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Historic Hills

‘Spooks’ In the Hills

Sep 24, 2021 | Ken Weber

In 1930, a series of strange physical disturbances led a family to abandon their farm in Mulmur Township. Was a spirit at work? A poltergeist? Was it real?

The Ford Model T Coupe was popular among country doctors for, among other reasons, an enclosed cabin that would protect them from the elements when making house calls.

The Auto Takes Hold

Jun 22, 2021 | Ken Weber

In less than two decades automobiles grew from curiosity to commonplace in these hills.

Huge crowds filled every community on Orangemen’s Day. In Caledon East, c.1900, the Ontario Hotel had to install extra balcony supports for this group photo. Photo courtesy Doris Porter.

The Orange and the Green: A Legacy of Distrust

Mar 31, 2021 | Ken Weber

Animus between Protestants and Catholics brewed among early settlers in Headwaters.

Alexander McLachlan (1818–96) In 1890, this portrait was presented to McLachlan at a tribute dinner. In 1967, it was reportedly found in rubble behind the furnace at the Orangeville Public Library.

Alexander McLachlan: Our Forgotten Poet

Nov 24, 2020 | Ken Weber

A century ago Alexander McLachlan was one of the best known citizens of these hills, widely admired, respected and praised for his poetry. Today hardly anyone has heard of him. How did this happen?

Settlers in the 19th century came here to farm, and to do that they had to clear the trees. Photo by iStock 1038960850.

The Trees Had to Go!

Sep 18, 2020 | Ken Weber

Settlers in the 19th century came here to farm, and to do that they had to clear the trees. Their success with that was thorough and dramatic. So was the impact on the landscape.

Rising to the Occasion

Jun 25, 2020 | Ken Weber

Facing a crisis was part of daily life for the settlers of these hills and they had no outside help to see them through. What they depended on instead was inner strength, creativity, resources at hand and good neighbours.

iStock Photo 908317982

Getting into Grade 9

Mar 24, 2020 | Ken Weber

For 75 years Ontario students had to pass demanding provincial exams to get into high school. Preparation was rigorous and it was widely believed rural teachers weren’t up to the job.

Photo courtesy Museum of Dufferin P-1145. Click to view larger image.

On Stage Tonight!

Nov 22, 2019 | Ken Weber

Live entertainment flourished in these hills a century and more ago. Before new technologies like the cinema changed everything, the stages of our local town halls were filled with performances that appealed to every taste.

Orangeville’s Very Own Solomon: Magistrate Joseph Pattullo

Sep 16, 2019 | Ken Weber

From the mid-1870s until 1925, magistrate Joseph Pattullo had to pass sentence on a range of human foible and sin. The record suggests he usually judged the accused with fairness and sensitivity.

No Easy Way to the Promised Land

Jun 20, 2019 | Ken Weber

Getting to Upper Canada took determination – and good luck.

The More Things Change …

Mar 19, 2019 | Ken Weber

In spring 1911, four wardens from neighbouring counties sat down for an informal chat. Their conversation here is imaginary, but the issues they discussed were the hot topics of the day – and eerily familiar.

The walls of the Dufferin jail’s outdoor yard were built with an inward slant to prevent prisoners from scaling them. The slant can be seen in this exterior photo taken in 1986 after the jail was closed to be renovated to house municipal offices. De Ha Josef for the County of Dufferin.

Dufferin County’s Jail

Nov 20, 2018 | Ken Weber

With the notable exception of inmates charged with vagrancy (more on this later), the vast majority of time served at Dufferin County Jail was measured in days, weeks or a few months.

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Upcoming Events

Tue 28
Tue 28

PAMA Peel Time Capsule Virtual Exhibition

September 28 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tue 28

PAMA Outdoor Exhibit – Katherine Takpannie: One

September 28 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

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