January 28, 2021 Meeting – “Looking at the Early History of the Jewish Community in St. Catharines.”

Happy New Year from the Historical Society of St. Catharines!

As the pandemic carries on, so does the Historical Society.  But we are much more fun.

On January 28 starting at 7:30 p.m., local educator and author Dr. Howard Slepkov presented, “Looking at the Early History of the Jewish Community in St. Catharines.”  This talk stems from Dr. Slepkov’s recent publication of a book on this topic.  

This was a “Virtual Meeting” conducted via the ZOOM app. Here is a recording of this presentation.

Presentations – November to February 2020-2021

The presentations are back!

We have three virtual meetings lined up for November, January and February.  And more to come.

On November 26, 2020 at 7:30 p.m., Sarah King Head will be presenting on the history of Beaverdams including stories and characters that are from new archival resources.

This will be the Historical Society’s first “Virtual Meeting” conducted online via the app ZOOM. 

It’s a brave new world.  Thanks to everyone who worked hard to set this up.

Future meetings include: 

January 28, 2021, 7:30 pm – Howard Slepkov on the history of the Jewish community in St. Catharines.

February 25, 2021, 7:30 pm – Peter Meyler on Richard Pierpoint and Lemuel Brown.

There will be different links to these meetings in the coming months.

Historical Society meetings are cancelled for the immediate future

April 21, 2020

Dear members and friends of the Historical Society,

During this difficult time, your board would like to reach out to you with a few announcements as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in our various ways.

Not surprisingly, our next few meetings have been cancelled. Our March 26, 2020 general meeting did not take place. The April 23, 2020 AGM meeting has been postponed, and the May 28, 2020 and June 25, 2020 meetings have been cancelled. We hope to re-book our speakers at the earliest dates possible.

We are cautiously optimistic that our meetings might resume in September 2020. If so, then our annual general meeting could take place on September 24, 2020. Currently, we have a slate of presenters lined up for the fall months.

We will try to keep in touch with you regarding any updates, and our newsletter editor hopes to publish our May 2020 edition on time.

St. Catharines has weathered difficult times in our history and we have prevailed. We are all hoping and working toward the very best outcome.

In the meantime, we hope everyone will stay well. It will be interesting to compare experiences later. If you are keeping a COVID-19 diary, it will be part of our history.

Your HSSC board

Meetings – September 2019 to June 2020

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., presentations begin at 7:30. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September 2019 to June 2020. Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, September 26: Journalist and author Tiffany Mayer will talk about the evolution of fruit and farming in Niagara

Thursday, October 24: Lynda Wilson and Carol Dueck, Alumnis of the Mack Schools of Nursing, speaking on the history of the schools

Thursday, November 28: Historian Wes Turner speaking on Canada in the Great War and the effects on St. Catharines.

December: No HSSC meeting this month

Thursday, January 23: Annual Show and Tell meeting

Thursday, February 27: Don Alexander, former Regional Councillor, speaking on the history of the Regional Municipality of Niagara

Thursday, March 26: Sarah King Head, a historian with Heritage Thorold, will present on “Beaverdams and beyond” – CANCELLED due to COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday, April 23: Dr. Steve Penfold of U. of T. author of “The Donut: A Canadian History” with emphasis on local donut history. – CANCELLED due to COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday, May 28: To be confirmed – CANCELLED due to COVID-19 pandemic

Thursday, June 25: To be confirmed – CANCELLED due to COVID-19 pandemic

Meetings – September 2018 to June 2019

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., presentations begin at 7:30. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September 2018 to June 2019. Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, 27 September 2018: “Whiskey King,” by Canadian author Trevor Cole.
The remarkable true story of Canada’s most infamous bootlegger Rocco Perri, who operated in the Niagara Peninsula, and the undercover Mountie on his trail. Other books by Trevor Cole include: Norman Bray in the Performance of His Life (2004); The Fearsome Particles (2006); Practical Jean (2010); Hope Makes Love (2015). Copies of all works will be offered for sale.

Thursday, 25 October 2018: “Stories from the Front,” by Museum staff and Museum volunteers
The performance is an original dramatic production featuring local stories and music from the First World War including letters, diaries, and photographs of St. Catharines men and women. By giving voice to the letters, diaries and newspaper articles of St. Catharines residents, we honour both the men who fought overseas during the First World War and those they left behind at home.

Thursday, 22 November 2018: “175 Interesting Things to see in St. Catharines,” by Bill Stevens
This is not a lecture, but a 45 minute fast paced visual. Items include plaques, monuments, cenotaphs, buildings and many miscellaneous items. Binders with a hard copy of each item will be available to view afterwards for those wishing more information.

Bill Stevens was born, raised and lives in Port Dalhousie and is a long time member of the Historical Society of St. Catharines having served 20 years as a director, executive, past president and program committee member.

No meeting in December.

Thursday, 24 January 2019: “Show and Tell”
The Historical Society presents its annual evening of Show and Tell where Society members and friends are invited to bring in their family’s favourite local historical artifacts and step forward to explain their history and meaning.

Thursday, 28 February 2019: “The City of St. Catharines Civic Art Collection” by Rebecca Cann
St. Catharines has monuments, public art and memorials dating back to 1886. This talk will explore the outdoor installations and share interesting facts about the collection’s history, maintenance and role in community life.

Rebecca Cann is the former Cultural Services Supervisor for the City of St. Catharines who managed the development of an inventory, catalogue and maintenance program for the Civic Art Collection among other responsibilities. She is currently an arts consultant and instructor at the Centre for Arts & Cultural Studies at Brock University.

Thursday, 28 March 2019: “Update: The Archaeology & History of Welland Sailing Canalers.”
Update on the continuing two-year study of St. Catharines’ Shickluna Shipyards by Dr. Kimberly E. Monk from the Department of History at Brock University.

Thursday, 25 April 2019: “Postcards from Port Dalhousie,” by Roger Bradshaw and John Burtniak
Utilizing John’s extensive collection, they have collaborated to select numerous vintage Port Dalhousie postcards to display and describe in a book. For selected post cards they have photographed the current scene to achieve a past and present view.

Roger Bradshaw is the authour of self-published books on the ‘Historic Welland Canals’ and ‘Niagara’s War of 1812’. He also has been the tour photographer on Canadian battlefield tours in Europe.

John Burtniak is a retired Librarian/Archivist from Brock University and is active on various provincial and local historical associations. He is a noted historian, author, researcher, editor and collector.

Thursday, 23 May 2019: “St. Paul Street Stories” – Nancy Cameron will recount stories of the Garden City’s most historic street. Tales of scoundrels and scandals, calamities and curiosities, murder and mystery, bootleggers, buried treasure, shipwrecks, spies, fugitives, fraudsters, and much more …

Thursday, 27 June 2019: Group lecture from the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3 museum staff on the preservation of your historical treasures at home. They will describe how to handle and store objects.

Meetings – September 2017 to June 2018

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings will be held at the St. Catharines Museum at Lock 3, 1932 Welland Canal Parkway, St. Catharines, Ontario. Free admission. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., presentations begin at 7:30. Guests are welcome.

Lecture Program – September 2017 to June 2018.  Programs are subject to change.

Thursday, September 28, 2017: “Guided Spirit Walk tours at Victoria Lawn.” Adrian Petry, Visitors Services Coordinator at the St. Catharines Museum, will talk about what it takes to put on the Guided Spirit Walk tours at Victoria Lawn.  The lecture will feature some of his favourite research materials from the collection.

Thursday, October 26, 2017: “Mapping the Historic Welland Canals one lock at a time – My Story.” Colleen Beard, Map Librarian and Head of the Map, Data & GIS Library at Brock University, will present her Historic Welland Canals Mapping Project that portrays the First, Second, and Third 19th century canals as they appear on today’s landscape. She will share her stories of the mapping adventure and demonstrate the interactive website where the digital content can be explored by others.

Thursday, November 23, 2017: The Historical Society presents its annual evening of Show and Tell, where Society members and friends are invited to bring in their family’s favourite local historical artifacts and step forward to explain their history and meaning. Please contact Dan at –
drsundy@vaxxine.com to participate. The ability to participate is open to everyone with a good story.

Thursday, January 25, 2018: “The Morningstar Mill.” Carla Mackie, Historical Services Coordinator for the City of St. Catharines will give an illustrated talk about the Morningstar Mill.

Thursday, February 22, 2018: “Welland Canals Landscape.” Terry Hughes Welland historian will recount the evolution of ships, the traffic organization, the Welland by-pass and the accidents to ships and canal structures.

Thursday, March 22, 2018: “The Archaeology & History of Welland Sailing Canalers. A locally developed ship-type!” Dr. Kimberly E. Monk, Department of History at Brock. (Dr. Monk will also be lecturing, Sunday, May 27 to the Canadian Canal Society about her research on the Shickluna shipyards in St. Catharines.)

Thursday, April 26, 2018: “Turney’s Crossroads.”  Dr. Laurence Steven, retired professor of English at Laurentian University in Sudbury, will explore the different manifestations through time of the area surrounding the point once known as Turney’s Crossroads – where St. David’s Road crossed Davis Road just north of both Lock 21 of the Third Canal, and the old Thorold Cemetery.

Thursday, May 24, 2018:  Andrew and Jennifer Humeniuk will have an illustrated presentation about their plans for assuring a secure future for the 200 year old John Brown house on Pelham Road in St. Catharines. As one of the oldest buildings in the area, the Humeniuk’s work is very important.

Thursday, June 28, 2018: Group lecture from Lock 3 museum staff on preservation of your historical treasures at home. They will describe how to handle and store objects.  Tanya Faulkner, Collections Technician-Artifacts, will describe conservation techniques. Helen Booth, Collections Technician-Archival, will describe the research services available at the museum which are available to individuals.