The words “Historical Society” and “Blog” may not seem to go together very well. A blog, however, can be a great way to make the news and activities of a historical society accessible.
The South Dumfries Historical Society was formed in February of 2003.
The Township of South Dumfries was blended into the new County of Brant in 1999 – so “South Dumfries” was already history at the time the Historical Society was founded.
The SDHS was established under the umbrella of the Ontario Historical Society (and is also a member of the Ontario Museum Association and the Brant Museums & Galleries Association).
The former Township had at its centre the village of St. George, but also included places like Harrisburg, Glen Morris and Osborne Corners.
If you are not familiar with where we are:
The area is bordered by Brantford to the South, Paris to the West, Cambridge (Galt) to the North and Hamilton to the East. If someone wanted to get here from Toronto, they could get on Dundas Street and head west – Highway 5 eventually becomes Beverly Street in St. George.
The Historical Society was formed in part to re-open the doors of the St. George Museum – which had been started just a few years earlier by the St. George Trade & Tourism Association. That group had run out of steam and decided to disband after many years of great service to the village.
The Museum was opened in the historic Memorial Hall, in space that had hosted the local branch of the public library for years (until the library moved into a nice new building just to the north of the village).
Public meetings were held to discuss the future of the Museum and the other activities undertaken by the Trade & Tourism group – like Apple Festival, the Antique Fair & Sale, and Canada Day celebrations.
One of the first acts of the new Historical Society was to name Mrs. Joyce Wehrstein as our Honourary President. Mrs. Wehrstein was a celebrated local historian who had also helped to establish and run the previous historical museum in St. George – at the Old School. She had also been a part of the group that worked to save the Old School from the wrecking ball – and the school and its bell stand as landmarks of the village.
The Museum doors have been re-opened – and the SDHS aims to do much more than just host a Museum. We have published newsletters, held a popular speaker series, reprinted Doug Mannen’s history of St. George, co-ordinated field trips, contests and guest speakers for the local schools, and more.
Through this blog, we will aim to keep people informed about what is happening with the SDHS. We can highlight coming events and current issues. We can create a record that will help to preserve and promote the history of St. George and its neighbours.
If you have the chance, come visit our Museum –
South Dumfries Historical Society
St. George Museum & Archives
P.O. Box 472,
St. George, Ontario
Phone: (519) 448-3265
Hours are Saturdays from 11 am to 2 pm, and by appointment.