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2014 PHS News & Events Archive

PHS Public Lecture October 21
Hidden Tragedies at Inge-Va: Exploring the Archaeology of Death and Disease in a 19 Century Household

Dena Doroszenko, lead archaeologist with the Ontario Heritage Trust, will be guest speaker at the PHS Public Lecture on October 21, as part of Archaeology Week in Peterborough.

Dena is somewhat of a pioneer in exploring what can be learned about the life and times of 19th century residents from the sites of rubbish heaps and privies, or “middens” as they are referred to by archaeologists.

Her presentation will describe her work at Inge-va, a Trust property in Perth, built in 1823. Over many years, Dena has conducted digs on the site and studied her findings in light of the recorded history of the area. In her words, “the archaeological evidence has revealed hardships, as well as glimpses of humanity” in the lives of the people who lived there.

She will take the audience through the detective work that archaeologists use to provide a more fulsome understanding of the significant life events of a family through time.

The PHS public lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the basement auditorium of the Peterborough Public Library. Admission is free but donations are welcomed at the door.

Richard Tucker Shares his Vision for the Future Sustainability of Canadian Canoe Museum at PHS Public Meeting, September 16th Basement Auditorium Peterborough Public Library 7:30 p.m.

Richard Tucker, Executive Director of the Canadian Canoe Museum

Richard Tucker, Executive Director of the Canadian Canoe Museum will be guest speaker at the at the PHS monthly Public Meeting on September 16th. Since he took on the job late last year, Richard has been busy developing a strategy for the future of the museum.

He notes that until recently, the primary means of understanding culture and history was to go to the museum to view artifacts or obtain books at libraries. Now with the internet, images, videos, and learned interpretations and books from all over the world are instantly delivered to your laptop of tablet.

“A key driver of museum attendance has in the course of a single decade become permanently redundant. For museums in general, and historical and cultural museums in particular, there are increasingly serious challenges with attendance, relevancy and sustainable financial models. Yet, we innately know that there is more to culture and history than what is delivered over the internet. The seeing or handling of an artifact that is hundreds of thousands of years old engenders a compelling curiosity.”

With this context, Richard will talk about how the Canadian Canoe Museum is starting to reinvent itself and create a facility and business model that will carry the museum sustainably forward for the next fifty years.

The public is welcome to attend. Admission is free but donations are welcomed at the door.

PHS Annual Excursion Cruising on Lake Muskoka September 25, 2014

Enjoy the spectular fall colours of Muskoka and support the Peterborough Historical Society. On September 25th, PHS is offering a full day bus trip to Gravenhurst.

The trip features a two-hour cruise around Lake Muskoka aboard the Segwun Steamship and a visit to the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Museum.

Tickets are just $65.00 for members and $75.00 for non-members, which includes the cruise and admission to the museum. Bring your own lunch or enjoy a meal in one of several restaurants near the wharf.

The Coach Canada Bus (with washroom) will leave the Webber Street terminal at 9:00 a.m., returning around 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are available at the PHS office, 270 Brock Street or reserve your tickets by telephone 705 740-2600 (leave your name and telephone number so we can contact you for your VISA or Master Card details).

Seating on the bus is limited so book your tickets early.

Peterborough Historical Society Presents 2014 Annual Heritage Awards

The Peterborough Historical Society announced the winners of its 2014 Heritage Awards on Wednesday night April 16, at a presentation ceremony in the historic Keeping Room of Hutchison House Museum. Graham Hart volunteered as Master of Ceremonies.

Nominations are put forward by the Society or submitted by individuals and organizations in the community at large, to recognize significant contributions to promoting heritage preservation in Peterborough and the surrounding area. The winners are selected annually by a volunteer panel of independent judges.

The Martha Ann Kidd Award is a new award, honouring the memory of the late Martha Ann Kidd, who did so much to raise awareness of Peterborough’s architectural heritage. This award recognizes an organization that has restored an historic building or designed a new building that is respectful of its historic surroundings. The winner this year is the firm Ashburnham Realty and architect, Chris Tworkowski, for design and construction of the residential block at 7 Fleming Place in downtown Peterborough. This new residential structure was designed in keeping with the architectural character of the adjacent heritage buildings, with advice from the city’s Heritage Preservation Office. Paul Bennett of Ashburnum Realty accepted the award.

The F.H. Dobbin Award recognizes a major work of either fiction or non-fiction that focuses on Peterborough’s past. This year’s winner was the well-researched and beautifully illustrated book Under the Canopy: Peterborough’s Heritage Trees, produced by Peterborough Green up. Editor Sheryl Loucks accepted the award.

The George A. Cox Award is given to an organization or individual for the restoration of a significant cultural resource. This year the award went to the City of Peterborough’s Engineering and Construction Division for the restoration of the historic Hunter Street Bridge. While consultants and engineering firms share in this accomplishment, the Society recognizes the vision and determination of the City of Peterborough to accurately preserve the special features of this unique engineering treasure in the face of numerous challenges. Blair Nelson accepted the award on behalf of the City.

The J. Hampton Burnham Award recognizes the completion of a major project that promotes awareness of the region. John Harris of the Smith-Ennismore Historical Society accepted the award for his role in spearheading a major project to acquire, preserve and catalogue, a substantial body of archival material related to the history of the area. It is through the dedication of such volunteer organizations, that the rich history of Peterborough and area is protected and made available for researchers.

PHS Public Meeting, May 20th
A Visual Tour of Museums of Interest

Ken Armstrong

Through his extensive travels, Ken Armstrong has visited museums around the world. With slides and commentary he will share his experiences and insights.

Armstrong notes that a hundred years ago, all museums were remarkably the same. The buildings which housed a nation’s treasures were quiet, solitary places. Today museums strive to be different from each other to appeal to a discerning public.

Museum visitors these days are just as curious as they were in the past but today’s visitors demand instant engagement with the artifacts on display. So, the challenge facing current museum directors is to capture and stimulate the public’s interest in an age when they can instantly turn to Google to satisfy their curiosity. Today’s modern visitor doesn’t just want to see the artifacts. They must be properly presented with appropriate lighting, attractive well-written scripts and easy traffic patterns throughout the building.

Ken is well known in Peterborough. Until his retirement he was a long-time educator in Peterborough serving as Head of History at Adam Scott Collegiate and Head of History and Social Sciences at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School. He is also a life member of PHS and was President from 1973 to 1975.

Among his many awards he holds the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship, the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Order of Merit. He was named Peterborough`s Citizen of the Year in1998 and was inducted into Peterborough`s Pathway of Fame in the journalism category in 1999.

Israel Museum

In his presentation, Ken will show a selection of museums which have been successful in preserving and displaying local, national and international treasures. He will also discuss the challenges facing museums today. Museums are not self -sustaining. They are expensive to maintain and particularly small museums are continually fighting for their lives.

PHS public meetings take place downstairs at the Peterborough Public Library, beginning at 7:30 p.m. and are open to the public. Admission is free but donations are gratefully accepted.

Canadian Studies at 50: John Wadland’s Remarks to the Peterborough Historical Society

Download the notes from John Wadlands remarks to the PHS.

Medical Practices in the Victorian Era
PHS Monthly Public Meeting on April 15th

Victorian Doctor

The Victorian era was a time when the causes of illness were largely unknown and doctors for the most part were forced to stand helplessly by as their patients died. It was a time of traumatic surgery and extensive drug use. The “cure” was often worse than the illness.

It was also the period when surgeons were empowered first by anesthesia and later by antiseptic techniques, but also a time when new medical theories were rejected because they conflicted with established scientific and medical opinion. Gender and class distinctions resulted in special care for some and often barbaric treatment for women and the lower classes.

Theses issues and others will be discussed by Jim Taggart at the April 15th pubic meeting. Jim is a retired elementary and secondary school teacher, history buff and re-enactor from Burlington. He has made countless presentations in schools and to interested groups throughout Ontario. He will give his presentation in period dress, using early medical instruments.

This presentation will be of special interest to PHS members, given the association with Dr. John Hutchison, one of Peterborough’s first resident doctors in the mid 1800s.

The meeting will be in the lower level of the Peterborough Public Library beginning at 7:30 p.m.

PHS Public Meeting March 18th Politics, Scandal and the Trent Canal

The Trent-Severn Waterway is well known for its world class engineering features such as the Peterborough Lift Lock and the intriguing story of its construction over a period of 87 years.

What is not well known is the story of the scoundrels, scallywags, connivers and rascals who were also part of the canal’s construction and operation. Dubious local characters were involved in brawls, bribes and boondoggles that make for a more colourful history of the canal.

Dennis Carter-Edwards, a retired historian who was employed for several years with the Trent Severn Waterway, will share the “real story” at the monthly meeting of the Peterborough Historical Society on March 18th at the Peterborough Public Library, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The public is welcome and admission is free.

Report on 2014 Annual General Meeting

Close to 60 people attended the 2014 Annual General Meeting and Dinner at Princess Gardens on February 25th.

This year, the business meeting was held at the beginning of the evening. During this meeting, the membership approved a series of motions that require annual review. Tim Nichols, Chartered Accountant was reappointed for 2014.

The elected Trustees of the Hutchison House Trust Funds are Peter Darling (Chair), Don Early, Marilyn McNaughton and Cy Monkman. Barbara McIntosh was re-elected as President. During 2013, the Board lost Matthew Griffith due to job relocation but gained long-time volunteer Bill Corbett. All current Board Members were re-elected.

As expected Dr. John Wadland, gave an outstanding address, reflecting on the early days of the Canadian Studies Program at Trent and offering his thoughts on more recent developments at the university and in Canadian society as a whole. His remarks were highly informative, insightful, challenging and worrisome for those who value accurate historical study, concern for the environment and respect for the democratic process.

John Wadland and Michael Peterman

Guest Speaker Dr. John Wadland (left) was introduced by his long-time colleague, Michael Peterman who dedicated his new book Flora Luyndsay: or, Passages in an Eventful Life to Dr. Wadland.

Heritage Awards

Nomination Forms for the annual PHS Heritage Awards are available now at Hutchison House or online. Deadline for the awards is Friday March 7, 2014.

Michael Peterman to speak on John Craig at PHS January Public Meeting

Local writer, John Craig wrote over 20 books during his career as professional writer. His history of steam boating in the Kawarthas, By the Sound of Her Whistle, is quite well known, but no so for his many other successful novels, mostly set around Peterborough and Lakefield. Join Michael Peterman on Tuesday, January 21st for an exploration of Craig’s work. The meeting starts at 7:30 in the lower level of the Peterborough Public Library.