When Kemptville celebrated its 150th anniversary back in 2007, the North Grenville Historical Society [NGHS] noted the year by compiling a Time Capsule, which is held in the Municipal centre and won’t be opened until 2057.
For the Canada 150 anniversary, the NGHS has come up with a more immediate souvenir of 2017. In association with the North Grenville Times, the NGHS will be publishing a book later this year which will profile North Grenville and its antecedent townships, their history and heritage since 1867. Drawing on the archival holdings of the NGHS, as well as newly-collected materials from national and provincial archives, the Times will produce a publication that will be the perfect souvenir of this historic year in Canadian history.
The NGHS is the corporate memory of North Grenville, where our shared history and heritage is preserved and promoted, and through which the people of North Grenville and surrounding areas can gain access to that story.
One of the features of the publication will be what is being called the “Sons and Daughters” project. This will be a series of biographies of local individuals and families that have had an impact beyond the borders of the municipality. It is quite astonishing how many residents of Oxford-on-Rideau, South Gower and Kemptville have played important roles on the provincial and national stage, and “Sons and Daughters” will tell their stories.
To whet your appetite for the full stories of these men and women, short forms of the biographies will appear in the pages of the Times between now and the end of the year. You will read about politicians, surveyors, environmentalists, public servants, clergymen, and others, all of whom came from here, or spent part of their lives and careers in this area. People like Francis Jones, politician, school teacher and surveyor; Elizabeth Ferguson, the amazing women whose family built railways, founded newspapers, and ruled provinces; or John Fannin, shoemaker, hunter, fisherman, and trapper, who went on to co-found the Natural History Society of British Columbia.
North Grenville today is full of fascinating, colourful and, sometimes, eccentric individuals. It should not come as a surprise that this has been a characteristic of the area from its earliest days. Men and women, both have played their part in our continuing story, making their mark here and in a broader context. We look forward to introducing you to your predecessors.