Collections and Research

The online resources serve as a guide for researchers. A visit to our facility is recommended to view original records and for more extensive research.

Wellington County Museum and Archives Collections Catalogue

Our database describes the artifacts and archival records that document the history of Wellington County from its first settlement.

Significant artifact collections include textiles, agricultural implements, furniture and household wares. Archival records include photographs, maps, correspondence, diaries, assessment rolls, voters lists, newspapers and minutes.

The online collections tool only serves as a guide for researchers. A visit to our facility is recommended to view original records and for more extensive research.

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Women's Institute Tweedsmuir Histories

The Wellington County Tweedsmuir history books are an informative resource for local history that has in the past been overlooked by researchers, historians and genealogists. Access to this important research tool has been limited to viewing the original books or microfilm of the booksMarjorie Durnford with the West End Women's Institute Tweedsmuir Histories in an archive or library setting. Subjects in these books include but are not limited to; agriculture, community events, culture, the rural economy, labour, politics, sports, religion, rural, military, and women's history.


We wish to thank the Federated Women's Institute of Ontario, The Wellington County Historical Society and the Wellington Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society for supporting this digitization project. A special thank you to the Wellington County Women's Institutes and their members for contributing their books to this project.

 

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Wellington County Historical Society Essay and Journal Collection

Wellington County Historical Society Journal, Volume 17, 2004

The Wellington County Historical Society has held an annual essay contest since 1943. They have also published an annual journal highlighting various historical themes and topics documenting the history of Wellington County since 1987. These essays and journals are an informative resource for local history. Access to this important research tool has been limited to viewing the original essays and journals... until now. This project involved scanning and transcribing the essays in order to make these handwritten and typed pages available online. This database allows fro keyword searching as well as access to the original documents. Partial funding for this project was received from the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Museums and Technology Fund.

For a list of essay topics review this list.

 

 

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Wellington County Local History Articles

Access local Wellington County history articles by keyword searching newspaper articles written by local authors including: Stephen Thorning's, Valuing Our History (1990-2014) and  Time Lines (2001-2008); Pat Mestern`s, Looking Back (1999-2012) and Mapleton Historical Society members, Mapleton Musings (2006-2014). 

[Note: The number preceding the newspaper publication date is the week ie. 30_24_July_2009.]

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Wellington County Remembers: Commemorating Our Fallen

Wellington County Remembers is an outdoor exhibit on the front lawn of the Museum that takes place November 5th, the official start to Remembrance Week across Canada.  503 Markers, with the names of the fallen from Wellington County from the First World War, the Second World War, Korea and Afghanistan, are placed on the lawn. At a special Remembrance ceremony, members of the Legions from across Wellington County come and read the names of the fallen aloud. Then, on the evening of November 10th, candles are lit at every marker, and they remain lit until the morning of November 12, burning throughout Remembrance Day, November 11.

Now, our special Wellington County Remembers Database brings the names on the markers to life through photographs, letters, attestation papers, and service records.

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We Will Remember Them Display 

Video Tributes

Tribute to Wellington County's Fallen Soldiers 

We Will Remember You

 

Wellington County Newspapers
Arthur Enterprise News, [to date] 1896, 1899, 1903, 1905-1909.

Arthur Newspaper masthead

The first issue of the Arthur Enterprise was published in 1869. Rixon Rafter was the editor and publisher of the Arthur Enterprise from 1908 to 1953. Mr. Rafter lost his sight completely in an accident at the age of 5 and was the youngest graduate of Queens University in 1907. In August 1908 Mr. Rafter purchased the Enterprise and carried on as editor and publisher for 45 years until 1953. He was the first blind newspaper editor in Canadian history. In November of 1953, Rixon Rafter sold the Enterprise to Clive Williams Sr., who was succeeded as editor by his son, Clive Jr. some years later. The Arthur Enterprise is still being published.

A minimum of five years of this local newspaper is now online and fully text searchable. More issues will be added yearly. Please visit or contact the Archives to consult issues not yet digitized.

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Drayton Advocate, [to date] 1948-1955.

Drayton Newspaper masthead 

The Drayton Advocate was first published in 1889 by its founder Jabez Coram. He initially tried to start a paper with the Advocate banner in Fergus, but realizing they already had an established newspaper with a large following, he took his idea to Drayton. In 1922, Coram sold the paper to B.J. Garbutt, who was Coram’s printing foreman. From 1922-1959, Garbutt worked hard to maintain the highest reporting standards which earned him a large advertising clientele and high readership. In 1959, Garbutt suffered some health issues and hired a new editor, Brock B. Davis. On May 15th 1961, the Advocate was purchased by the Drayton Advertising Printing and Publishing Company, who kept Davis on as the editor. The paper did well until 1966 when it ceased to publish due to rising costs and declining revenue.   

A minimum of five years of this local newspaper is now online and fully text searchable. More issues will be added yearly. Please visit or contact the Archives to consult issues not yet digitized.

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Elora Sentinel, 1982; 1990-1995.

Elora newspaper masthead

The Elora Sentinel was first published as a onetime issue by Bill and Nora Doole in celebration of the Elora Sesquicentennial in 1982. The first reoccurring issue of the Sentinel was published on the 21st of August 1990 by the North Waterloo Publishing Limited. On the first page of the paper is a drawing of the Elora village founder, William Gilkison, overlooking the modem Elora. According to Doole: “The idea [for the name] was from the cover, Gilkison overlooks Elora of 1982. To that extent, he was a watchdog, or a sentinel.”  The final issue, of the Elora Sentinel was published on the 30th of December 1995.

A minimum of five years of this local newspaper is now online and fully text searchable. More issues will be added yearly. Please visit or contact the Archives to consult issues not yet digitized.

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Erin Advocate, [to date] 1909, 1930-1931, 1934-1937.

Erin newspaper masthead

The Erin Advocate was founded in 1880 by Sylvester Dilts. He managed the newspaper until Wellington Hull bought it in 1894. He and his son Roy Hull worked together as editors until Roy took over the business completely in 1920. Roy Hull implemented an intertype machine that would replace type setting by hand. His son Charles joined his father in 1942, and took ownership in 1957. Eventually Norm Phillipson took over the paper. In 1966, the paper received the award for the Ontario weekly newspaper showing the greatest improvements in its class. Today this newspaper is managed by the Metroland Media Group Ltd.

A minimum of five years of this local newspaper is now online and fully text searchable. More issues will be added yearly. Please visit or contact the Archives to consult issues not yet digitized.

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Fergus News Record, [to date] 1920-1921, 1923-1927.

Fergus newspaper masthead

The Fergus News Record began publishing in January of 1867 and was purchased by John C. Templin in 1902. In the early 1920s Hugh C. Templin joined his father John in the family business, and remained the owner and publisher of the Fergus News Record until his retirement in 1963. Hugh Templin’s sons Peter and Bill also contributed to the paper after the Second World War. In 1965 Hugh Templin sold the Fergus News-Record to Charlie Davis, who owned the Elmira Signet. About two years later Davis sold both the Elmira and Fergus papers to the Kitchener Waterloo Record. The Kitchener Waterloo Record then sold the Fergus News-Record to Margaret Cragg, who also bought the Elora Express in 1972. The last issue of the Fergus News Record was published on May 31 1972, after which it was combined with the Elora Express to create the Fergus-Elora News Express.

A minimum of five years of this local newspaper is now online and fully text searchable. More issues will be added yearly. Please visit or contact the Archives to consult issues not yet digitized.

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Harriston Review, [to date] 1907-1986 [various issues].

Harriston Newspaper masthead 

Following the Mount Forest Express, the second paper in north Wellington appeared in 1864 with the Harriston Enterprise on the masthead. No copies have survived, but the paper lasted until 1869. The vacancy in Harriston was quickly filled by John Robertson’s Harriston Tribune. Robertson later took in Ed Dewar as a partner. Dewar left the partnership and went to Arthur for a short while, then returned to Harriston to start the Harriston Review in opposition to Robertson. He soon overtook his former rival.The Harriston Review was first published in 1896 by Edward Henry Dewar (1852-1921). Dewar was born in Ontario and devoted much of his life to the paper and print industry. He was also a very active member of the Harriston community; he was on the Harriston Brown's Baseball Team in 1878 and he was also an auditor on the first Harriston Town Council in 1879. He married Agnes Beggs Hamilton Richardson of Minto Township 1881. The had one son, Robert Leonard Dewar (born 1882) who also entered into the printing business. In 2000, The Palmerston Observer and The Harriston Review were purchased by Metroland Media, and were combined into the Minto Express. The last issue printed under the Harriston Review masthead was 07 June 2000. The first issue printed under the Minto Express banner was published on 14 June 2000.

A minimum of five years of this local newspaper is now online and fully text searchable. More issues will be added yearly. Please visit or contact the Archives to consult issues not yet digitized.

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Mount Forest Newspapers, 1870-1930

Mount Forest newspaper masthead

Access digital copies of the Mount Forest Confederate and Mount Forest Representative newspaper between 1870 and 1930.

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Palmerston Observer, [to date] 1933-1940.

Palmerston Newspaper masthead

The early newspaper history of Palmerston has been called “meagre and uncertain” and only a handful of early editions have survived: The Progress, started ca.1874; The Telegraph, editor J.T. Lacy; The Reporter, started by Samuel Fleuty; The Vindicator, owned by J.T. Mitchell; The Spectator, started by William Scheiffle, but which ceased in the autumn of 1932.

The most significant newspaper in the history of Palmerston is the Observer. The first issue came from the press Thursday 13 April 1933 and the last 9 June 2000, followed by the Minto Express, which began 14 June 2000.

A name usually associated with the Palmerston Observer was editor-publisher William Arthur Carr (1912-1996) - almost always referred to as “Art.” He arrived at the newspaper in April 1934 and was remembered as the “last of the old-time newspapermen in Wellington” and “eccentric and sometimes caustic ... an outspoken character, Carr’s newspaper led a number of crusades during his career” there, which ended in 1977, when he retired and sold the paper. His time with the paper saw the introduction of offset lithography, the first for an Ontario newspaper, and the training of dozens of apprentices who went on to play significant roles in newspapers across North America.

A minimum of five years of this local newspaper is now online and fully text searchable. More issues will be added yearly. Please visit or contact the Archives to consult issues not yet digitized.

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Wellington Advertiser newspaper, 1968-2018

old photo of man pointing to newsprintBill Adsett published the first issue under the name, The Fergus and Area Shoppers News on March 12th, 1968. By issue 3 the name had changed to the Wellington Advertiser. In 1968 this newspaper began as a monthly newspaper with only advertising. By 1978 it had become a full weekly newspaper that evolved to include news, coming events, obituaries, editorials and columnists. This database is fully keyword searchable.

 

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Video

Wellington Advertiser Turns 50

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2019 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909