Category Archives: Exhibits

Made in Owen Sound – 2017 Featured Exhibit

 The special exhibit “Made In Owen Sound” will be in the galleries of the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre from May 20th to October 8th from 10 to 4 daily. 

Made in Owen Sound poster

The Beginnings of Industry

Early industries in the village of Sydenham tended to reflect settlers’ needs. The first industry may have been shipping, with the arrival of W.C. Boyd in 1841 aboard his schooner Fly. After setting up a store at 8th Street and 3rd Avenue East, he immediately began importing flour, sugar, butter and other staples.

By the mid 1840s, lumber and furs were the primary exports from the region, but it wasn’t long before tanneries, brickyards and mills began popping up in and around the bustling village. In 1858, George Corbet started the Grey Foundry. That same year, a Scottish immigrant, William Kennedy – who came to Owen Sound to install machinery at the Harrison Mill – liked what he saw and opened a planing mill, sash and wood door factory. By 1864, he had discontinued woodworking altogether, focusing instead on steel at the Sydenham Foundry (which later became Kennedy and Sons).

An 1866 guide to local industry listed 20 businesses:

Harrison’s Flour Mill
Harrison’s Saw Mill
Harrison’s Carding and Fulling Mill
Chatwin’s Cabinet Factory
Riddell and Secord Brewery
Rossiter’s Fanning Mill
Quinn’s Tannery
Lenfesty’s Pearlash Factory
Boyd’s Wharf
Owen Sound Iron Works
Frost’s Tannery
Sloane’s Melodeon Factory
Crawford’s Tannery
Frost Potash Works
Grey Foundry
Sydenham Foundry
Spencer’s Cabinet Factory
Malone’s Brewery
Dowsley Carriage Works
Miller’s Carriage Factory

 Arrival of Train Service

The arrival of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway in 1873 did much to increase the scope of local industries: for the first time the lucrative markets to the south were accessible. Ten years later, the CPR took possession of the rail line and determined Owen Sound would be the terminus for its Great Lakes fleet. That’s when things really took off and products manufactured in Owen Sound began shipping world wide.

The above text is from panel two.

Check out the artefacts highlighting industry in Owen Sound. 

 
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The Art of the Sailor – Exhibit for 2016

Mosaic article- May 2016 — reprinted with permission

written by Wendy Tomlinson, Curator and Manager

Art of the Sailor logo

The Community Waterfront Heritage Centre’s fascinating 2016 summer exhibit, The Art of the Sailor celebrates the timeless techniques of the sailors’ traditional folk arts – tattoos, scrimshaw, and knot tying, through an entertaining blend of artefacts, archival photos, and interactive elements. Share the story of your tattoo, design your own ‘flash art’, and try you luck at the ‘6 Knot Challenge’.

Discover the link between today’s vibrant tattoo culture and the maritime history that influenced it. For sailors, tattoos were a method of making something permanent in an otherwise unpredictable lifestyle and to document their own histories- receiving certain tattoos for crossing the Equator or the International Date Line. Certain images were believed to be good luck talismans and would save them in a shipwreck.

Like tattoo art, scrimshaw requires highly skilled artisans and the use of pigment, but instead of skin, images are etched on whalebone, whale teeth and ivory. First practiced by 19th and early 20th century whalemen, traditional scrimshaw pieces of this rare art form depict maritime life and whaling.

Ropes and knots are among the most ancient technologies ever developed by man, and were an essential part of life onboard a sailing vessel. Fancy knotting on a sailor’s ‘ditty bag’ would serve as his résumé. The ditty would have been the first test of an apprentice seaman: before he could be trusted with the fabrication of a sail. Likewise, on a vessel, fancy knot work is something akin to “boat jewelry”. Generally made during idle hours, fancywork is a visible token of pride and respect for the ship.

The Art of the Sailor will be at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre, from May 29, 2016 until October 10, 2016.

Community Waterfront Heritage Centre celebrates and preserves the marine, rail and industrial history of the City and surrounding communities. For more details visit waterfrontheritage.ca, like us on FaceBook, call 519-371-3333 or email info@waterfrontheritage.ca. Community Waterfront Heritage Centre is located at 1155 1st Ave West, Owen Sound and is open daily from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving, or by appointment.

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30 People 30 Pieces Display – The People

In 1985, a group of dedicated Owen Sounders came together to create a museum in the old CNR station. In 2015, we celebrate their foresight, along with three decades of community support that brings us to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. 30 People 30 pieces is a unique exhibition that matches some of our founders and builders with our significant artefacts. – Exhibit opened – July 4 at 2 p.m.

30 people exhibit logo

The Founders and Builders
#1 Peter Bowers

#2 Wayne Brown
#3 Marg and Don Capel
#4 Ken Carr
#5 Syd Jackson
#6 Daphne Johnson
#7 Donald McKay
#8 Betty Moran
#9 Paula Niall
#10 Murray Telford
#11 The Weaver Family
#12 Lloyd & Muriel Brannick
#13 Steve Briggs
#14 Scott Cameron
#15 Cliff Denny
#16 Izetta Fraser
#17 The Harrison Family
#18 Jim Henderson
#19 Wayne and Ken Hillyer
#20 Orris Hull
#21 Ross Kentner
#22 Wayne King
#23 Sean O’Donaghue
#24 Pat and Don Nicol
#25 Mary Smith
#26 Ken Thomson
#27 Ted Tizzard
#28 Owen Sound Transportation Company
#29 City of Owen Sound
#30 Residents of The City of Owen Sound (CWHC)

Be sure to visit the exhibit to see the artefact with which each founder or builder is paired. Some items are from private collections. Most are from the CWHC collection.

See examples of items on display Preview 1, Preview 2, Preview 3

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30 People 30 Pieces Display – Preview 3

30 people exhibit logo

In 1985, a group of dedicated Owen Sounders came together to create a museum in the old CNR station. In 2015, we celebrate their foresight, along with three decades of community support that brings us to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. 30 People 30 pieces is a unique exhibition that matches some of our founders and builders with our significant artefacts. – Exhibit opened July 4, 2015 with a 2 p.m. ribbon cutting.

8 Betty Moran

#8 Betty Moran

Accession Number= 2003.017.001

Description= An Owen Sound ceramic collector’s plate that was owned and donated by Betty Moran. This small collector’s plate has a painted scene of the Owen Sound harbour on it. The original grain elevator on the east shore of the harbour can be seen in the background on the right side of the plate with railcars of a Canadian Pacific train visible below it.  Several buildings and docked boats can be seen throughout the painting.  “Owen Sound Harbour” reads across the bottom of the plate in black letters.

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