These publications have been written and contributed by OMAH’s History Committee. The committee publishes an article every two weeks in the “Muse News” which goes out to OMAH members. If you would like to see more content like this, become a member to receive one of the committee’s fascinating articles with your newsletter every two weeks. If you would like to get involved with the committee, reach out to the History Programming Coordinator.
John Ramsay and the Oro Settlers from Islay
By Fred Blair, OMAH History Committee John Ramsay grew up in Glasgow, Scotland. In 1836, at the age of 22, he obtained a lease on the struggling Port Ellen whisky distillery on the Island of Islay in Argyllshire, Scotland. In order to export whisky to the United...
Our Carnegie Library
By Mary Ann Grant, OMAH History Committee Did you know that Orillia’s first official Public Library was a gift from American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie? Andrew Carnegie was responsible for funding the building of libraries worldwide. The extent of the benefits...
HODGES’ LANDING: A BRIEF HISTORY
By Fred Blair The “Historic Hawkestone” plaque, located at 375 11th Line South, Hawkestone, recorded that “Richard Hodges established a landing for settlers” on Lake Simcoe in the 1830s in the community that is now known as Hawkestone. However, land records indicate...
EARLY EDUCATION IN ORILLIA
By Trish Crowe-Grande, OMAH History Committee Chair In December 2021, it was announced that Orillia would have a new elementary school in 2024 to address the quickly growing area of West Ridge. As Orillia’s population continues to grow, it is a good time to reflect...
Arthur Peuchen, Canadian Survivor of the Sinking of the Titanic
By Dave Osborne, OMAH member It was 110 years ago this April 15 that the Titanic infamously sank. One of the survivors of that night had ties to Orillia and Simcoe County. Major Arthur Godfrey Peuchen was one of the First-Class passengers on the Titanic...
Booze! Orillia’s Struggle with Drunkenness
by David Town What! No Beer?In 1908 a binding referendum in Orillia outlawed the sale of all alcohol. It was the culmination of a 50-year campaign to “civilize” the town and reduce the violence, crime and domestic hardship that followed drunkenness. For the next 40...
The Rev. Richard Greene’s Electric Car
By Fred Blair The Rev. Canon Richard W.E. Greene served in Orillia for twenty-three years. An inductee in the Orillia Hall of Fame, he made an indelible mark on our community, making it richer due to his passion and commitment. Rev. Greene retired from ministry at St....
OMAH Tribute – Dr. Richard (Dick) Johnston
By Mary Ann Grant, OMAH History Committee There are those in our community who make a huge difference and who enhance the lives of others by their actions and contributions; Dr. Richard (Dick) Johnston is one of those people. Dick Johnston has done this through his...
How an Orillian Facilitated the American Art Pottery Movement
By Fred Blair In 1850, at 37 years old, Frederick married Anna Brownrigg in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was employed as a bookkeeper in Michael and Nimrod Tempest’s Hamilton Road Pottery. In 1865, Frederick purchased the company. He employed from 10 to 31 potters in making...
Two Canadian Winter Olympic Sport Pioneers
By Fred Kallin The first Winter Olympics were held in Chamonix, France, at the base of Mont Blanc in 1924. 2022 is very close to the 100th Anniversary of the those first Winter games. In this article we will recognize a couple of the early Canadian pioneers in the...
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The Orillia Museum of Art & History is located on the traditional territory of the Anishnaabeg. The Anishinaabeg include the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatomi nations, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. We respect and observe the long and enduring presence of Indigenous Peoples – First Nations, Metis and Inuit – on this land. Their teachings and stewardship, culture and way of life have shaped our City’s unique identity.
In acknowledging that we occupy colonized Indigenous territories, and out of respect for the rights of Indigenous people, we accept our collective responsibility to recognize our colonial histories as well as their present-day manifestations in order to honour, protect, and sustain this land.