Category Archives: Local History

THE FREDERICTON GREYLINGS: Fredericton’s First Women’s Organized Hockey Team, 1903-1904

by Roger P Nason In the 1890s, efforts by women to bring equality into Maritime sporting activities were met with mixed results. Most noticeable was the emergence of ladies’ hockey in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Sheldon Gillis at Saint Mary’s University surveys the state of hockey within women’s sporting activities in his 1994 Master’s thesis with sources almost entirely focused on… Read more »

Finding History on Wilberforce Street

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In March 2020, education in Ontario was delivered “virtually.” In an effort to learn more about local story and places of significance the author and his daughter decided to learn more about a story related (to the author) in the late 1970s. This paper jointly authored, explores the legacy of “oral” story whether it be passed on through generation or the “physical” story, that of what is left of built heritage and what it can tell us. Interwoven and brought to the forefront, within the two different types of story is the Wilberforce street settlement (Oro Township), a very important part of African Canadian history with contributions to local, provincial and national heritage.

Early Black Baseball Teams in Fredericton: A Sign of Community Identity, 1889-1906

by Roger P Nason Black baseball clubs came into being across the Maritimes as early as the 1880s. Professor Colin Howell of Saint Mary’s University took a close look at their formation in his seminal work on sport history, Northern Sandlots: A Social History of Maritime Baseball, published in 1995. The evidence of Black baseball teams forming in Fredericton specifically,… Read more »

The Diggs Family of Willow Grove and Saint John, New Brunswick

by Roger P Nason The earliest mention of the Diggs family is Charlotte Diggs, who is listed as a grantee of lands for Black residents at Loch Lomond in 1836.[1] The 1851 Census cites Samuel and Mary Higgs living in Simonds Parish with their four children: Joseph, George, Charles, and Alexander. Likely, Samuel is Charlotte’s son.[2] Charlotte would have been… Read more »

Eliza Taylor: Belle of Loch Lomond

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by Roger P Nason Canada Post just released a commemorative stamp for the community of Willow Grove, New Brunswick. Located east of the City of Saint John, it forms the core of what was the “African Settlement” set aside by the New Brunswick colonial government for Black refugees fleeing the United States during the War of 1812. For more than… Read more »

A Lost Chapter in the History of Black Baseball in New Brunswick

by Roger P Nason The early history of baseball in New Brunswick’s Black communities has yet to be written. A glimpse into the chapter of that heritage before the First World War is, however, found in the Saint John Daily Telegraph headline of 10 May 1889: “The Colored Club of Fredericton.” In a short column, the newspaper announced that: Mr…. Read more »

Georgina Whetsel: Black Entrepreneur and Innovator

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Roger P. Nason It is just over a century since the death of one of New Brunswick’s pioneering Black women entrepreneurs. For a woman who garnered a reputation for her business savvy in Saint John, across New Brunswick, and in the United States, Georgina (née Mingo) Whetsel Moore’s death in 1919 in Bedford, Nova Scotia (NS) went largely unnoticed.[1] Her… Read more »

So long Dundas: From Colonization to Decolonization Road?

These are just two stories of many. With a roadway that stretches across all of eastern Canada, an opportunity presents itself not just to commemorate one life or history, but rather to use the road – Highway Two, which started out in Ontario as Dundas Street – as a heritage tool to substantially change how our national, region, and local histories are remembered. Renaming Dundas Street presents a positive opportunity to make a change.

The Missing History of Disappearance in Vancouver: The Rise and Fall of the Neighbourhood Safety Office

  James FitzGerald The Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver has been described as Canada’s Poorest Postal Code and one of the country’s densest populations of substance-using and low-income communities. Largely due to the disappearances and murders of so many of its women and girls, the DTES has also become known as ground zero for disproportionate violence against Indigenous women, as… Read more »

The Evolution of a History: Examining Commemorative Markers at the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church National Historic Site

Mark T. S. Currie At the corner of Old Barrie Road West and Line 3 in the Township of Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada sits the Oro African Methodist Episcopal Church (OAMEC). Now open for tourists, special ceremonies, and celebrations, the church was originally built in 1849. Along with the plot of land on which it sits, it is a designated national… Read more »