Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum

Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum Home of the Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum. Committed to preserving Norfolk County's heritage and making it available to the public.
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Welcome to the Eva Brook Donly Museum and Archives – your primary year-round destination for information and events on the people, places, heritage and history of Norfolk County. With hundreds of family histories, thousands of photographs, miles of microfilm and countless other indexed resources you will find the Eva Brook Donly Museum & Archives to be a treasure trove of valuable information and materials for the genealogist, the historian, the student and the tourist in everyone. Our permanent exhibits display the development of Norfolk County from the 1600s to the present. We also have a gallery dedicated to Eva Brook Donly, the Canadian artist who lived in this house. The historic house side of the museum is presented as the 1860s home of the Mulkins Family. We also have temporary exhibits that change multiple times per year. Come in and see what we have to offer!

Operating as usual

On Tuesday evening Norfolk County Council passed a by-law that officially established the County Archives. We are excite...
11/20/2020
Norfolk County Archives here to help

On Tuesday evening Norfolk County Council passed a by-law that officially established the County Archives. We are excited about this achievement for Norfolk County and are pleased to be a part of the County's dedication to providing better public access to information and preserving our community's history!

https://www.simcoereformer.ca/news/local-news/norfolk-county-archives-here-to-help

Thank you to the Simcoe Reformer for the great article!

Local history finds a home in Simcoe

11/09/2020
Norfolk County Heritage & Culture

The story of Norfolk County Silver Cross mother, Emeline West.

Welcome to Norfolk County Heritage and Culture's new video series Carved in Stone.

Carved in Stone is an exploration through our community cemeteries to tell the fact-based stories of the everyday people who once called Norfolk County home.

Our second episode highlights King Lake Cemetery in Houghton and features the story of Emeline West, Silver Cross mother.

Thanks for joining us, for liking and for sharing our important social history.

We will remember them.
Port Dover Harbour Museum Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre

We will remember them.
11/06/2020

We will remember them.

The first Remembrance Day was observed on November 11, 1931.

Every November 11th since, Canadians have paused in a moment of silence to honour and remember the men and women who have served, and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace.

Despite the pandemic, this tradition of honouring will be continued in 2020, as local legion branches host scaled back services.

For our part, Norfolk County Heritage and Culture will be honouring those from Norfolk who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Through a Virtual Sunset Service, we will remember the 405 men and one woman who lost their lives defending our freedom.

At 6:30 p.m. we will post right here on our page and on YouTube a film highlighting each of Norfolk’s fallen as they are projected onto the Norfolk War Memorial, Carillon Tower. They will appear in alphabetical order.

While we know a virtual event can’t replace an in-person honouring, we feel we must do something and this is it. We hope you’ll tune in for this special event. #wewillrememberthem🇨🇦

Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre Port Dover Harbour Museum Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum

10/21/2020
Norfolk County Heritage & Culture

Welcome to a new video series "Carved In Stone". Brought to you by Norfolk County Heritage & Culture.

Welcome to Norfolk County Heritage and Culture's new video series "Carved in Stone".

"Carved in Stone" is an exploration through our community cemeteries to tell the fact-based stories of the everyday people who once called Norfolk County home.

Our first episode highlights the St. John's Anglican Church Cemetery and features the story of Samuel Gardner, sculptor and engraver.

Thanks for joining us, for liking, and for sharing our important social history.

Enjoy!

A large crowd gathered in 1913 to watch Dorothy DeVonda ascend in a hot air balloon at the Norfolk County Fair and Horse...
10/07/2020

A large crowd gathered in 1913 to watch Dorothy DeVonda ascend in a hot air balloon at the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show.

At the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show, performers who engaged in death defying feats always drew large crowds of onlookers. During the early 1900s, a number of these unique attractions were popular with fair goers.

Dorothy DeVonda was one such performer and a star attraction at the fair for several years.

Every afternoon around 4 p.m., Dorothy climbed aboard a hot air balloon. It rose to 3,000 feet and then Dorothy jumped from the balloon and floated back to earth using a parachute.

As you can imagine, there was a certain element of peril involved with this activity. In 1913, the British Canadian newspaper reported:

"Just as Miss Dorothy DeVonda, the aeronaut was making her landing a block north of the fairgrounds on Grove Street, the parachute fell on one side of the telegraph wire and the lady on the other. Happily, Miss DeVonda was not hurt, as she was so close to the ground that the distance she dropped was not great."

Photo: Collection of Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum: "Waiting for the Balloon Ascension" Norfolk County Fair, Simcoe, Ontario, 1913. Gordon Photo, Port Dover.

Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre, Port Dover Harbour Museum, Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum

Norfolk County Heritage & Culture
10/06/2020

Norfolk County Heritage & Culture

Today would have been the opening of the 2020 rendition of the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show. While we can't be there in person to enjoy all this annual celebration has to offer, Norfolk County Heritage and Culture will be posting all week from a historic perspective. We hope you enjoy these heritage snapshots.

The history of the Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show dates back to 1840 when the Talbot District Agricultural Society was first established. In 1852, the name was changed to Norfolk County Agricultural Society.

Traditionally, opening day at the fair is celebrated with Young Canada Day. Elementary and secondary school students are admitted free and enjoy a day at the fair with friends and family.

Gathering at the grandstand, students participate in races, cheerleading and tug of war competitions. Their enthusiastic school spirit can be heard blocks away from the fairground.

By including students in this annual agricultural celebration, the Norfolk County Agricultural Society has ensured the ongoing and sustainable success of this Norfolk County institution. It is a family tradition for many.

Thank you to the many, many volunteers, members, sponsors, staff, community organizations and local businesses and
attendees. You have contributed to a vital Norfolk County celebration that each October reminds us of our rural roots.

Photo: Collection of Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum: Young Canada Day Cheerleading Competition (date unknown)

Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre, Port Dover Harbour Museum, Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum

Today is the Harvest Moon! Can you identify what these farmers are harvesting with their two horses? Photograph from the...
10/01/2020

Today is the Harvest Moon! Can you identify what these farmers are harvesting with their two horses? Photograph from the County archives collection - accession no.1983.14.37 #archives #NorfolkCounty #aghistory

#WaybackWednesdayWe are hoping to reopen soon! But in the meantime here is a snippet of local history for everyone who i...
09/02/2020

#WaybackWednesday
We are hoping to reopen soon! But in the meantime here is a snippet of local history for everyone who is anxious to get in to see us! John Machon's Tailor Shop/Homestead, Vittoria, ca. 1881. Image displays a clapboard building with a man and woman standing in front, possibly Albert Machon and mother Nancy (Hoyles) Machon.
accession no. 1982.02.46
#Archives #History #Research #Vittoria #NorfolkCounty

These Secret Agents solved a history mystery at the Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum.
08/11/2020

These Secret Agents solved a history mystery at the Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum.

Yesterday’s Museum Mondays Summer Adventures program was Secret Agent Academy. Participants had a great time with Angela solving a History Mystery. Here are a few pictures from their virtual experience.

There are 3 more programs running August 17th, 24th and 31st. There is still time to register for our Gone Fishing program next Monday. Deadline for registration of next week’s program is this Thursday at noon.

Did I mention, each participant receives a camp kit full of supplies and activities.

For more information or to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/d/online/norfolk-county-heritage-and-culture/

Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre Port Dover Harbour Museum

Although we may be currently closed to the public, we are still receiving donations via mail of valuable historic record...
07/17/2020

Although we may be currently closed to the public, we are still receiving donations via mail of valuable historic records such as these photographs.

These photos of tobacco farm workers from 1933 were taken at a Mr. George Washington Moore’s farm in North Walsingham, Concession 11 Lot 18, between Silver Hill and Langton.
Thank you to all farm workers! Norfolk County #archives #localhistory

06/08/2020
Port Dover Harbour Museum

Written communication was and continues to be an important means of communication. Here is this week's History at Home lesson from our friends at the Port Dover Harbour Museum.

Welcome to our newest edition of History at Home! This session's theme is Pen to Paper. Written communication was part of daily life throughout history. Deeds, store ledgers, letters and postcards are just a few of the important written documents found in our Norfolk County museums - we are going to share some of our favourites with you!
Wouldn’t it be fun to write a letter or create a postcard for a friend or family member? If you do, be sure to send us a picture and your name will be entered into a draw for a prize.
Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum Norfolk County Heritage & Culture

The latest edition of Norfolk County Heritage & Culture's podcast Curated Past featuring the story of the W.F. Kolbe Com...
05/26/2020
The Story of the W.F. Kolbe Company in Port Dover by Curated Past • A podcast on Anchor

The latest edition of Norfolk County Heritage & Culture's podcast Curated Past featuring the story of the W.F. Kolbe Company in Port Dover.

The W.F. Kolbe Company opened a branch of their fishing company in Port Dover in 1911 on Harbour Street. In 1946 they moved the plant to a large plot of land on Lynn Street, further down the Lynn River. At that time they were the largest freshwater fish processor on the Great Lakes.

05/25/2020
Port Dover Harbour Museum

As the Norfolk County Archives we are particularly excited for History at Home this week as the topic is Discover your Family History! Here is today's edition from our friends at the Port Dover Harbour Museum.

Welcome to History at Home! This session's theme is "Discover your Family History!" We would like you to spend time talking to a family member or a person who is important to you to learn about their favourite memories as a child or what life was like when they were your age. You may even have a chance to see some old family photographs - be sure to take a close look at the people and the activities taking place and discover if life is different today or similar. Submit a paragraph about what you have learned or about how you enjoyed this activity.

Norfolk County Heritage & Culture Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum

Cooking with Curators is part of our History at Home virtual programming.  Today's activity comes from our friends at th...
05/21/2020

Cooking with Curators is part of our History at Home virtual programming. Today's activity comes from our friends at the Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum.

History at Home: Cooking with Curators
Since the apple blossoms are in full bloom, we’ve decided to do an apple themed lesson in measurement. Be sure to complete and return the pictured worksheet by May 27th to be entered for a museum prize.

As many of you will know, WHAM is housed in what was once the largest canning factory in the Dominion of Canada. During peak season, 1,500 “packers” were employed at the factory with over one million cans a year shipped across the British Empire.

One of the most famous artifacts in WHAM’s collection is the pictured tin can from the 1890’s of Norfolk County “Standard Apples”. The tin was found by Kirriemuir Heritage Trust in Scotland, UK and generously shipped back and donated to WHAM. It made international headlines and is the oldest artifact the museum has from the early days of the canning factory in Waterford – it’s a fantastic story!

For our apple recipe, we’re featuring a “how to” history clip and recipe (link below) produced by English Heritage. Their social media channels are filled with amazing content – you should check them out! English Heritage

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSj1dWlbsLc&list=PLJLtZUW1tPX9GqN2_1t3q17BvjLDn-txx&index=107&t=0s

Please enjoy and let us know how you did!
Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum Port Dover Harbour Museum Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre Norfolk County Heritage & Culture

Today's History at Home presents Cooking with Curators.  Everyone likes ice cream, right?
05/14/2020

Today's History at Home presents Cooking with Curators. Everyone likes ice cream, right?

Cooking with Curators

During this week’s History at Home! we are going to share some food related activities while using measurements. Be sure to complete and return the worksheet below to be entered for a museum prize. Please send in your entry by May 27th. Also, please feel free to share your favourite recipe with us.

Today, I will share with you how to make ice cream. Yes you heard correctly, ice cream! Did you know that ice cream dates back to 500 BC?

Pictured below is an early Homestead hand crank ice cream churn. The ingredients are placed in the metal cylinder and the ice is placed in the wooden bucket surrounding it. Then you would crank the handle to rotate the cylinder. The ice cream churn belongs to the Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum.

J. B. Jackson owned a refrigeration company in Simcoe during the 1930s. The business went through many changes but by the 1950s, the company was making ice cream and popsicles. Norfolk Ice Cream was made at a factory on Union and Metcalfe Streets in Simcoe.

As a bonus activity, there is a colouring page so that you can create your own Norfolk Ice Cream sign. The actual sign which is posted below belongs to the Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum.

ICE CREAM (ONLY make this with an adult)

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons of white sugar
1 cup of half and half cream
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tablespoons of chocolate syrup (optional)

Supplies:
1 gallon sealed plastic bag
1 quart sealed plastic bag
Ice
1/2 cup of rock salt

Add ingredients to quart sized bag and seal tightly.
Fill gallon sized bag halfway with ice. Sprinkle in rock salt over the ice.
Place your quart sized bag inside the gallon bag and seal.
Then shake, shake, shake until you have ice cream.

TIPS: Wear gloves while you shake as the salt make the ice extra cold.
Make sure to use good quality bags so that they have a good seal.

ENJOY!

Delhi Tobacco Museum & Heritage Centre Port Dover Harbour Museum

Today's History at Home activity from our friends at the Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum.  These are among our ...
05/07/2020

Today's History at Home activity from our friends at the Waterford Heritage & Agricultural Museum.

These are among our favourite photos too! What is your favourite photograph? Share it with us and tell us why it is your favourite.

As part of this week’s History at Home, I am sharing my all-time favourite picture. Besides being an important part of Norfolk’s museum collections, the image also relates to a much larger story happening this week with the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe (VE Day). As a bonus, I have included a Waterford celebration photo for VJ Day.

The COVID-19 pandemic, with all its uncertainty and upheaval, has helped us in a small way to understand what families must have felt during the Second World War (1939-1945). Thousands from Norfolk County mobilized on the home front and thousands more joined the armed forces - fighting on the oceans and in the air, landing at Normandy, battling through Italy and up to the Netherlands right into Germany. Six years of war. Six years of uncertainty, fear, and major change.

When Victory in Europe was declared on May 8, 1945 (75 years ago this week), a teenager at Simcoe High School took this snap-shot image with a Brownie camera much like we would do today with an iPhone. The picture captures a perfect moment in history. All the students have rushed out of the school and are making their way to an even bigger celebration on Norfolk Street. You can just imagine the pure joy they all felt. Six years of war had come to an end.

To me, there is a second element of importance to the image. It is the Carillon Tower – Norfolk County’s War Memorial. The student’s race hand-in-hand around the Tower as it appears to rise up into the clouds. It is a beacon of Remembrance for all those who a mere generation earlier had answered the call in the Great War of 1914-1918. This quick snap-shot tells the story of both celebration and commemoration. A year after the picture was taken, 154 more names were added to the Carillon Tower’s plaques of Norfolk’s war dead.

Bonus picture: Victory in Japan (Aug. 15, 1945) celebration parade on Main Street, Waterford. Pictured is the Waterford fire truck, rounding the corner of Main and Alice. The 1938 Maple Leaf fire truck was donated to WHAM several years ago and is now part of the museum’s vehicle collection.

Now that I have shared the story of my all-time favourite museum picture, it’s your turn. Choose a special picture of your own and share its story with us. We would love to hear all about it in paragraph form. Here are some questions you can answer to create your paragraph.

1. Describe what is in your picture (if there are people in it, who are they?)
2. When was the picture taken? Did you take the picture?
3. Why is this picture special to you?

We can't wait to read your paragraph and learn about why it is special to you! When you are done, be sure to send us a copy of your story by posting below or by sending us a Facebook message. Be sure to respond by May 15th and your name will be submitted into a draw for a museum prize.

A BIG thanks to Norfolk County Archives & Eva Brook Donly Museum for letting me share their VE Day picture! -James from WHAM :)

Address

109 Norfolk St. South
Simcoe, ON
N3Y 2W3

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Leon S Williams Lincoln and Welland Regiment, 2nd Great Grandson of Col Titus Williams of Norfolk Regiment. KIA Aug 11/44 buried Brettville sur Laise Cemetery
Is the Archives open yet for research?
Found a fascinating Canadian 1900, 25 cent note that was signed by people from all over the country, including a JJ Brook who listed Simcoe as home
one of my ancestors on moms side was hangman in norfolk county
This pencil and watercolour painting is of the large crater Mare Crisium. It was done by Eva Brook while viewing the Moon through a telescope. Dated Dec 3 1895. Original at RASC Archives. https://www.rasc.ca/mare-crisium
We found a vintage photograph at a home in Norfolk County. We don't know the subject of the photo and we cannot identify the photographer (see attached). Can you tell me who this photographer is/was? Thank you.
Copy of Capt. Jonathan Williams UEL Commissioning Scroll from Library and Archives Canada. Jonathan is buried in St. John’s Cemetery just south of Simcoe
I would like to express my sincere appreciation and Kudos to your staff and volunteers. We were there researching our ancestor that came to Norfolk County in the early 19th century. Everyone was very helpful in our search. It is rare to encounter individuals with such a passion for the local history and sincere helpfulness. So, if I missed someone, I am sorry because everyone was great. Thanks, Josh, Angie, Peggy, Monty, Trevor and Dale.
Looking for any information on James Hunter died About 1818. Father of David U.E.L.
Hello! Looking for a picture of Carleton Aquilla Crystler, son of Aquilla and Christina (Anguish) Crysler. He died overseas in 1919 and is buried in France. His sister Edith was a Nursing sister overseas during W.W. 1.
I am looking for an obituary for John McMahon who died 13 April 1931 in Windham as well for his wife Emily who died on Dec 22, 1925. Can you advise the best way to locate them? I live in Alberta. Thank you.
Going through some of my late uncle Harry B. Barrett's historical documents and found this tucked away. Thought some people might appreciate it.