Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | May 12, 2023

A Local Educational Milestone

2023 marked the 50th anniversary of the entry of the first cohort of the St. Lawrence College Diploma nursing program.

For several decades, many hospitals operated their own schools of nursing and provided practical experience in those hospitals and others with which they partnered for short placements.

Figure 1. On September 11, 1967, Margaret Lawson of St. Andrew’s West arrived bright and early at the new regional school of nursing to receive her registration forms from Mrs. Tatiana Labekovsky, the school’s director. She was the first student to register.

In 1967, across Ontario, nursing training began moving away from hospital-based schools. Locally, that saw the creation of the Cornwall Regional School of Nursing. In September of 1967, the school registered its first student at its temporary campus, located in a former residence at 331 Second Street East.

Figure 2. Architect’s Sketch of Regional School of Nursing

During that first year, a brand-new campus was under construction at 801 Fourth Street East at McConnell Avenue.

Figure 3. Cornwall Mayor Nick Kaneb at Regional School of Nursing Plaque Unveiling on September 30, 1968

Planned to include a ten-storey main structure, the campus officially opened the following September with an eight-storey residence with an attached two-storey classroom wing to the south.

Students already enrolled in the Cornwall General Hospital School of Nursing (1898-1969) as well as in the St. Joseph’s (Hotel Dieu Hospital) School of Nursing (1929-1969), continued their studies in those schools, graduating in 1968 and in 1969. From 1968 until 1989, the Cornwall General found another niche which saw the hospital school shift its focus to a new course of studies for Registered Nursing Assistants (now known as Registered Practical Nurses.)

Figure 4. Cornwall Regional School of Nursing December, 1973

In 1973, Saint Lawrence College took over the torch from the Regional School, which became the Mille Roches Hall student residence for St. Lawrence College and is now a seniors’ residence.

Figure 5. 801 4th St. E. Sold by St. Lawrence College – August, 1997 having been on the market since January of 1996

Joining the ranks of other colleges that offer such programs, in 2020 SLC was approved to offer standalone nursing degrees without requiring a university partner.

Figure 6. Joanne Lamoureux received her diploma in October of 1987.
Figure 7. Alumni check-in at the 2023 50th anniversary reunion.

Alumni from the class of 1975 all the way up to the time of the reunion gathered to celebrate 50 years of nursing at SLC on Saturday May 13, 2023.

Figure 8. Educational display at the 50th anniversary celebration

The public was welcome to join in the celebrations that day from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Local newspaper, radio and television outlets carried coverage.

Figure 9. Graduating Class photos adorn the corridors.

There were nursing education displays, a memorabilia section, opportunities to visit the labs and a light refreshment area.  Nursing 50th Celebrations – Cornwall – St Lawrence (

Figure 10. One of two state-of-the-art practical labs
  1. Sykes-Staff. “New School of Nursing Sees 91 Registrations.” Standard-Freeholder, 11 September 1967, p. 7. Post Media Archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.
  2. Staff. “Regional Nursing School Start likely in November.” Standard-Freeholder, 23 August 1966, p. 7. Post Media Archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.
  3. Quenneville, Marcel-Staff. “School of Nursing Said Investment in District Youth” Standard-Freeholder, 30 September 1968, p. 7. Post Media Archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.
  4. Staff. “Unknown” Standard-Freeholder, 28 December 1973, p. Unknown. Post Media Archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.
  5. Staff. “Unknown” Standard-Freeholder, 14 August 1997, p. Unknown. Post Media Archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.
  6. Hooper, Len-Staff. “A Proud Moment for SLC Grads” Standard-Freeholder, 19 October 1987, p. 3. Post Media Archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.
  7. Smith, Don, “Alumni check-in at the 2023 50th anniversary reunion”, 13 May 2023
  8. Smith, Don. “Educational display at the 50th anniversary celebration”. 13 May 2023
  9. Smith, Don. “Graduating Class photos adorn the corridors”. 13 May 2023
  10. Smith, Don. “One of two state-of-the-art practical labs”. 13 May 2023

All rights reserved.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | March 27, 2023

Effective March 27, 2023

March 23, 2023


The SD&G Historical Society is pleased to announce that Brent Whitford has been appointed Senior Curator and Administrator of the Cornwall Community Museum. Currently completing his Ph.D in Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Mr Whitford will join the museum on March 27, 2023 and brings a wealth of experience to his new role.

Wes Libbey President of the SD&G Historical Society states, “We are delighted and fortunate to be able to hire a very qualified Senior Curator (and Administrator) locally.  We believe his skills, experience and creativity will continue our Society’s and our Museum’s growth and presence in Cornwall.”

Mr. Whitford brings to the role deep institutional experience, an abiding passion for local history and learning, and a commitment to community building and civic engagement. He completed his BA at Vancouver Island University and his Masters in Anthropology at Trent University. Mr. Whitford’s forward-thinking vision and dedication combined with his past experience in fund-raising, community engagement and building teams will also greatly benefit the museum. During his ten years collaborating with the Blagoevgrad and Pazardzhik Regional History Museums in Bulgaria among other duties he managed a team of archivists and was instrumental in the design and preparation of museum exhibits as well as the preparation and cataloguing of artifacts both in the field and in the museums. Mr. Whitford is a native of Cornwall with a young family and is delighted to be able to build his future in his hometown. He is highly respected in his field and the SDG Historical Society is pleased that someone with his extensive skills and knowledge is now bringing these home to Cornwall.

 “I am thrilled to join the team at the Cornwall Community Museum and Archives and sincerely look forward to serving my community! By promoting our diverse history and cultural heritage, together we can foster a sense of identity and well-being in the present. I look forward to an exciting future!” Mr. Whitford said upon assuming his new position.

Mr. Whitford’s appointment concludes an extensive and intensive search of candidates for this role.


Since 1956, the Cornwall Community Museum has maintained and enhanced the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the experiences, people, events and objects that have shaped Cornwall and SDG’s history. Originally located on Second Street West across from Domtar in the Wood House, the museum was moved in 2000 to its present location in Lamoureux Park where its size was doubled to include a controlled climate basement that houses the archives and resource centre of the museum. The original stone house showcases key items from Cornwall’s history and celebrates life over the past 200 years.

Photo attached: Wes Libbey, President of the SD&G Historical Society (left) and Don Smith, Museum Curator (right), welcome new Senior Curator Brent Whitford (centre) to his new home at the Cornwall Community Museum.

23 mars 2023


La Société historique de SD&G est heureuse d’annoncer que Brent Whitford a été nommé conservateur principal et administrateur du Musée communautaire de Cornwall. Terminant actuellement son doctorat en anthropologie à l’Université d’État de New York à Buffalo, M. Whitford rejoindra le musée le 27 mars 2023 et apportera une riche expérience à son nouveau rôle.

Wes Libbey, président de la Société, déclare : « Nous sommes ravis et chanceux de pouvoir embaucher localement un conservateur principal (et administrateur) très qualifié. Nous croyons que ses compétences, son expérience et sa créativité continueront la croissance et la présence de notre Société et de notre Musée à Cornwall. »

M. Whitford apporte à ce poste une profonde expérience institutionnelle, une passion inébranlable pour l’histoire locale, et un engagement envers le développement communautaire et civique. Il a obtenu son baccalauréat à l’Université de l’île de Vancouver et sa maîtrise en anthropologie à l’Université Trent. La vision avant-gardiste et le dévouement de M. Whitford, combinés à son expérience passée dans la collecte de fonds, l’engagement communautaire et la constitution d’équipes, profiteront considérablement au musée.

Au cours de ses dix années de collaboration avec les musées d’histoire régionaux de Blagoevgrad et Pazardzhik en Bulgarie, entre autres fonctions, il a dirigé une équipe d’archivistes et a joué un rôle déterminant dans la conception et la préparation d’expositions de musée ainsi que dans la préparation et le catalogage d’artefacts à la fois sur le terrain et dans les musées.

M. Whitford est originaire de Cornwall jeune père de famille il est ravi de pouvoir construire son avenir dans sa ville natale. Il est très respecté dans son domaine et la Société historique de SD&G est ravie que quelqu’un avec ces vastes compétences et connaissances les ramène maintenant à Cornwall.

  « Je suis ravi de me joindre à l’équipe du Musée communautaire et des archives de Cornwall. J’ai sincèrement hâte de servir ma communauté! En faisant la promotion de notre histoire et de notre patrimoine culturel diversifiés, nous pouvons ensemble favoriser un sentiment d’identité et de bien-être dans le présent. Je me réjouis de cette mission passionnante ! »  a déclaré M. Whitford lors de sa nomination.

La nomination de M. Whitford met fin à une recherche approfondie et rigoureuse de candidats pour ce poste.


Depuis 1956, le Musée communautaire de Cornwall a maintenu et amélioré la connaissance, la compréhension et l’appréciation des expériences, des personnes, des événements et des objets qui ont façonné l’histoire de Cornwall et de SDG. Initialement situé sur Second Street West en face de Domtar dans la Wood House, le Musée a été déplacé en 2000 à son emplacement actuel dans le parc Lamoureux où sa taille a été doublée pour inclure un sous-sol à climat contrôlé qui abrite les archives et le centre de ressources du musée. La maison en pierre d’origine présente des éléments clés de l’histoire de Cornwall et célèbre la vie au cours des 200 dernières années.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | May 19, 2022

Cornwall 1784 Major Event

The 1784 event in the area of the band shell runs from Friday until Sunday. All updates, including photos and video clips throughout the weekend will be posted in the Museum Event Group at this link:

Please note that during this nearby event, the Cornwall Community Museum will be offering abbreviated guided visitation starting on each half hour, with the first tour at 9 a.m. and the final tour at 3 p.m. each of the three days.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | February 24, 2022

Heritage Highlights 2022

In 2022, as furtherance of last year’s made-for-television version of the annual in-person edition of the Heritage Fair, due to wonderful positive feedback, it was decided to continue creating more episodes of the televised series.

By popular request of those who are outside of the cable operator’s coverage area, YourTV’s Chis Rohde produced a highlight clip for each of the episodes. Those highlight clips will be posted on the station’s Facebook page as well as on its Youtube channel. For convenience, as they are released, those clips will be embedded on this page.

In the premiere Episode of Heritage Highlights 2022, Sophie Jean of Heritage – Patrimoine Cornwall joined us to talk about current initiatives. Then historian Stuart Manson spoke about his new online offering, The King’s Colour, followed an introduction to his current book series, Sacred Ground.

In episode 2 of the current series, author/researcher Stuart Manson is back, but this time on location at two Loyalist Cemeteries, Maple Grove and St. Andrews. Stuart shared some interesting aspects of some of those early settlers who are buried there.

Midway through this series, we showcase Cornwall resident Agnes McKissock’s hobby of creating vintage costumed miniatures. The we headed out to hear collector Brent Nixon walk us through his vintage gas pump collection.

Book author Jimmy Steele had a conversation with Barbara (Markham) Vanderven, Cornwall’s own Miss Canada 1954. The interview took place at the Cornwall Community Museum which has in its collection one of Barbara’s elegant gowns, and includes footage shot at Barbara’s summer residence. Introducing the segment is Barbara’s daughter, Deborah Kerr, in discussion with Don Smith. Later, we look at the Cornwall Historic Newspaper Digitization Project as well as the Standard-Freeholder historic photos collection in the care of the Cornwall Community Museum.

In our fifth and final episode, we take a look at the history of the Cornwall Legion. The full televised episode also includes background on the Cornwall Cenotaph as well as a series recap.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | February 14, 2022

Annual Heritage Awards

The City of Cornwall’s volunteer Heritage-Patrimoine Cornwall committee typically presents an award to a business property owner and to a residential property owner each year in recognition of older properties well-maintained, whether or not those properties are Designated.

In 2021, YourTV began attending the presentations to record and share them with their viewing audience. An online version is also posted and embedded on this page.

2021 Presentations – Former Beth-El Synagogue & Former Knox Manse

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | February 14, 2022

A Diocese turns 125

This five-part series was created by YourTV in partnership with the former Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall on the occasion of its 125th anniversary, community produced by Kim Walsh and narrated by Thom Racine. Episodes 1 and 2 have been posted online and embedded here.

Episode 1 – Apostle of Ontario: Alexander Macdonell

Episode 2 – Bishops Macdonell & Couturier

épisode 1 – Apôtre de l’Ontario: Alexander Macdonell

épisode 2 – Évêques Macdonell & Couturier

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | February 14, 2022

Times Gone By

This popular series was created by YourTV. Select episodes have been posted online and embedded here.

The Carleton House Hotel

The St. Lawrence Brewery

Cornwall’s Cotton Mills

Cornwall’s Paper Mill and “Silk” Mill

Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | November 11, 2021

Regimental Museum Opened

On October 27, 1955, the Honourable Lionel Chevrier, president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority and honorary lieutenant-colonel of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Highlanders cut the ribbon to formally open the regimental museum at the Cornwall Armoury.

Looking on were Lt-Col. J.P. Donihee, CD, commanding officer (left) and Capt. R.F. Gray, museum curator.

Hon. Lionel Chevrier chats with Lt-Col. John Graham, officer commanding 315 Battalion.

Capt. R.F. Gray, museum curator, (left) accepts tattered battle flag from Capt. J.H. Tierney, motor officer of 314 MP Battalion.

This 1851 U.S. cavalry sabre which formerly belonged to the 7th Cavalry Regiment, General Custer’s famed Little Big Horn Unit, was presented to the officers’ mess by Lt-Col. John Graham.

The SD&G Historical Society is grateful to the Standard-Freeholder newspaper for entrusting the custodianship of its historic newspaper images, including those appearing in this article.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 20, 2021

Keeping cool in the 1950s

The Bywash was a spillway near the Eastern entrance to the Cornwall Canal and popular with kids from the east end.

Mack’s Bridge was located at the foot of Marlborough Street. Originally it provided access to Mack’s Express Roller Mills. The Dundas cotton mill later occupied that area and people tended to refer to the structure as Silver Bridge. Younger children swam in a shallow area of the canal near the bridge, while older youth (and the young-at-heart) often preferred diving off the bridge. Today what remains of that area is Harbour Road south of where it meets Marlborough Street South and Race Street.

Located on Water Street East, west of Amelia Street, this park obtained its original name due to the fact that it was rather central to Cornwall’s original Mile Square town. Later it was re-named in honour of Cornwall’s longest-serving mayor, Aaron Horovitz. The park included an inground pool, pavilion, water fountain, swings and open areas to host events such as Aaron Horovitz’ annual Mayor’s Picnic.

Located in what was then Cornwall Township, St. Lawrence Park was created by the street railway in 1896 as an enticement for Cornwallites to use its service and soon became the summer “destination” for many. The park evolved over time to include swimming, boating, picknicking, a dance pavilion and children’s playground. By 1959 with the changes brought about by the St. Lawrence Seaway & Power Projects and the sewage demands of a growing community, the park was shuttered as being too poluted and with a treacherous undertow in the St. Lawrence River. Today a high school sits on that property, east of the college. For more great photos and information on St. Lawrence Park, follow this LINK to view our post on that historic township neighbourhood.

Sheek Island, which was submerged under Lake St. Lawrence during the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Projects, was once a popular summer destination. The Sea Cadets were among those who made use of the boat launch near the government workshops near the Canal entrance. Boating and waterskiing throughout the region was common.

The YMCA operated camps for Cubs and Scouts on the Ontario portion of Akwesasne.

The Kiwanis Club created a summer facility in Lancaster that was utilized for a variety of camps, including the Fresh Air Camps that were intended to provide recreational opportunities for underpriviledged urban children.

These photographs are from the Standard-Freeholder collection, entrusted to the SD&G Historical Society. We congratulate and voice our appreciation of the Standard-Freeholder as it celebrates 175 years of service to our community.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | June 6, 2021

The “McGill” House

The former house on the northwest corner of Second Street at York had been constructed by Wm Joyce prior to Confederation. It passed into Clara McGill’s possession in 1915 (formerly of The McGill Chair Company Limited located one block north). Armand Raymond purchased it from the McGill estate in early 1947.

In November of 1947, Cities Service purchased this house from Raymond, but were hindered from redeveloping the property for more than five years due to residential zoning complications and thanks to a tenant who refused to move.

Finally, on February 10th of 1953, at a meeting of the Ontario Municipal Board in Cornwall, the OMB cleared the way for the company to demolish the more than 80-year-old house and replace it with an ultramodern service station.

A month later, demolition was underway as evident in this Standard-Freeholder photograph.

Cities Service held its official opening on September 29th of that year with Mayor Aaron Horovitz drawing the winning prize ballots and the Standard-Freeholder there to capture the moment. Pictured are Lawrence St. Denis, Arthur Primeau, Victor Clavette (station manager), Winston Walker (tank station manager), Mayor Horovitz, T.R. Dunkin (station lessee), Mrs. Thomas McCulloch and Mrs. Roy Hartle.

Incidentally, Horovitz resided in the grand house a few properties to the west.

Subsequently the business was called Riddell’s Service Station, Newton’s Cities Service, Crites BP Service Station, Laporte’s B.P. and since about 1990, MacEwen’s. The Standard-Freeholder photo below is from 1969 when it was Crites BP.

Older Posts »


Cornwall Industry

A Cornwall Community Museum Blog

Cornwall Canal and Shipping History

A Cornwall Community Museum Publication

Cornwall Community Museum

In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada