Hello again world – well once again I’m back at it trying to force myself to communicate my thoughts to the unknown masses – sounds a bit dire doesn’t it?! Anyway a new and exciting project is in the works for me – actually two new and exciting projects!
The first is Memories of Niagara
a new site to collect oral histories for the Niagara Historical Society and Museum
. The museum is focusing on 1950-1970 and a little bit into the 1980s and covering what is today the municipality of Niagara-on-the-Lake
. It’s a very extensive project we have collected just over 80- interviews to date and are adding this to the collection the museum already has as well as using some material that was collected by the Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
a few years ago. It’s very interesting to learn about this time period which encompass huge changes for the old town and surrounding township. The project covers topics such as fruit farming, the canning industry, boat building (Shepard Boats, Georgian Steel Boats and C & C Yachts), a local fishing industry, heritage preservation, small town life, the end of the military training in Niagara-on-the-Lake and of course the beginning of some of the things that make the area a world renowned tourist destination (the wineries, and the Shaw Festival
). There have also been some interesting stories from individuals of European decent about immigration after Word War 2 and of course some locals who can trace their roots back to the United Empire Loyalists! What a lot of history for such a small corner of the province, I bet you thought there was only 1812 history in Niagara!
Photo credit: Artur Rozumek
I should of course mention, it is a huge year – (really 3 years 2012-2014) – of celebrations for the region, which played an important role in the War of 1812. Perhaps most notable the Battle of Queenston Heights where Sir Issac Brock fell. If that’s your interest you’ll want to come by the town this summer and stop in at the Museum, Fort George, and the battle site where Brock’s Monument casts an impressive shadow over the bluff. It is bigger than the statue to Nelson in Nelson Square, London England, a very cool place to get out of your car and learn some history!
Anyway all of that links into my second new project the Wampum Peace Run, I’ve been invited to work with Jim Calder, Delmor Jacobs (co-authors of Lacrosse The Ancient Game), Annet Kerr, Mathew Miller, and Derek Smith on this fantastic event that recreates the message system used by Ongwehonwe Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) people in the pre and post contact era, and during the war of 1812. More to come on this exciting project that will see runners leaving from the Six Nations Reserve and Fort Erie Peace Bridge and meeting at Queenston Heights – covering over 10o kilometers and helping to tell the story of First Nations Peoples in the War of 1812.
Well I’m back at it researching away in the library missing all the lovely spring sunshine! My new project is an oral history of the Hamilton Waterworks, I will spend my summer working on this and have developed a blog so people can follow along with the project, pose questions, and share stories. I will be presenting about this project and oral history on the web, April 27th at the HAM-ED Peer Learning Circle on New Technologies + Social Relevance at the Burlington Art Centre.