Historical Society Update
Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada

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Historical Society Update

The January and February meetings of the Historical Society of St. Boniface and Maryhill Community were held on Sunday afternoons rather than Monday evenings just in case the weather was bad. Also different this year was instead of a regular January meeting this was a projective meeting asking each convenor what they hoped to accomplish within their convenorship in the next 3 to 5 years as well as brainstorming as a group.

ARCHIVIST & GENEALOGY – More storage is in need at the Historical Home. Currently looking for bookcases and shelves to be used in organizing the basement and main floors. If anyone has any they would like to donate they could contact president Tom Schell on what type is needed.

BUILDING MAINTENANCE – Some preventive maintenance for the house which would include replacing windows in stages.

CHURCH – Cemetery stones have been photographed and now will need to be catalogued.

COMMUNITY – Showcase the work of local artisans and community members at some of our events. The Society is looking into developing a logo & crest which would identify the society itself. Ideas are welcome. Placing plaque’s on local historical houses once they are designated.

MEMBERSHIP – Increasing memberships by local mail outs, open houses, and a membership blitz. Letters of invitation sent to MP’s and MPP’s and other local representatives whose territory crosses over where the Wayside Crosses are located. Have our society work with other groups and other local societies and organizations for more exposure for our group.

PROGRAM – Heritage Country tours. Include Maryhill on area township maps – bring great exposure to the Society on township maps. We have a walking tour of the area.

PUBLICATIONS – Documenting 4-H in the area. Work on a second copy of the New Germany Journal which collected newspaper material from the New Germany (Maryhill) area. Some information was missing from the original book. Making a book on our local veterans from the parish and school with their names, photos and stories.

RESOURCE CENTRE – Increase awareness about the resources at the Edward Halter Home. Looking into digitization the information in its possession in order of preservation this would also make for a complete inventory. Next year is Canada’s 150th anniversary. Could we plant a maple tree, erect a flagpole?

SCHOOL – Veteran recognition – looking for names, photos and stories of area veterans who were from the parish and from St. Boniface school. Trying to attract youth into our society through membership and volunteering. Essay contest for high school students, volunteering during Society events and contributing to the newsletters.

WAYSIDE CROSSES – The Klein cross is in need of repair and research will be looked into find a replacement for a new corpus on the cross. The other two crosses look good.

WEBSITE – Start an E-store – A new space to promote saleable items of – listing all the family genealogies, pins, postcards, booklets and pamphlets. Other historical websites listing our events. Stories of our veterans could be designate on the website.

It is also hoped that the community would consider becoming involved in some of the projects that were brought forward or make recommendations. Anyone who would like to get involved for a couple of hours a month with any of these suggestions are asked to contact anyone on the executive. They would love to hear from you.

Sunday, February 21st the Historical Society members met at 1 p.m. All meetings are open to the public.

President Tom Schell gave his report which included a letter from him to be included in the next newsletter with ideas our society will be working on during this coming year. He has also been helping 4 Saturdays with the re-organizing at the Edward Halter Home.

Secretary Ken Hanson has asked that the new constitution be included on the historical society website:www.maryhillroots.com

Treasurer – Frances Vegh – presented the budget for the coming year to the committee for their approval. Some minor changes were made and then accepted by all.

Committee Reports – Archivist & Genealogy – Diane Strickler Research – Matt Roth (Roth) Jack & Peter Wilhelm (Wilhelm), Steven Brown (Lehman), Neil Young (Jack Kay & Brenda Clements), Kelly Cooper (Voegele), G. Wisser (Wisser), Judith Purdy (Miller), Roger Miller (St. Boniface Church Water tower), Jason Uhry (Uhry), Kathryn Zinger (Zettel), Wayne Vizniowski (Hummel / Schefter/ Uhrig).

Sent Dominy Williams, Hamilton Diocesan Archivist all the names in our genealogical library.

The Waterloo Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is the first branch to convert to an EBranch. Their new website is: www. waterloo.ogs.on.ca

Information has been received on Johann Muller & Maria (Dewes) Muller from Peggy (Schmuck) Pflug and Janice & John Fennel on the Zuber Family dating back to 1677. Also an email from Antoine Merkel from France who is connected to the Weishaar family to inform our society that a Weishaar descendant has been chosen to design the WWI memorial design competition in Washington, D.C.

Birthday Club – Diane Beitz -Both January and February she sent out 10 cards each month.

Building Maintenance – Brian Lorentz would like to check out all the alarms and fire extinguishers to make sure they are all in working order.

Church – Mary Campagnaro -Reported that all the Baptismal, Marriages and Deaths have been recorded and indexed for 2015 and that 6 new baptisms and 5 deaths have been recorded for this year. Work is continuing on the cemetery monument pictures.

Fundraising – Lee Ann Wetzel will again be working on the Silent Auction for Heritage Day. This worked very well. Also will be helping with the fundraising endeavour that was presented by Gary Embro of the Maryhill Knights of Columbus.

Membership – Carol Neumann report 3 new memberships and hoping to do a membership blitz in the near future. She has prepared a new membership sheet. Cost is Single $10 for yearly, life time single membership $30 and life time couple membership $40.

Program -Ken Kurtz had a suggested for the new logo and crest which could be a picture of Waterloo County and Mary Campagnaro suggested the name Historical Society of St. Boniface and Maryhill Community encircle this picture. A committee has been set up to come back with ideas and recommendations at the next meeting in April. A committee for Heritage day will be formed shortly.

Publication – Ashley Honsberger is working on the newsletter which will be ready for delivery in March. There will be another newsletter in June and the 3rd one in October. She has changed the format a bit.

Resource Centre – Diane Strickler & Mary Ann Stroh – Mary Ann has been busy and showed the two binders she has compiled. One is for prayer cards and the other is on obituaries. Her oldest obituary is 1905. She also spoke on the hooked rugs and clothing that are upstairs and how they can be properly cared for. Some items have been returned to their owners.

Diane Strickler had decorated all the windows for Christmas in the Edward Halter Home and also took them down. She has also donated – Ontario Command Volume II and is hoping in the Fall to start work on compiling information on our local veterans.

Both ladies along with president Tom Schell have been working on re-organizing the Edward Halter Home.

School – Mary Campagnaro – 30 St. Mary’s High School yearbooks have been donated to the St. Mary’s High School archives. Class pictures from St. Boniface School for the year 2014- 2015 have been received along with student names. St. Boniface School staff pictures and their names was also received. A letter was received on what the designation of St. Boniface school means. A scrapbook has also been started on the closing of the school.

Wayside Crosses – Doug Keller is looking into the replacing of the cross at the Klein Shrine a well as a new corpus. He will be coming back at the next meeting with costs and recommendation on both issues. President Tom Schell is looking into checking on ownership of the land on which the 3 crosses are located. There is records for the stone at the Verne Drexler farm on which the first Mass was said.

Website Co-ordinator – Ashley Honsberger has reported that the website received 355 visitors in January and so far in February received 195. She has added several new items to the website – the families that are available at the Resource Centre as well as an eStore listing all the items and publication we have for sale.

New Business – Guest speaker Gary Embro from the Maryhill Knights of Columbus presented an idea that they are working on as a fundraiser idea and asking if the Historical Society would wish to also become involved. It was agreed that the Historical Society would like to be involved as well.

Sunday June 12th a delegation of Brohman’s will be dedicating the “Franz Joseph Brohman” monument that has been installed in the old walled cemetery.


The next meeting will be Monday, April 25th at 7 p.m.


Picture Gary Embro of the Maryhill Knights of Columbus and Tom Schell president of the Historical Society of St. Boniface & Maryhill Community.

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