Posted by: Cornwall Community Museum | September 24, 2014

Artifact of the Week – Cornwall Irish Memorial.

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The Cornwall Irish Memorial in Lamoureux Park, just east of the Cornwall Community Museum will be dedicated on Saturday October 18 at 2 pm.  Everyone is invited.

The monument came about as the result of the fundraising efforts of the Cornwall Irish Monument Committee headed by Katie Burke, Josephine Donnelly, James Downey, Dr. Robert Lynch and Trevor Wheeler.  Over a two year period the Committee was able to raise the funds from over 100 local donors and erect the monument without any government funding.

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scan0012The second St. Columban’s Church.  Many of the victims of the typhus outbreak are buried to the east of the present day church.

scan0014 Dr. Darby Bergin, was one of the two doctors who volunteered to work at the quarantine hospital on Cornwall’s Pointe Maligne.  Dr. Bergin was one of Cornwall’s and Canada’s most famous and influential Irishmen.  Along with serving as Mayor of Cornwall and working at the immigrant hospital in 1847, he served as Lieutenant-Colonel of the 59th Stormont and Glengarry Battalion, founded the Canadian Army Medical Corps and as a Conservative Member of Parliament, was the first person to propose safety legislation in the workplace.

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Painting of a harp and castle on silk by Gertrude Thompson of Milles Roches, Ontario, circa 1910.  Donated by John Johnston.

Cornwall’s Catholic Irish population came during the building of the Cornwall Canal between 1834 and 1843.  When the canal was finished, many of the workers left to find other employment, but enough stayed to make Irish the second largest population group after the Americans in the Town of Cornwall.  The 1851 Census records 269 people of Irish descent out of a population of 1,649.  By 1871, 30 per cent of Cornwall’s population counted Irish heritage and even in 1941, the town had 1,860 Irish inhabitants out of a total of 14,117 residents.


A 1946 photograph of the cast of MY IRISH CINDERALLA, staged by the St. Columban’s Social and Dramatic Club.

Standing:  left to right – Bud Dwyer, M.J. Moar, director, Fathers D. McPhail and A.L. Cameron, stage manager William Taillon and Mrs. Nora Aubin.

Sitting:  Helen Cameron, Joe Hart, Len Aubin, Dorothea Fox, Ted Hart, Beulah Hale, William Fagan Sr.


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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

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