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Historic Hills

The Rise and Fall of the Rural Post Office

Sep 20, 2022 | Ken Weber

Before rural mail delivery was established in the early 1900s, nearly every village and hamlet in these hills had a post office.

Kitty Wells and Conway Twitty were two of the many country music superstars who played at Rock Hill Park in its heyday. Photo Courtesy Museum of Dufferin Archives.

The Phenomenon that was Rock Hill Park

Jun 24, 2022 | Ken Weber | Back Issues

A booming mecca of down-home entertainment once brought thousands of happy visitors to the heart of Mulmur Township.

Orangeville’s “Stolen” Election

Mar 29, 2022 | Ken Weber

Angry crowds, a mishandled ballot box, cries of voter suppression and a legal challenge rocked the election for Orangeville’s reeve in 1909.

Free Calendars at Christmas

Nov 29, 2021 | Ken Weber

Collecting calendars was once a seasonal ritual on main street.

‘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.

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