There are millions of stories that can be found in the Archives & Special Collections. Every now and then, we get to dive a little deeper into such topics and create digital exhibits using the records in this department.
Enjoy these glimpses into our history. And come visit us to find even more.
In 1860, Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales and heir apparent to England’s throne, embarked on a goodwill tour to Canada and the United States. Historically, this would become the first royal visit to British North America.
They left Plymouth Sound, England in July 10 on the ship the HMS Hero. The first stop of the tour was in St. John’s, Newfoundland. From there, the party made its way west towards Ontario. At most stops, the 18 year old Prince was met with great enthusiasm. Each city welcomed Albert Edward with elaborate speeches and presentations. By September 14, the Prince had made his way to Niagara.
Agnes Ethelwyn Wetherald (1857-1940) is a well-known Canadian poet who used her surroundings as her inspiration and focused on nature. She has been acclaimed for her contributions to both her poetry and journalism. She wrote numerous articles for the Toronto Globe, held a position as Women’s editor of the Globe and later she was part of the Advertiser’s editorial staff in London, Ontario. Wetherald continued writing after she was finished with the papers and published six volumes of poetry between 1895 and 1931.
Her work was known and admired by many, but also attracted the attention of Earl Grey, Governor-General of Canada in 1907 and Sir Wilfred Laurier, Prime Minster of Canada in 1911.
Sean O’Sullivan (1952-1989), a Brock University alum, was elected to the Canadian House of Commons in 1972. He was twenty years old at the time, making him the youngest Member of Parliament in Canada. A chance meeting with Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1963, when Sean was just eleven years old, marked the beginning of his involvement with the Progressive Conservative Party.
Sean’s political career began shortly after his meeting with Diefenbaker. He quickly rose to prominence when appointed as Diefenbaker’s Executive Assistant in 1971, followed by his election to the House of Commons for Hamilton-Wentworth in 1972. Many people thought that he was certain to be a Canadian politician of great prominence, perhaps even Prime Minister. However, he abruptly left politics in 1977 to pursue another career – a Catholic priest.
James Alexander Gibson, 1912-2003 was the founding president of Brock University. Hired in 1963 by the board of governors chairman Arthur Schmon, Dr. Gibson gave life and breath to the vision of the Allanburg Women’s Institute for a university for the Niagara Region.
His contributions as founding president were enormous and have lingering affects on a well established University in the Niagara Region more than fifty years later.
The Brock University Archives are filled with millions of stories. Some are epic, some are short. All of them are fascinating. This is an ongoing collection of brief histories based on materials found in the Brock University Archives.
Louis Shickluna was one of the most important shipbuilders on the Great Lakes during the 19th century. He was known as an innovator – designing ships best suited to sail the interior waterways of Canada and the United States. His shipyard, based on the Twelve Mile Creek along the Welland Canal, was also a place for ships to come to be repaired or modified.
This website displays the documentary records of Louis Shickluna and his shipyard that can be found in the Brock University Archives & Special Collections.
A student archival project
I remember as a child, taking off my shoes and socks, having the waves cleanse my feet. I also would look out into the horizon and see sailboats, embarking on another adventure. Finally, I would take a nickel, hand it to the attendant, and bob up and down on the animals at the carousel listening to the organ in my childhood glory.
This is the story of Port Dalhousie – a history that combines shipping and recreation. Next time you visit , try to imagine the ships bobbing up and down in the horizon, or the silent drone of the long-extinct rides.