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2010 November

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Huron County Historical Society

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110 North St, PO Box 3, Goderich ON, N7A 3Y5



Executive for 2010-2011

David Armstrong president 519-524-1156
Ralph Laviolette secretary 519-565-2454
Mac Campbell treasurer 519-524-7935
Ralph Laviolette past president 519-565-2454
Elaine Snell membership 519-523-9531
Ted Turner archivist  
Isobel Bissonnette archivist  
Brock Vodden councilor  
Rhea Hamilton-Seeger councilor  


Next Society Meetings...

April, 2011
Watch for the next newsletter in early April for the next General Meeting location and information about our guest speaker.

Membership renewal...

The date shown above your name on the address label is the year to which your membership is paid up. If you are in arrears, consider this a reminder that the membership fees are now $20.

To reserve your member’s copy of Historical Notes, keep your dues up to date. Past copies of the Notes are available at the Museum, $8 per copy.
And, if you are in arrears, mail-in your membership today.

Note our current address for mail and memberships:

HCHS Memberships, Box 3, Goderich ON, N7A 3Y5.


President’s Message
Greetings once again, members, friends and supporters of the Huron County Historical Society! Our spring schedule of activities will start in April, and your executive council is meeting in late February to plan that event and others to follow through 2011. Our Annual General Meeting will be in May. If you or anyone you know is interested in serving on council, please let me know. There is lots to do and share. We would welcome any member to join us in an introductory way to learn the ropes before taking on any task. I Wish everyone a very Happy Holiday season. ~ David Armstrong


Huron Historical Notes...

Work on the 2011 Notes edition featuring a history of the north-east corner of Huron County will be ready for distribution early summer. Work on the 2012 and 2013 Notes are also in preparation.


Letters to the editor...

Always welcome. Also, if you have a suggested topic, anecdote or article to contribute to the next Pot Pourri, please drop Ralph a line or e-mail.

Send to Ralph Laviolette, the HCHS editor at the address above or e-mail:


The Archival Records Project...

Our next newsletter will feature a report of the progress of the archival material survey and questionnaire to residents that sought advice about the papers and artifacts in homes and businesses in the County that should be preserved and how best to preserve them.


A Tidbit of Historical Trivia to ward away the winter blues...

The following is an excerpt from the 2008 edition of Historical Notes which was titled Early Industry in Huron County - Part I. It describes the Van Egmond Woollen Mills near Seaforth, which were prominently featured in the Belden Atlas of 1879.

August G. Van Egmond, the youngest son of Anthony Van Egmond, started a woollen and carding mill in 1854. It was in a small building located in Egmondville, at the southern limit of the town of Seaforth. His sons, Leopold G. and William, were brought into the business and a larger three-storey brick building was built in 1866. Later, as business increased, a large frame addition for storage was built adjoining the mill.

In 1881 the Van Egmond Woollen Mills won three medals for their goods at the Industrial Exhibition in Toronto. During six days of work in May of 1882 the mill produced 2,575 yards of checked flannel on nine looms.


Above Photo: Shown at the right of this receipt dated August 29th, 1889 are Leopold G. and William D. Van Egmond. The mill building, built in 1884, had 27 lightning rods. The mill's whistle when blown made three different sounds at the same time. Below: Van Egmond Woollen Mills built in 1866 and August G. Van Egmond's home at right.


The mill building burnt in December 1883 and a new white brick building was erected in 1884. A frame warehouse was built across the road a few years later. August retired from the business in 1886 and his sons continued in business until 1900.

Van Egmond Woolen Mills exhibited 60 tweed patterns at the Seaforth fair in 1890. The complete process of cloth production, from raw wool to finished cloth, was done at the mill. In 1893 electricity, generated at the Seaforth electrical plant, was introduced into the Van Egmond mill.

Henry Jackson bought the woolen mills, warehouse and residence in 1900. Tow businesses made clothing here for a time until in 1917, the firm moved its business to Seaforth, at the site where the Bethel Church, former Canadian Tire, is now.

In about 1918, J J Merner from Zurich bought the former Van Egmond Woollen Mill and converted it to a flax mill.



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