The History Hub on Prescott Street in Kemptville.

A local organization has been revamped and is ready to serve the public. The North Grenville Historical Society has moved into two new locations, one of which is called “The History Hub”. The Society moved from the old courthouse building after it was decided that it would be converted to affordable housing units. The History Hub is located at 148 Prescott Street, in Kemptville, with a second location at the Kemptville Campus, where the archives are kept. The organization also has a new President, David Finnie.

David provided a poster to the Times which outlines the Historical Society’s mission. “The North Grenville Historical Society is a group of dedicated volunteers whose first objective is to engender and promote public interest in the heritage and history of the people and places of the North Grenville area,” it reads. “We also advance education by improving the public’s understanding and awareness of the history of North Grenville by hosting events, supporting programs, producing educational materials, and scholarly articles, and operating the North Grenville Archives and the History Hub, which are owned by the Society. The purposes of the Archives are to collect, classify, and preserve information and artifacts relating to North Grenville, and to maintain this material as a resource centre accessible to members and the general public.” The History Hub is currently developing innovative programs for all ages, including activities designed to engage young people and children.

Those interested in visiting the new Historical Society do not have to be members of the organization to drop in. David told the Times that those who drop in will have many different opportunities to learn. “It depends what they’re looking for,” he said. “People want to know historical stuff, and we try and help them research what they’re looking for.” One example David gave was helping someone research some of their own family history, based on knowledge of where a grandparent or other relative lived decades ago. He emphasized that the Historical Society can provide a wealth of information about the history of North Grenville in general. The Historical Society also sells history books for those interested in digging deeper into local history.

While not necessary to drop in, membership of the Historical Society is very affordable. A youth membership is $25, an adult membership is $35, and a household membership is $60. To provide additional financial support to the organization, members can choose to be a patron for $100 for an individual, $150 for a household, or $200 for a corporation. Membership fees can be paid by e-transfer or by cheque.

The Historical Society is actively fundraising in the community. The Society is holding its inaugural Golf Tournament on June 24, and is delighted that local business, CopperWood has signed as the Title Sponsor for the event. David was eager to thank the other sponsors of the sold-out golf tournament: Myers Kemptville, Bee Alarmed Security, The Best Adirondack Chair Company, Joel Evan Pools, Pear Tree Property Management, Justin Rice Insurance, Stevens Creeks Décor Centre, Geraldine Taylor Realtor, Wallace Farms, Kirby and Masson Insurance, The Cooperators Insurance, and Assante Wealth Management.

The organization has offered two annual bursaries to graduating high school students for a number of years, but new this year is that the bursaries will be named in honour of two local historians. One will be named for local Historian Dr. David Shanahan, and the other for Dr. Bill Adams, both of whom served as Presidents of the Historical Society. 

The Historical Society has a strong team behind it. David took over the Presidency from Ken Mews, who has now assumed the role of Past President. Donna Gould is the director of The History Hub on Prescott Street, while her daughter, Amanda Gould, is the director of the campus archives location. David also expressed strong gratitude to Mayor Nancy Peckford, Councillor John Barclay, and CAO Gary Dyke for their instrumental support in the Historical Society’s move from the courthouse to their new locations. 

Anyone interested in benefitting from the resources of the Historical Society can drop into The History Hub. “People can come and see us,” David said. “You’ll see our display in the window [on Prescott Street].” The History Hub is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm. More information can also be found on the Historical Society’s website at www.northgrenvillehistoricalsociety.ca.

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