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March 2008 Issue #53

As of last week, the final steps for designation,under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, of Binbrook Memorial Hall were taken. Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee approved a recommendation for designation, which now goes to the Economic Development and Planning Committee, then to the full city council for final approval. Once that’s given, a notice will be published in the Spectator and, allowing for a 30 day period for appeal, the bylaw will be signed and we’ve doubled our heritage designated buildings in Glanbrook. May or June is the bestestimate right now.

There are two other designations under way in Glanbrook — Glanford Community Hall and 447 Wing, RCAFA at the airport. 447 is complicated and there’s nothing to report at this time. Glanford Hall is more straightforward but again, designations take time and a lot of research. The final Binbrook Hall report is 46 pages long,including a dozen or more photographs, map illustrations and bibliographies. It may sound like a lot of paper work but it is necessary in case of any challenges to the process.

With the changes in a number of areas in Glanbrook, there’s bound to be talk about the changes in the character of settlement areas,whether it’s visual, personality or a sense of community. In the rural areas, it may be the loss of a significant farmstead, while the settlements may lose the long-time familiar streetscape when new subdivisions are created, roads widened and trees sacrificed for “progress.” Binbrook village is a good example. If one compares the 1903 Illustrated Atlas of Wentworth County map of Binbrook with the present-day configuration, there are very few buildings still standing from that time. There were five stores (gone or changed beyond recognition), one hotel, (now a store and apartments), two smithys (gone), a sawmill (gone), drill hall (gone), two churches (still with us) and about two dozen houses (most still inhabited but with numerous changes). One remembers the “good old days” but at the same time, one should recall the use of outdoor facilities, wood stoves used in the middle of summer for cooking, multiple child deaths in one family from scarlet fever or diphtheria. Roads were snow-covered most of the winter, mud in spring and dust in summer. All the features of good old days.

Enough editorializing for now and on with local stuff. Thanks to Shirley Rumbles, we have most of the Ruth Barlow collection sorted and partially catalogued. There’s still a number of items that need more work to refine the process but we’re making good progress.

Other things that we’re looking at include an update of the historic building inventory that was done in the 1980's. Much has changed since then and it’s a major task to keep current with additions and deletions of a heritage nature. Sorting and cataloguing of existing photos is slow but a necessity. Using a computer-based programme is good but it still takes time to put in the data. (I’m not a spreadsheet person and likely never will be!)

The photo above is one example of what we’re trying to do. There’s no other info on the house so we’re stuck right now as to its location and history. We’re looking at a few hundred pages of the history of the Mount Hope Fire Department,from its first days in 1948 to the end of 1999. It was loaned to us by Rick Daw and decisions are to be made as to what to copy for our own records. Bill Brigham and Sheila May are still forging ahead with births, deaths and marriages from the Spectator. Up to the middle of 1902 at the last count. So many things, so little time!

Sometime later this year, there may be a new private Hamilton museum/collection open to the public. Local historian, Robin McKee, has purchased an 1825 building at 91 John Street South, former home to generations of the Pass family of watchmakers and repair specialists.Robin’s first step after signing the deed was to approach the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee with a request for designation. The idea behind the project is to have a place to find heritage things about Hamilton – souvenirs, postcards, books and memorabilia. We’ll keep you informed on the progress.

Upcoming Society Events:

Monday, March 17, 6:00 PM. Annual potluck supper and business meeting at St. Paul’s Glanford Anglican Church, 2869 Upper James Street, Mount Hope. Bring out your favourite dish and perhaps we can swap recipes as well.

Monday, April 21, 7:30 PM. Regular GHS meeting at Orchard Court, Binbrook. Monday, May 12, 7:30 PM. Regular GHS meeting at St. Paul’s Glanford Anglican Church,Mount Hope. Note the date is a week early due to Victoria Day holiday the following Monday.

Monday, June 16, 7:00 PM. Annual strawberry social, place to be announced (and strawberries guaranteed by the Rumbles!)

What better way to end this edition than with some photos? A random collection follows. The next two are not Da Vinci sketches but ones done by John Wilson, Hannon, in 1878. That’s all until the next issue in June.
Charitable Registration # 0673681-50

© Glanbrook Heritage Society 2008

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