Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 27, 2016

Photographs of the Week. Cornwall Civic Complex has a birthday.

scan0009Sod turning ceremony for the Cornwall Civic Complex, Feb. 1, 1975.  Shown with spades from left to right: Ed Lumley, MP for Stormont-Dundas, Cornwall Mayor Gerald Parisien, George Samis, MPP, behind the mayor and Donald Irvine, Minister of Housing for Ontario.

scan0010 The Civic Complex took 21 months to complete.  The $8 million Complex opened in October 1976.  It houses the Ed Lumley Arena with a maximum seating capacity of 5,500 and a convention centre.

Cornwall and SD & G are unique in Ontario, in that Public Structure and Places in this area are frequently named after a politician while they are still alive.  Examples:  The Chevrier Building, Lamoureux Park etc.  Former NDP, MPP George Samis pointed this out to me.  He suggested that perhaps the politicians didn’t want to be forgotten, and he may have had a point, I can’t think of any buildings etc named in George’s honour.


October 1977.  Note that Horovitz Park is still complete and that the Cornwall Square is not built.


1984, showing the newly opened Marina 200.  The Marina was called “200” due to the fact it was opened during Cornwall’s Bicentennial year in 1984.


scan0015Bill Upper, Civic Complex Manager, 1986.

scan0017The convention staff preparing a banquet at the Complex, 1983.

scan0018The Ice Follies in the Lumley Arena, 1980.

scan00191999 pamphlet.

scan0016Allan Harrington, Convention Manager, Civic Complex, 1983.


This is a small sample of the photographs and archival material regarding the Cornwall Civic Complex and other Municipal buildings in the archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.



Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 24, 2016

Artifact of the Week. Cornwall Old Boys’ Reunion Lacrosse Button, 1906.


Cornwall was a lacrosse town more than a quarter of a century before hockey as seen on this button promoting the Home Guard Lacrosse Game as part of the 1906 Old Boys’ Reunion.

This plastic laminated button was donated to the Museum by Betty Cameron of Cornwall in 1993.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 23, 2016

Artifact of the Week. Eddy’s Barber Shop sign Cornwall, ca. 1959.


Eddy Belanger operated his four chair barber shop at 8 2nd St. E., in the 1950s.

Does anyone have anymore information about the shop or Eddy?

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 23, 2016

Artifact of the Week – Ben Stidwill custom slide rule

Long time engineer and later assistant to the paper mill manager, Ben Stidwill was an innovator. Nick Cox donated this custom-designed Paper Production Slide Rule that Ben created. It’s now on display at the Museum as part of the historic Toronto Paper / Howard Smith / Domtar paper mill exhibit.


G. Benson Stidwill is also the fellow for whom the Big Ben Ski Hill is named. The Landfill and Recreation site opened in 1975. Stidwill had also served as a trustee with the S.D.&. G. Public School Board. Mr. Stidwill died in 2003 at the age of 92 years.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 23, 2016

New Arrivals for Paper Mill Exhibit

Among the items donated and on loan for the current Toronto Paper / Howard Smith / Domtar exhibit are a number of great pieces donated by engineer Nick Cox. We’ve expanded the exhibit to include these items. This table contains several items pertaining to the actual paper making process as well as samples of the dried furnish and finished product. Stop by Wed-Sun 11-4 and check it out.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 22, 2016

Artifact of the Week. Loyal Orange Lodge – ribbon, Dunvegan, Ontario.


The front and reverse of the Dunvegan Orange Lodge 1158 ribbon, circa 1900, donated to the Museum in 2005.

The Cornwall Community Museum has a selection of such ribbons from across the United Counties in its collection.


An authentic  hornless reproduction Viking helmet on display at the Cornwall Community Museum special exhibit.

It is sad to say that horned Viking helmets are not original.  It seems that horned helmets were the product of  late 19th century romantics and didn’t appear until worn by performers in Wagner operas.

If you want to see real Viking artifacts (helmet excepted) 80 authentic Viking relics are on display at the Cornwall Community Museum Wed. to Sun., 11 am to 4 pm until Dec. 15.


Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 20, 2016

Photographs of the Week. Iona Academy, St. Raphael’s, Ontario.

scan0003This undated copy of an old photograph claims that this is the College’s first building and was still standing in 1975.


This undated copy of a photograph dated circa 1881 states that this building was the home of Bishop A. Macdonell before it was remodeled around 1913 to form the main building for Iona Academy.


Sister Clare Macdonald, principal of Iona Academy looking over some memorabilia. Both of the artifacts in this photo, the wax relief of Bishop MacDonnell and the Iona Bell are housed in the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall Archives.

bellsThe bell was missing for several years and was discovered in 2015 during the search for memorabilia for the Treasures of the Diocese exhibit in April of 2015. It is on the rear left of this photo taken by Don Smith during the Treasures of the Diocese exhibit.

This is a sampling of historic material relating to Glengarry County and SD & G in the archives at the Cornwall Community Museum.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 19, 2016

Paper Mill Exhibit Officially Launched

This afternoon representatives of various local media outlets were on hand for the launch of our new Toronto Paper Mfg Co / Howard Smith / Domtar exhibit at your Cornwall Community Museum.

A key factor in the timing of this exhibit is the success of the September 30th Domtar Cornwall employee reunion. It has been 10.5 years since Domtar Cornwall closed its doors for the last time and several former employees felt the need to re-connect.

A former Cornwall Mill employee, the late Mike Heenan, created a Facebook Group for fellow Mill alumni [LINK]. Mitch Fobert-Irving now serves as current administrator of the group. When Don Smith happened upon the Group one day, seeing that there were just a few members, he began inviting people to the group; others have done likewise and the Group has grown to almost 400 members and is still climbing. The Facebook Group brought together many people who asked the question: “when are we having a reunion?” Debbie Fraser, Deric Latour and Mitch Fobert-Irving led a team that stepped forward and made it happen. Mitch was appointed chair person of the gathering which raised $2,828 for the United Way. Mill employees have a long history of supporting the United Way and felt it right to do so on this occasion.

chq-presPictured above in the Museum exhibit room receiving the donation are Stephanie Lalonde (United Way Campaign Communications Coordinator), Lori Greer (United Way Executive Director), Mitch Fobert-Irving (Domtar Reunion Chair) and Bill Makinson (United Way Campaign Chair). Bill is also a former Domtar employee.


Reunion Chair Mitch Fobert-Irving presented Museum Curator Ian Bowering with a donation of large panoramic photographic print of the former Domtar Mill. The panorama was created from a series of overlapping photos taken by Laurence G. Smith, from a vantage point on the North Channel Bridge in January of 1983. His son, Charles L.E. Smith stitched those photos together to create the panoramic photo.


September 30, 2016 – 10 Year Domtar Employee Reunion

September 30, 2016 - 10 Year Domtar Employee Reunion

September 30, 2016 – 10 Year Domtar Employee Reunion

Now that at least some people have re-connected, many of these “Domtarians” (I made up a word) wish to stay connected. There is talk of regular breakfast gatherings and such (others have continued to gather at local coffee establishments). Your Community Museum wants to do its part, so we’ve created this special exhibit for former paper mill workers and for anyone interested in its rich history, which dates all the way back to 1881 when the sod for the first mill was turned.


At the Museum and Archives you’ll find everything from the 1881 cornerstone to the top section of the totem pole to the steam whistle, hundreds of photographs, employees newsletters and even some fine examples of local folk art, including this gem. It’s an example of how co-workers often re-created a retiree’s work station in miniature for presentation upon his or her retirement. Garth’s daughter Judy brought this in just this morning.

We’d welcome either the loan or donation of similar items, paper mill memorabilia, etc to add to this “living” exhibit. What have you stored away?

Other simultaneous Museum exhibits include a military exhibit as well as 8th-10th century Viking artifacts. Three great reasons to visit us soon.

Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | October 16, 2016

Artifact of the Week – Domtar Retirement Keepsake

In keeping with the sense of “family” or community, Cornwall paper mill employees often banded together to make a one-of-a-kind commemorative keepsake as a tribute to and sign of friendship with their retiring colleagues. Some of the items were made from scratch; at other times at item was purchased and embellished to portray aspects of the retiree’s personality and/or work habits.


Wendy MacDonald recently donated various items, including this portrayal of her father, Vern MacDonald, at his desk at the Domtar paper mill. That’s a large jar of peppermints on the desk (A Vern trademark).



These cards were signed by co-workers who attended Vern’s retirement party.


Wearing a bow tie, Vernon MacDonald is at the bottom right corner of the above employee photo.

Vern took advantage of available funding after his military service to obtain an Engineering degree from Queens before starting his employment at the Cornwall mill.

Older Posts »


Historic Cornwall Jail

Cornwall Justice (In the Clink)

Cornwall Industry

A Cornwall Community Museum Blog

Streets of Cornwall

Pitt St. and Beyond

Cornwall Canal and Shipping History

A Cornwall Community Museum Publication

Cornwall Community Museum

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