Thursday, February 14, 2019

Karolyn Smardz Frost to speak on African Canadian History.


In recognition of Black History Month and Simcoe County’s own Black Heritage, the Huronia chapter is pleased welcome Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost to speak at our February 27th members meeting.
Our meeting will be held at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre, Midland starting at 7: PM.
Our meetings are open to the general public at no charge.
Black church in Oro township

Karolyn Smardz Frost 

Both an archaeologist and an historian, Karolyn Smardz Frost explores North America's rich African American and African Canadian heritage and specializes in studying and teaching the Underground Railroad in the Great Lakes basin. She is an adjunct professor at both Acadia and Dalhousie Universities, and is consulting historical archaeologist for the Cataract House hotel excavations in Niagara Falls, New York.
She is also an accomplished author of lively and intriguing narrative non-fiction. In 2007 Karolyn won the Governor General's Award for I've Got a Home in Glory Land: A Lost Tale of the Underground Railroad.  Her co-edited A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderland (2016), won the Historical Society of Michigan Book Award.
Karolyn's newest volume, Steal Away Home (HarperCollins Canada 2016) tells the story of Cecelia Jane Reynolds, who at the age of fifteen fled her Kentucky by way of the Cataract House hotel at Niagara Falls NY. Reaching Toronto she learned to write and began a correspondence with Fanny, the woman who had once owned her body, asking the price of her own family's freedom. Thus began a twenty-year correspondence between a freedom-seeker and her former mistress that has no parallel in the annals of American slavery.
A finalist for the Atlantic Book and Heritage Toronto Awards, Steal Away Home won the Speaker's Award for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the J.J. Talman Award for the best book in Ontario history over the past three years. The most exciting news yet is that Steal Away Home has been optioned for a five-part mini-series by Conquering Lion Pictures, which produced the Book of Negroes for television! Karolyn will speak about the archaeology of the Underground Railroad, and tell the tale of not one but two excavations illuminating the life of freedom-seeker Cecelia Jane Reynolds.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Artifacts transferred to Simcoe County Museum.



Jeff Monague, a resident of Christian Island, Pipe Carrier and representative from the Culture and; Heritage Committee of the Beausoleil First Nation.


On Feb. 1st, six members of the Huronia Chapter of the O.A.S attended a Pipe Ceremony held at the Simcoe County District School Board's Education Centre in Midhurst, Ontario. Two of the Huronia Chapter's attendees were Janet Turner and Jim Shropshire , both of whom were part of the archaeological team that excavated the Molson Site from May to October, 1985.
Hosting the event was Corry Van Nispen of the SCDSB and Darryl Wines of the Collections Department of the Simcoe County Museum.
The ceremony was conducted by Jeff Monague, a resident of Christian Island, Pipe Carrier and representative from the Culture and Heritage Committee of the Beausoleil First Nation.  A member of the chapter presented a gift of tobacco to Mr. Monague, paying honour and due respect to him at this occasion.
After the 1985 salvage excavation of the Molson Site, a 400+ year old Protohistoric settlement in south Barrie, many significant artifacts found there became part of an extensive display at the board office. Space at the board office is now at a premium and the decision was made that the best place for the artifacts, display cases and written information would be directly across the road at the Simcoe County Museum to expand its First Nation exhibit. The ceremonial offering which connects the physical and spiritual worlds, was observed to give thanks to and seek blessing from the Ancestors as the artifacts begin this journey.