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Oxford Local History Day 2024 at Ingersoll Library

11AM - Unlawful Behaviours: Female Deviants in the Oxford County Jail with Rebecca Beausaert, Adjunct History Professor, University of Guelph

This presentation will examine the various ways that women in Oxford County became entangled with the criminal justice system in the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. According to records from the Oxford County jail, local women purportedly committed a variety of crimes, ranging from vagrancy and prostitution to public drunkenness and murder. Despite the popular belief that Victorian and Edwardian women were virtuous, moral, and law-abiding, evidence from Oxford County reinforces the possibility that many women did engage in criminal acts, resulting in high-profile trials, significant jail time, and slanderous stories in the local press.

12 NOON - Ontario Barn Preservation Project with Shane Klassen

Oxford County representative of Ontario Barn Preservation, Shane Klassen, will give insight into preserving our historic cathedrals of the fields; barn architecture, cultural history and contribution to our rural landscape.

  • Sharing knowledge with barn owners on how to preserve, renovate and repurpose their barns.
  • Providing information on preserving old barns in a digital format to record the characteristics and history of Oxford County barns

1PM - Agricultural art of Ross Butler with David Butler

Born and raised in Norwich, Ontario, Ross Butler was a self-taught artist who made a lasting impression on the agricultural and art communities in Canada and the United States. Working out of his studio overlooking the Woodstock Town Square, Butler was commissioned by the Ontario government in the 1930's to paint "true types" for Canadian livestock breed standards to be used for agricultural education and breeding purposes.

2PM - The Potter's Field at the Rural Cemetery: Sharing Lost Stories with Cody Groat, Associate History Professor, UWO & Rebecca Small, Research Assistant

The Potter's Field at the Ingersoll Rural Cemetery is a section with nearly 400 unmarked graves for community members from a lower socio-economic status. This presentation will demonstrate the ways that Western University, the Town of Ingersoll, and the Township of Zorra are remembering the lives of those buried there, including those who were formerly enslaved and those who were unhoused.

Interactive displays & exhibits:

Oxford County Library

Oxford County Archives

Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum

Beachville District Museum

Oxford Ancestors

Ingersoll Pipe Band

Plattsville & District Heritage

Zorra Heritage Committee

Ontario Barn Preservation

Harrington Grist Mill

Oxford Local History Day 2024 at Tillsonburg Library

Join the Tillsonburg Branch as we celebrate this year’s Oxford Local History Day! All events posted below are FREE.

9:30am to 3pm - Scavenger Hunt

Throughout the day, children of all ages are invited to participate in a local history themed scavenger hunt for fun and prizes! The hunt takes place inside the library and about 20-30 mins to complete.

10am to 11:30am - Candlemaking Workshop

Led by local educators Trash Theatre, this fun and hands-on workshop will show children ages 8-12 (inclusive) how to make beeswax candles. Registration is required; click here for details.

1pm to 3pm - "Tillsonburg Time Machine"

Everyone is welcome in the library's Program Room at 1pm for refreshments and to experience the Tillsonburg Time Machine, an engaging show of historic images of Tillsonburg and its surrounding communities, presented by Matthew Griffis and with content contributed by the Annandale Museum and NHS, Laurel Beechey, the Oxford County Archives, the Oxford County Library's Tillsonburg Branch, and Joan Weston.

For more information about Tillsonburg's OLHD 2024 program, see our Program Calendar and/or call 519-842-5571 for more information.

Oxford County Library maintains a special collection in order to conserve local history and to provide access to unique materials that help researchers and the public better understand Oxford’s past.

Oxford County Library collects materials pertaining to the history of Oxford County. Emphasis is given to the acquisition of those items which contribute to the knowledge of the social, civic, religious, economic, and cultural life of the county, both past and present.

Wherever possible, primary source materials of potentially significant research interest will be digitized and made available on the library website to allow researchers free and accessible use at any time

Use the interactive map to view local history records related to that geographic area.

Require assistance with researching local or family history?  Get in touch with Oxford County Library local history specialists at:

Oxford County Library provides free access to Ancestry Library Edition at all of our library locations.