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For more information and photos about our meetings and special events, check our Blog
We cordially invite the public to attend all general meetings and published events unless indicated that they are only for members.

Click to download the brochure (Adobe Acrobat Reader Format) 2015-2016 Brochure


Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Summer Pot Luck Picnic - 12 Noon Owen Sound -- Members Only Event

Only members of the GCHS, have been invited to hold their Annual Pot Luck Summer Luncheon in a spacious tent in the garden of Bishop House. A tour of the Museum and the viewing of the film, A Hero to Me, produced by Billy Bishop’s granddaughter and film producer, Diana Bishop will follow. The house was started in 1882 and completed in 1884. The Bishop family had four children, the third, becoming famous when King George V, at Buckingham Palace, presented “Billy” with the Victoria Cross, the DSO and the MC on the same afternoon in August 1917.

The house is now Canada’s first National Historic Site in Grey County. It is filled with artifacts from both World Wars, family furnishings and personal artifacts and mementos of Billy Bishop and his family.

Coordinator: Paula Niall 519.372.0225 Location: 948 3rd Ave. West, Owen Sound
Central-Westside Church at the corner of 10th St. and 3rd Ave. West are providing parking for this occasion


Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at 1:30 pm Wilcock Farm, Wilcox Lake, Grey Highlands

The Wilcock Farm house was built of stone in 1892 by William Wilcock (after whom the nearby Wilcox Lake is named). This typical Ontario Gothic house has a T-shaped interior not unusual for farmhouses of the era, but probably necessary for the large family. The land was originally granted from the Crown in 1852 to Henry Moore, who sold it to W.K. Flesher (who gave his name to nearby Flesherton). Flesher bought rights and built an early water plume from the property’s lake access to local mills in 1892.This provided a source of income likely supporting the cost of the house construction. Current owners Matthew and Dai Gaasenbeek have restored the house to its early glory with period art prints, traditional décor and a display of their buggy tool collection. Trails on the property allow nature lovers to enjoy the Audubon Society award-winning rehabilitated bird habitat.

Coordinator: Kate Russell 519.924.2843

Location:734048 West Back Line, Grey Highlands Take Grey County Rd. 4 west from Flesherton to the West Back Line (just before Ceylon) turn south and watch for driveway on west side of road past the curves)


Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 1:30 pm Massie

Massie had its beginnings in the 1840s. By the late 1850s most of the area farms had been settled. One of the area’s pioneers, the eponymous Alexander Massie (to whom Massie owes its name), developed a mill site on the Bighead River near its source. This site is on the southwest corner of the hamlet, at the crossroads of Sideroad 3 (the Massie Road) and Concession 6 (Veteran’s Road). Alexander purchased 10 acres in 1862 from William Winter, who owned the 100 acre farm at this corner. A saw mill was built in 1859 along with the original mill dam. Then came a flour mill, reputed to be one of the best in the country, followed by a grist mill. In the early days community meetings, concerts and teas were held at the mill. While the mill buildings no longer exist, the scenic mill pond and dam as well as the wooden water wheel still grace the hamlet. Community life thrives in the active Massie United Church (Methodist)-1895 and the original Massie Hall -1965 (former S.S.S.#11, Holland and Sydenham -1871). Massie has been described because of its setting in the Bighead River Valley on a misty day as the “Brigadoon” of Grey County.

Coodinator: Marjorie Davison 519.538.3408

Location: Massie Hall, Village of Massie


Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 1:30 pm Owen Sound

Bayshore Broadcasting Corporation, one of Ontario’s fastest growing private broadcasters, was built around AM 560 CFOS which celebrated its 75th anniversary on March 1st, 2015. Originally operating with just 100 watts at 1470 on the dial, CFOS continues to be the favourite radio station of the citizens of Grey and Bruce counties. Today the Owen Sound studios are also home to Mix 106 and Country 93 on the FM dial while Bayshore Broadcasting also has FM stations in Port Elgin, Goderich, Wasaga Beach and Orillia. Join us at “the radio station” to hear about the past and observe how radio works today.

Coordinator: Frank Bassingthwaite 519.538.3661

Location: 270 9th St. East, Owen Sound


Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 4:00 pm O.S.C.V.I. Owen Sound

Dave Alexander and Ryan McManaman, history teachers at OSCVI, received the Governor General’s Award for excellence in Teaching History in November 2014. These teachers introduced local history to their students by assigning them to research and study individual former OSCVI students who served and were killed during the First and Second World Wars. From this research the students developed “soldier packs” of digitized information on their assigned soldiers. This inspiring project found the students taking responsibility for preserving the memory of local soldiers who died at about their own age. The teachers and some of their students will be making a presentation on their special project in the Theatre Arts Room of OSCVI. This will be followed by a visit to the Memorial hall and the Heritage room to observe the projects firsthand.

Coordinator: Wayne Bryant 519.538.2558

Location: OSCVI , 1550 8th St. E. Owen Sound


No Meetings in December 2015 and January 2016


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Potluck Lunch at 12:00 pm, meeting at 1:30 pm

Markdale Many members of our Society have collections of old photos depicting the history of Grey County and its citizens. These photos show places, people, buildings, events, landmarks etc. all of which are significant to the history of our area. We invite you to bring a selection of your favourite old photos to this meeting. You may bring them in whatever format you wish, album, poster, etc. A brief description of each photo would be of interest, e.g., name, place, time, and significance. There will be lots of display room. Please come with your photos for an enjoyable time of sharing the past in Grey County.

Coordinator Frank Bassingthwaite 519.538.3661

Location: Cooke’s Presbyterian Church, 14 George St. Markdale


Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. Meaford Museum

The Meaford Museum was originally built in 1885 as the town’s water pumping house. Later it was turned into the Public Utilities Offices and finally in 1961, after a sizeable donation of historical memorabilia was received by the town, it became the Meaford Museum. Since that time several renovations, additions and improvements have been made creating the new Meaford Museum as an interactive and exciting hub of local history. There have been many fascinating people who have called Meaford home. Come, tour the Museum and find about one, John Muir. Learn who he was, how he relates to Meaford and what legacy he left our world.

Coordinator: Jody Seeley 519.379.6697

Location: 111 Bayfield St. Meaford


Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm Durham

In 1853 Jacob Kuntz transported his wife and family to Canada from Germany. He brought with him a tradition of brewing German lager beer and established a brewery in the small German speaking village of Carlsruhe in Bruce County. In his unique will, Jacob Kuntz left the Lion Brewery to his 18 year old grandson, David Schwan. Later David and his brother William expanded the operation to Owen Sound, a bustling, raucous harbor town overflowing with sailors and dockworkers with a strong thirst for beer and whiskey. Four generations of the Schwan family survived in the brewery business even in the face of temperance movements and prohibition. Guest speaker Terry Schwan will be talking about the Schwan Breweries in Carlsruhe and Owen Sound and connections to other breweries in the area including the Eaton Brewery in Owen Sound.

Coordinator: Frank Bassingthwaite 519.538.3661

Location: Zion Hall, Knox United Church, Durham 236 Garafraxa St. North, Durham


GCHS 49th Annual Dinner

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 The Royal Canadian Legion, Owen Sound

Why were the Polish Soldiers in Owen Sound in 1941–1942? In 1939, the Nazis overran Poland on three sides. Poland, the first nation invaded in WWII, was not prepared to resist a German Army three times its size. On the 27th day of the war, out of ammunition, their country totally bombed and burned, and no water for five days, Poland surrendered; yet their men and women continued to resist. Unconquered in spirit, many men made their way to France where a Polish Army was reformed. Within a few months, 92,000 men fought in the Battle of France, continuing for seven days after the collapse of France. Some of these brave men then fought in the Battle of Narvik, until backed up in the fjords of Norway. General Sikorski flew to London and said to Churchill, “If you will come and get my men, we will fight for you.” Rescued, an independent army was formed in Scotland. In 1941, a Recruiting Station and Army Training Centre was established in Windsor and Owen Sound. Lisa Marie Murphy-Gemmill, a history major and researcher at the UWO, will give a visual presentation entitled, “Poland Has Not Yet Perished: The story of the Polish Soldiers in Owen Sound”. Come and hear this little known history and its affects on the social life of a small Canadian town.

5 pm Social Hour, 6:00 Dinner, 7:30 Guest Speaker

Coordinator: Paula Niall – 519-372-0225


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© 2014 Grey County Historical Society. Box 548, Markdale, Ontario N0C 1H0.
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