Oshawa Celebrates Civic Day 1898

Article originally appeared in The Globe 8 Aug 1898, p 9.

Oshawa’s Civic Holiday
Successful Demonstration Held in Prospect Park Under the Auspices of the Woodmen of the World
(Special Despatch to the Globe)

Oshawa, Aug 8 – To-day was Oshawa’s Civic Holiday, and a demonstration was held in honor of it in Prospect Park under the auspices of the members of the Woodmen of the World lodges of Toronto and the lodge in Oshawa. The Toronto people came down in large numbers, the steamer Garden City running three round trips from Toronto. The first one which left the city at 8 o’clock in the morning brought down about five hundred of the Woodmen and their friends. They also brought their own band, which proved a great attraction and was very popular.  On arriving at the park the visitors were given a great reception, and Mayor Fowke delivered an address of welcome.  A good programme of sports had been prepared for the afternoon’s entertainment, but owing to a heavy thunderstorm which came up about 3 o’clock only a part of them were pulled off…

Prospect Park copy
Postcard of Prospect Park, from the archival collection of the Oshawa  Museum

A baseball match between the Night Owls of Toronto and the Seniors of Oshawa was commenced, but had to be stopped at the second innings on the account of the rain.  There were also a number of bicycle races on the programme, for which there was a very large number of entries, and which would have been very interesting.  The rain stopped about 5 o’clock, and it cleared up, and the evening was very pleasant.  The Woodmen Band gave a good concert in the evening, assisted by Miss Stella Pedwell, the child cornetist, and Mr. Harry Graham, vocalist.  The day’s enjoyment was greatly marred by the rain.  Nevertheless the visitors were well entertained and from all appearances had a jolly good time.  Arrangements will be made by the committee for the carrying out of the bicycle races to take place either in Toronto or Oshawa at an early date.

Stories on a Map: Atlases in the Oshawa Archives

By Jennifer Weymark, Archivist
This article originally appeared in the Oshawa Express, April 15, 2015

One of the most popular reasons people have for contacting the archives is looking for help with researching the history of their home.  This type of research can be tricky in that there may not be a lot of early information on that lot that survives today.

Once a researcher has determined the lot number of the land they are researching a county atlas can help shed some light on the early land owners. In Canada, approximately 40 county atlases were published between 1874 and 1881.  Of these 40 or so different atlases, 32 focused on counties within Ontario.

When trying to research land located in what is now Oshawa, the 1877 atlas of the County of Ontario is a great place to start. Within the atlas is a detailed map of all of the lots that made up East Whitby Township the area that is now Oshawa.  The names of the owners of the lots are provided, as well as information such as locations of schools, churches, cemeteries and railroad lines. The 1877 atlas also contains a detailed map of the Village of Oshawa. While the owners of smaller lots are not indicated, those owning larger parcels of land are.  The map of the village shows many of the larger businesses from that time period, as well as how the streets were positioned and even now the creek impacted village growth.

1877 County of Ontario Atlas
1877 County of Ontario Atlas

The atlas also provides the reader with short histories of the towns, townships and villages, along with a variety of other information such as the locations of harbours, roads and railways.

The archives has several original prints of the 1877 County of Ontario atlas, as well as a couple of the reprinted ones that were published in 1972. The County of Ontario atlas was published by J.H. Beers & Co.  Beers & Company. Interestingly, this atlas was actually simultaneously published by both J.H. Beers & Company and H. Beldon & Company. The atlases produced were identical with the exception of the title pages. It is unclear why both companies chose to publish the atlas in this manner.

Prior to publishing the books, subscriptions were sold for those who wished to be included in the patron’s directory.  Subscriptions were also sold to those who wished to have a lithograph of their portrait, home or business included in the publication. The 1877 County of Ontario atlas contains numerous lithographs that may interest a person researching Oshawa.  For example, there are two images side-by-side of Ellesmere Hall, the former home of Hon. T.N. Gibbs and Prospect Park, the former home of W.H. Gibbs.  Today, Ellesmere Hall is where Village Union Public School is located and Prospect Park is where Parkwood Estate stands today.

A998.13.52 - Postcard depicting Prospect Park; from the Oshawa Community Archives Collection
A998.13.52 – Postcard depicting Prospect Park; from the Oshawa Community Archives Collection
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