Trafalgar Township Historical Society

“Recognizing, documenting, educating and celebrating the rich agricultural heritage of North Oakville,Trafalgar Township”

Watson Family Legacy

Family stories were part of growing up in our farming neighbourhood. Grannie Watson’s was about survival and courage. Her family settled at the corner of the Back Concession and Seventh Line, now Trafalgar and Burnhamthorpe. Bill, her son, blown up in a tank during WW2, turned the little barn into a family home. Ena, a daughter, built a house at the end of the garden, Dick added a sunroom to the back of her house for his family, and she lived in the front. My father called it Rabbitville.

Grannie was originally from Grangemouth, Scotland, but she and her husbanded emigrated from Ireland with their seven children. Suddenly she was widowed, almost destitute, with no help from any source. The girls: Nan, Ena and Peggy found jobs as maids while Tom and Bill worked as farm hands. At first, she rented an isolated farmhouse with no hydro or heat with the two youngest, Jim and Dick.

When the house on the corner of our farm was for sale, Mr Read of Bank of Montreal kindly gave her a mortgage of $2000. At last, she had a house of her own. She was able to walk to our house to help my mother. She was a very comfortable and entertaining lady who read tea leaves. She worked almost to the end of her life at 99 by looking after the elderly.

With her charm, sense of humour and calmness, she was a pillar, a survivor, of the Great Depression and WW 2. She was loved and appreciated by everyone and left a huge tribe of Watsons. mostly trained in practical skills. She made the best of whatever came her way; courageous and resourceful. She is remembered fondly.

Her little house was dragged into the field next door, but the Watson family is still on the corner where hundreds of happy golfers improve their skills at Mini Putt. It is run by her grandson, Vic Hadfield. Watsons never disappear.

by Sybil Rampen

Reprinted with Permission of Joshua Creek Heritage Art Centre

Open Archives

NOTE: Our January 21st Open Archives is cancelled per current guidance from the Province. We expect to resume our Open Archives in February. In accordance with Provincial regulations, face masks are REQUIRED and capacity limits will be effect.

We host our Open House at the heritage Palermo School House. Check the calendar below for the next scheduled day.

Meet our archivist, search our archives, research township family history or just come to reminisce. You’ll never know who will show up with a fascinating new piece of local history.

Admission FREE but voluntary donations are welcome.

 

Upcoming Events

Jan
21
Fri
3:30 pm TTHS Board Meeting @ Palermo Schoolhouse
TTHS Board Meeting @ Palermo Schoolhouse
Jan 21 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
 
Feb
18
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Feb 18 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce. In accordance[...]
Mar
18
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Mar 18 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce. In accordance[...]
Apr
22
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Apr 22 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce. In accordance[...]
May
20
Fri
1:30 pm Open Archives @ Palermo School House
Open Archives @ Palermo School House
May 20 @ 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
We host our Open Archives at the Palermo School House. We invite you to meet our archivist, explore our archives, research your Trafalgar Township ancestors, or just reminisce. In accordance[...]