News & Media Releases
WENDY HUTCHINGS – TRIBUTE
Wendy Hutchings – Tribute by Mary Ann Grant - OMAH History Committee The Orillia Museum of Art & History believes that it is important to acknowledge its supporters, those who have made a contribution to the culture of our community and to keeping our local...
Brief History of OTACO
R.W. Phelps was born on January 14, 1888 in Iowa. He ultimately graduated as an Industrial Engineer. Early in his career he caught the attention of A.G. Bush who had a small company that manufactured one-cylinder engines that were used for farm and industrial...
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...
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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.