Monthly Archives: November 2016

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A little park with a big history Over the course of Barrie's history, what is currently known as Memorial Square appears to have had an identity crisis. Originally Memorial Square was the terminus of the nine-mile portage between Kempenfelt Bay and Willow Creek which flowed into the Nottawasaga River.  This ancient trail was first used by the Wendat, whom the French then called Huron.  In map from 1688, it was labelled as "Portage de dix [...]

Danny Stephens walked 47 miles of barbed wire. He used a cobra snake for a necktie. And finally, in his rendition of the Bo Diddley/Ronnie Hawkins/George Thorogood classic, he asked the 70 patrons at our Help Pay the Rent Event: Who do you love? At the end of the night, with more than $1,000 donated, the response from the audience became clear. They love the Barrie Historical Archive. At the November 16 event, members of [...]

I parked several blocks away, in the lot beside the Barrie Public Library, where one of the H-Block houses likely stood, and pulled my coat tightly around me as I walked eastward in the direction of Collier Street United Church.  Sure, I could have parked closer, but on this blustery November day, I wanted to walk to church as the Barrie residents of yesterday must have done. I could imagine the fine ladies in their [...]

September 21, 2016 will go down in Barrie’s history as an unprecedented evening that will not soon be forgotten.  The launch of the Barrie Historical Archive at the “Mayors’ Seat” event during Barrie Historical Week was a watershed moment for the City of Barrie, which up until this point has not had a dedicated, online municipal museum.  The uniqueness of the BHA is that it is online, free, accessible to all 24/7 from anywhere in [...]

By Woody Woodland The pilgrimage that brought me to the grave site of my great uncle, Private AJ Blake, began long before I found myself at a Commonwealth Cemetery on the Somme, just outside Courcelette, France this past September with my 16-year-old son, Zachary. It began many years ago when I inherited his medals from my mother’s side of the family, obtaining them in the same broken-down box that my great grandmother would have received them [...]

A bird's eye view of Barrie over the past 70 years He may not be able to "read your mind" as the old Alan Parsons Project hit suggests, but Herman Koeslag, owner of Eye in the Sky Photography is still the leader of aerial photography in Southern Ontario and arguably, much of Canada. That's why we have been so thrilled to partner with him and his talents to build and enrich the contemporary photography represented in the Barrie Historical Archive. A born [...]

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