect to have it completed on or before November 1.*

Genuine Asprin advertisment
Genuine Aspirin advertisement

Sudden Death of Local Baseball Player
August 24, 1928

One of the most popular players to ever wear an Oshawa uniform and noted for his clean sportsmanship, Herb Wolfe, star ball player on Oshawa’s Central League team, died last night at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto, from paralysis and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord caused by an infection.


Growth of City is Displayed by items from Times’ Edition
August 24, 1928

Clippings from the Greater Oshawa Edition of The Times feature the window of Lycett’s real estate office this week. “Items from the Press show Oshawa’s growth,” says the central card of the display, from which ribbons lead to a number of clippings from the special edition. These are representative articles and headlines that indicate both constructional progress and the general growth of the city.


*These car barns were demolished in 2013.

Meet the Museum: Melissa Cole, Curator

The focus of this blog series is the staff of the Oshawa Museum and their role at the site.  What does it mean to the archivist or curator at a community museum?  What goes on behind the scenes in the Programming office?  What is Executive Director Laura Suchan’s favourite memory of the Museum? 

Join us and see what happens behind the doors of Guy House.

Melissa Cole, Curator

What do you do at the Oshawa Museum?

Hi my name is Melissa Cole and I am the Curator at the Oshawa Museum.  This is not the first position I held here at the museum.  In 2000 I was an intern in the archives with the previous archivist, Tammy Robinson.  Shortly after the internship finished a job opportunity became available in the programming department which is where I worked until I became Curator in 2002.  My main duties as Curator is to oversee the care of the three dimensional artifacts in the collection from our smallest artifact, a bead from the Grandview Archaeology Collection, to our largest artifacts, the museum buildings, Guy, Henry and Robinson.  I also research, develop and install exhibits, write grants and oversee the administration of the collection.  A lot of what I do takes place behind the scenes.


Why did you choose this career?

I love learning about the past and discovering where we have come from.  As a child I was fortunate that my parents took me to various museums throughout Ontario and was able to spend time with family in England and Wales where we visited castles and historic sites.  One particular visit that stands out the most was a visit to a museum called Llancaich Fawr Manor.   I was chosen from the crowd and put in a costume that represented the time period of the home.  I was that child that wondered what was behind the closed doors – I wanted to see behind the scenes and that is exactly what I get to do now!

Melissa, July 1994, in period costume at Llancaich Fawr Manor, with a tour guide


What is your favourite part of your job?

There are many aspects of my job that I love.  I love my job because each day is different, one day I am installing an exhibition and the next I am meeting with paranormal investigators.  Another aspect of my job that I love is discovering the stories behind the artifacts in our collection and being transported back in time.  Who knew a broom could have such a remarkable story.

Melissa, in the Robinson House storage area, with our Rebellion Box


What do you find most challenging?

Balancing all my projects which have varying degrees of importance.  There is only so much time in a day and I find it challenging at times to tend to the administration duties while trying to give the truly important things, such as the collection, the time and effort that it deserves.


How did you get into the museum field?

I have a degree in Anthropology from Trent University.  In my first year, I will be honest, I wasn’t sure where my anthropology degree was going to lead me.   I initially wanted to teach.  During one of our lectures a Professor came out to discuss a joint program between Trent University and Sir Sandford Fleming College called Museum Management and Curatorship.  I knew at that moment that is what I wanted to do.  I was ecstatic!  I basically chased Professor Harrison around for four years of university, I know it sounds silly but I kinda did!  I immediately set up an appointment with her to find out more about the program.  I must have made an impression over the years because she actually contacted me at home during the summer of ‘99 to inform me that I had been accepted into the program.


What is your earliest memory of the Oshawa Museum?

I grew up in Oshawa; I am the Curator of my hometown’s history!  I remember coming to the museum on a class trip in grade three, it was then known as the Sydenham Museum.  Although my fondest memories of the museum are associated with Lakeview Park (where the buildings stand) – I spent a lot of time at this park as a child with my dad during the summer we would walk the path and I would ask every time if I could play at the park.   Out of the three buildings, Henry House is the one I remember most because I wanted to live there – it also stands beside the park where I played!   Today my office window looks over the lake and the park that I have fond memories of and Henry House does feel like my home away from home.


The Host Files: Caitlan’s Favourite Toy

This blog series comes from our dedicated and awesome Visitor Host staff, and topics range from favourite artifacts, thoughts on our latest exhibits, and anything else in between!

By Caitlan M., Visitor Host

As our Toys and Games exhibit has just ended, I can’t help but think of my favourite toy who I could never bare to see leave. When I was about 2 years old my Nan took me to Marineland where I become obsessed with Orca whales, this lead me to finding my forever best friend – a stuff animal orca whale. I gave him the most original name possible, Whale or Mr. Whale for those fancy occasions he likes to attend. Today I like to think I was just calling him Whale because that’s what he was and my parents thought that’s what I named him, chances are I just wasn’t creative.

Throughout my childhood Whale would follow me where ever I went. If I wasn’t holding him, he would either be beside me or in the same room. I couldn’t sleep when he went to the drycleaners, or as my mom called it a holiday for him. Over the years Whale has been on every vacation I have been on, and I can remember when I went to Europe to visit family when I was 14 and my dad asked if Whale was coming with us. Going through the sassy know-it-all stage in my life I just gave my dad that look of ‘of course he is coming with us’, my dad then asked if Whale would be going in my suitcase – why my dad would ask me this I will never know, what if my suitcase would get lost or stolen then Whale would be lost to me forever. I can remember getting some weird looks from security and flight attendants, they probably thought it was a bit weird seeing a teen with a stuff animal but Whale quite enjoyed looking out the window during the flight. At the end of the day, to me Whale was another member of the family and I didn’t care what people thought.

I find it sad that these toys do not have the love they once had. Yes they are being taken care of and will continue to be taken care of but some of these toys could have easily been a Whale to some other little girl or boy. Whale has seen/been through practically everything I have. He has gone blind in his left eye (well his left eye has fallen off) and his tail is very fragile, but he continues to live on my bed ready to give me a comforting hug when needed.

Month That Was – May 1896

Did you know that Oshawa’s historical newspapers are available for searching online? Visit Canadian Community Digital Archives to discover Oshawa’s history for yourself!  This month’s edition of Month That Was has been researched and written based on newspapers available on the online database.  Enjoy!


Ontario Reformer
May 1, 1896

To Let
Brick House near the piano works.  Also a furnished hall over Pellow’s Store, suitable for Lodge or Concern room, seating capacity 200. G. W. Borsberry

Oshawa, March [  ], 1896
Local Statistics
The following are the statistics of the Town of Oshawa for 1896, as collected by Assessor Morris: – Population 4,008, non-residents 130;… value of real property $1,025-265;…dogs 218; cattle 216; hogs 116; horses 324; number of births 64; death 28…

May 1, 1896, p. 1
May 1, 1896, p. 1

Local News
Mr. J. O. Guy’s old horse Jim passes peacefully away on Wednesday afternoon.  This animal was raised by Mr. Andrew Annis twenty-eight years ago and Mr. Guy has driven him for the past twenty-five. In his younger days he was one of the finest and fastest horses in Oshawa, and has certainly done his share of this world’s work.  For the numbers of years past and up to the day he died he worked on Mr. Guy’s delivery wagon. Careful and kind attention on the part of his owner certainly lengthened his days.

He-I’d have you know I’m a self-made man.
She-I saw your make a donkey of yourself yesterday.
-Pick Me Up.


Ontario Reformer
May 8, 1896

Oshawa Town Council
The Fire Brigade Exonerated From Blame at Demill Fire: All Stores to Close at seven P.M.

A rather lengthy session of the Oshawa Town Council was held on Monday evening last, at which all the members were present. …

A letter was read from the Secretary of the Underwriters’ Association, enquiring if any investigation had been held regarding the working of the Fire Brigade at the Demill College Fire. The communication was laid on the table. Mr. Coulthard favored an inve4stivation in justice to the firemen. …

Mr. Henderson brought up the report of the Fire and Water Committee, in brief as follows:

  1. That Mr. W. H. Thomas be paid $3 for drawing the fire engine and hose to Demill Fire
  2. the committee had investigated the complaints regarding the working of the Fire Brigade at the College Fire, and considering the difficulties the Brigade had to contend with, the Committee exonerated them from all blame.
Luke Bros. Ad; May 8, 1896, p. 1
Luke Bros. Ad; May 8, 1896, p. 1

Queen’s Birthday Celebration
There promises to be a very large crowd of people in Oshawa on the occasion of the Oddfellow’s Queen’s Birthday celebration, and no effort is being spared in providing an excellent programme of amusements.  The large posters are already out and programmes will be ready in a few days. Among the say’s sports, will be a baseball match between Oshawa “Oriole’s” club and Whitby; a lacrosse match between Bowmanville and Oshawa clubs; and a baseball match between Oshawa and Toronto Oddfellows. .. Don’t fail to take in the Oshawa celebration on Monday, May 25.

Topics of a Week
The Important Events in a Few Words for Busy Readers
Robert Hodgson, of Toronto, was run over and killed by a train at Oshawa Saturday Evening

Mr. W.C.B. Rathbun, the Toronto representative of the Deseronto firm of that name, wounded himself dangerously, if not fatally, while cleaning a rusty revolver

The Sir Charles Tupper Cabinet took the oath of office Friday¹, The five now Ministers are Messrs. Angers, Tallion and Ross, from Quebec; Lieut-Col Tisdale, from Ontario; and Mr. Hugh John Macdonald, from Manitoba.


Ontario Reformer
May 15, 1896

Topics of a Week
The Important Events in a Few Words for Busy Readers
Back taxed in Peterborough amount to $8,600.

At Sarnia another Masonic Lodge has just been instituted.

An Ameliasburg man made more than 1,600 pounds of maple syrup this season.

A flash of lightening knocked a pair of spectacles from a woman’s face in Stratford.

Dr. Rae, who, a few weeks ago, was appointed Registrar of Ontario County, died of heart failure in Oshawa, Ont., Friday.

Dr Rae, May 15, 1896, p. 1
Dr Rae, May 15, 1896, p. 1

United States
Edison predicts that in ten years horseless carriages will be the rule.

The little town of Verona, Ma., has a population of about 500, and is quiet an old settlement; yet it has never had a doctor, a clergyman, or lawyer, residing within its limits.


Ontario Reformer
May 22, 1896

Mr. A. O. Geiger, Organist and Choirmaster of Simcoe Street Methodist Church, Teacher of Organ, Piano, Cornet, Violin, and Vocal.  Terms on application. Residence – Simcoe Str. North, first door South of Patte’s Store
-Oshawa, March 4th, 1896

May 22, 1896, p. 1
May 22, 1896, p. 1

Local News
Mr. D. M. Tod is about to relize (sic) the benefits which a new oven can confer upon business. It is larger than the old one, and , because of constructed upon the latest scientific principles, will greatly assist him in pandering to the increasing demands of his customers. If an up-to-date oven is a necessity or a virtue to a baker, Mr. Tod has it.



¹ Tupper was the 6th Prime Minister of Canada, in office from May 1 to July 6, 1896, making him the Prime Minister with the shortest term at 69 days.

De-Mystifying Freemasonry

By Melissa Cole, Curator

Next month a new exhibition will be opening at the Oshawa Museum, Freemasonry: A History Hidden in Plain Sight.   Freemasonry is shrouded in superstition and generally misunderstood; the oft-called “secret Society” has been actively involved in bettering communities behind the scenes since the 1700s.  This exhibit which opens at the Oshawa Museum on May 9 will cover the history of Masonry and some of the stereotypes portrayed in the media along with a special focus on the lodges of Oshawa.  Pop culture has been responsible for fuelling the speculations and conspiracy theories associated with Freemasonry – particularly books such as Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol.  In this book it was suggested that the government of Washington was secretly fun by a coven of masons practicing sinister rites.

A series of large shadow boxes form the framework of the exhibition.  The exhibit walks a viewer through the various periods in History from;

  • The very early times – operative masons, establishment of Grand Lodges in England, Scotland, Ireland and so on.
  • The Migration of Freemasonry to the New World
  • The Renaissance
  • Freemasonry today
  • Military lodges
  • Concordant bodies
  • Philanthropy and Benevolence
  • Symbolism of Freemasonry
  • Portraits of famous Freemasons through history

A special focus of the exhibition while it is here will highlight the lodges in Oshawa and portray individuals from Oshawa who were Masons.  While compiling the research I discovered that my great grandfather was a Master Mason.  His name was listed in the 1958 program of the Order of the Eastern Star as Worshipful Patron.  The Order of the Eastern Star is a masonic organization that is the sister organization of the Freemasons.  It is the largest fraternal organization to which men and women both belong, although the majority of its members are female.  The stated purposes of the organization are:  Charitable, Educational, Fraternal and Scientific.  They used to meet in Oshawa at the temple on Centre Street.  Today they meet in Whitby.

William Henderson OES

The exhibit runs from May 9th to August 31 at the Oshawa Museum!  On Sunday May 29 I will be talking about Masonry in Oshawa at our monthly Tea and Talk.  Watch our social media channels and e-news bulletins for future events while the exhibition is here in Oshawa.

Freemasonry Exhibit Logo

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