Trafalgar Township Historical Society
"Documenting, celebrating and preserving the agricultural heritage of North Oakville"

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Spring 2007 Newsletter

Support Required this Tuesday May 22 at Heritage Committee at 9:30AM & June 25 at Town Council at 7:30PM
We were able to provide a workshop for some Town Councilors and Oakville Heritage Committee members on the importance of designating Palermo as a Heritage District. Council has now asked for a staff report on designating Palermo. Through our representation on the Heritage committee we urged the commitee to suggest Heritage designation of Palermo cemetery and the motion was made to proceed with designation of all town owned cemeteries.

Unfortunately I just received the planning staff report that recommends NOT DESIGNATING the town owned cemeteries. This report will be discussed at the Heritage committee meeting this Tuesday May 22 at 9:30 am at Oakville Town Hall 1225 Trafalgar Rd Committee room 2 and will go to Town council for approval on June 25 at 7:30PM. Town staff feel that cemeteries are already protected under the cemeteries act and that is sufficient. Strangely, though we do already have 3 designated cemeteries (Merton, St Mary's, and Bronte). We need to urge the committee and then council to designate Trafalgar Lawn, Palermo, St Judes, and Cox cemeteries. There are other non Town owned cemeteries that we will have to research and present a case for at a later date these include Munn's and others. The Ontario Historical Society wrote our society a letter on March 19th in support of designation of cemeteries that states "Many Ontarians continue to believe that the burial places of their families and friends are protected forever. This assumption is erroneous. The Ontario Cemeteries Act does not protect the history of this Province and cemeteries can be relocated". Regrettably, a Provincial Tribunal has rejected a joint appeal by OHS and Ontario Genealogical Society of an Order by the Registrar, Cemeteries Act to close and move St. Alban's Cemetery in Palgrave Ontario. The Tribunal has ruled that it is in the public interest to relocate this pioneer cemetery for private real estate development. In this regard, leadership at the municipal level is urgently required.


257 Dundas, Squire Appelbe's Designated Home
As many of you know the society was contacted by the former owners, Wendy & Steve of the home and alerted to the fact that this building was being vandalized. Councillor Knoll alerted the Town's licensing Dept. and the building has now been boarded up and has a fence around the perimiter. The owner has been ordered to clean up the site, repair the home, paint the boarded up windows, and demolish accessory buildings. This issue will come to the Heritage Committee as well on May 22 at 9:30AM. Staff were also made aware of Ross Fish's grandparents home at 21 Dundas, that is now owned by developers and it has been boarded up now as well.


Members Social & Scanning of Historic Photos
Please note our next scanning date at the Central Public library will be this summer. We are not able to confirm a date at this time but will let you know as soon as we have one. This scanning will be a social event and we invite all our members to attend and be prepared to reminisce and share stories. Refreshments will be served. Let us know if you would like to bring along some cookies, squares or sandwiches. Please encourage family, friends and neighbours to bring out their photos. We always learn something new about Trafalgar at these scanning days. You can see some of the photos at www.images.oakville.halinet.on.ca

Does your family have interesting historic photos of life in Trafalgar Township?
This summer at Oakville Central Library from 10am to 2pm The Oakville Library, working in conjunction with the Trafalgar Township Historical Society, would like to give you a chance to add your family's history to a growing archive of Oakville and Halton photos on the World Wide Web, as well as a web-based National Archive of historic photos. The best part is, you can keep the photos, the Library staff will simply scan them while you wait and then hand them back to you. The scanning day is an exciting opportunity to capture local history and the history of the many pioneering families who settled the area.

All of the community now known as Oakville was once Trafalgar Township, as well as a small part of Mississauga and much of Milton, but our collection is limited to the rural history of the area surrounding "Old Oakville" up to the 407. Trafalgar Township originally extended to the Lake on both the east (Winston Churchill) and west (Burloak Drive) and then stretched over the farmland to the north all the way to Steeles. With urban development about to take place on the formerly agricultural land north of Hwy. 5 (Dundas), the committee believes now is an important time to capture and celebrate the history of the community and share it with new arrivals so the past will not be forgotten.


Palermo Schoolhouse
We are now incorporated and are preparing our letter of intent for the town to allow us to take over responsibility for the Palermo schoolhouse. There is a woodworkers group who would like to have possession of the school house as well so we are asking our members to write letters of support for us that we can give to council and also to attend the administrative services council meeting that is expected in June to show support. Our plan is to use the schoolhouse as a working schoolhouse during the day for school children to visit, to have it available for community events, and classes and to have a small archives available for research.


Heritage Family Day September 22
Our Heritage Family Day Committee has been meeting to prepare for the September 22 event at the schoolhouse. We can always use volunteers on that day, so let us know if you can lend a hand. This was very successful last year and we anticpate an even bigger crowd this time around.


Remembrance Day in Trafalgar
We are looking for volunteers who can help organize Memorial Day ceremonies at the Trafalgar War Memorial on Saturday, November 11.


Heritage Building Documentation
Our society (Liz Benniean) has managed to take photos of all the old buildings in North Oakville and have begun recording histories for some of them. If you have any photos/information/stories that relate to any of these beautiful old homes we would love to hear from you. We anticipate having these posted on the website shortly. www.trafalgartownshiphistory.ca


Trafalgar Twp. Website
Speaking of that- our website is up and running and we would be happy to have suggestions of what you would like included on the site and are happy to add family interests for all our members.


Board Vacancy
We still have one vacancy on the society so please contact us if you are interested. We meet once a month. Our next meeting is Wednesday May 23 at 97 Roxton Rd from 7-9pm at Michelle Knoll’s home. Please RSVP. 905-257-9080


Research
Jane, Bobbie & Michelle spent the day recently at Halton regional Museum doing research on Palermo to support our case for gaining the Palermo schoolhouse and for urging council to designate Palermo as a heritage district. It was a very successful day and we found many interesting items. Unfortunately we were only able to get through 3 of the 11 boxes that we need to get through. If you are interested in going on research trips to the Ontario Archives, The Halton Regional Museum or the Milton Land Records office as a group to do research please let us know and we will plan coordinated trips.


2488 Old Bronte Road
The owners of this property have requested a demolition permit at Heritage committee. This building is falling down and Heritage committee recommended that a permit be granted after the owners have prepared a historical record of the property and urged the owner to consider preserving historically significant aspects of the property for reuse elsewhere. Does anyone have any historical information regarding this property to help us document it's history?


Membership Dues
If you are a member of our association already- then please accept our thanks for supporting the work we do! We are only in our second year of operation and are very proud of our accomplishments to date! Your financial support has allowed us to become incorporated, represent North Oakville Heritage at the Town, provide scanning events at the library, create a website with space for member interests, begin collecting archive material, begin restoration work at the schoolhouse, hold a Family Heritage Day and document historical properties in North Oakville.

Your membership will help us continue the work we have already started and provide us with the funds we need to secure the schoolhouse.

For membership inquiries contact our membership secretary Jane Watt at jwatt@ica.net $35 for an annual family membership & $25 for an annual individual membership


Remembering Trafalgar Twp by Ruth Blair
Our first publication was researched and authored by Ruth Blair, PLCGS. It is a collection of Oral histories and other tidbits from 25 of our oldest residents. Ruth has very generously donated all proceeds from the sale of the book to Trafalgar Twp. This 37 page, spiral bound, soft cover book sells for $10.


Trafalgar Township Historical Society
The Trafalgar Township Historical Society was established in January 2006 . It was founded on the work of the Trafalgar 200 Committee, that held a celebration for the 200th anniversary of the Township.

While the history of the lakeside "Old Oakville" community is well known , the history of the older, agricultural communities of North Oakville that were settled as early as 1806 is not so well documented or celebrated. Trafalgar was a busy community with wonderful stories of early settlers well before Oakville began. An 1817 report of Trafalgar residents recorded "The mouth of the Sixteen is navigable for vessels of a considerable burden and forms a safe and commodious harbour to communicate with our mills on Dundas Street".

The Trafalgar area contains some of the oldest buildings in Oakville and yet of the 208 buildings that have been designated as historical buildings in Oakville, only thirteen are located north of the QEW.

All of the community now known as Oakville was once Trafalgar Township. The Township extended from the lake to Steeles Ave, and from Winston Churchill to Burloak Drive. Trafalgar Township ceased to exist with its amalgamation with Oakville in 1962. At that time, the population of Trafalgar was 30,000 while Oakville's population was 10,000.

The five main goals of the Historical Society are to
  • Educate - the community about our rich history
  • Document - photos and oral histories
  • Preserve - historical buildings and landmarks
  • Celebrate - the lives of our early settlers
  • Archive - important local documents

    Members of the society include area residents, historians, genealogists, librarians, members of historical societies, writers, descendents of original settlers, representatives of local churches and history buffs.

    Going forward, the Trafalgar Township Historical Society plans to establish a working schoolhouse museum at the old Palermo school , that will be home to our archives and research facility. We are presently working at restoring this building. Presently we are photographing and researching local buildings, scanning historical photos and collecting documents for our archives at member get-togethers. Our Annual Family Heritage Day Celebration will be held this year on September 22, 2007 at the one-room schoolhouse on the north side of Dundas, just east of Bronte Road, at 2431 Dundas Street West to engage a new generation of Oakville residents in the history of their community. Come join us.

    Preserve and Celebrate Our History
    www.trafalgartownshiphistory.ca