social and political impulses of the greatest significance for the future, we ought especially to call to mind such lives and deeds and catch, if we can, inspiration for acting well the part that falls to each of us."
~ Foreward: The Court Houses of a Century, Elgin Historical and Scientific Institute, 1901
Our online library now contains well over 100 books and documents touching on a wide range of subjects, including a recently rediscovered biography of Thomas Talbot written in 1857, two years before the earliest previously known biography.
Examine the works of the early Elgin Historical Society with their publications, beginning with Historical Sketches of the County of Elgin, published in 1895, or read how the railroad arrived in our part of the world in the early reports of the London & Port Stanley Railway, under construction in the 1850's.
If you have had enough reading, The Society continues to add to our video catalogue with archival films, and modern productions. Special films, such as our latest, War of 1812 Sites in Elgin County, share the page with talks given at our public meetings by local historians, such as Susan Butlin speaking on her upcoming Elgin County Museum show: Alma College and the Forging of Canadian Culture 1880-1939 (running Monday, September 9, 2013 to Friday, December 20, 2013). We are always grateful that they generously share their years of research and experience. They are the lifeblood of the Society.
Our public speakers events are held on the fourth Wednesday of the month (except July & August). The Events section of the website will give you all the details of upcoming events, locations and times.
In partnership with the Elgin County Museum we are pleased to make available the Audio History Project of the Elgin Pioneer Museum from the late 1970's. In these recordings Museum founder Dorothy Futcher and local historian George Thorman interview people with direct experience of our history. The personalities and historic details revealed in these interviews open a door on the past that is unavailable elsewhere.
The second book is a collection of articles writen by early settler and War of 1812 veteran Garrett Oakes and edited in 1990 by George Thorman and Frank Clarke, into, Garrett Oakes: Tales of a Pioneer. During the 1870's Mr. Oakes looked back on his eventful life. Born in New Brunswick in 1791 he arrived in the Long Point area in 1803, finally settling near the present site of New Sarum in 1811. He saw the Talbot Settlement born out of wilderness and become a prosperous, progressive community. Despite his fearsome appearance Mr. Oakes is an insightful, and sensitive writer who gives us a glimpse into the daily hardships of early settler life.
Our next exhibit, debuting in early June, will detail the railway history of our region. With so many railway projects underway in the area, as well as the 100th anniversary of the building of the Michigan Central Railroad shops (now the Elgin County Railway Museum), we thought it would be an ideal time to explore and present the history of the “Railway City”.
We hope you will check out elginhistoricalsociety.ca and watch as we continue to grow.