The finding aids below were prepared for researchers to learn about the resources available in the Archives and Research Room. These lists do not reflect the entirety of our collection. They are only a selection. Contact an archivist to find out if we have the research material you may be looking for. Please remember that for the most part these are only a description of the items and not digital copies of them.
A small portion of our Archives collection is also described on ARCHEION, a database managed by the Archives Association of Ontario. Examples of collections listed on that site include: The Lighthouse Squares, Robert Hillmer, Robert Freeman, and Sauble Falls Telephone Company.
Researchers are encouraged to call ahead to arrange for items in these aids to be retrieved from the archival storage area.
Alexander Vidal fonds
Alexander Vidal was a Provincial Land Surveyor from 1843 to 1852 in the area of Canada West (Ontario). He was responsible for surveying the township of Saugeen, Bruce County in 1851 and participated in the survey of parts of Bentinck and Glenelg townships in Grey County in 1845. This fonds consists of his record of the Saugeen Township survey and parts of Bentinck and Glenelg townships.
Brant Agricultural Society
The Brant Agricultural Society was founded prior to 1862. Its goal was to promote agriculture and community involvement through various community activities, with its principal function being the organization of the Brant Agricultural Exhibition / Brant Fall Fair.
Cemetery Locator & Finding Aid
The Bruce County Genealogical Society and the Bruce & Grey Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society have transcribed tombstones in many of the cemeteries in Bruce County. Click on the link to find which cemeteries have been transcribed and where they are.
Census and Vital Statistics Records
Microfilm copies of Census Records and Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes and Registrations.
The Corran – Alexander McNeill Estate
This finding aid lists the resources held by the Bruce County Archives about The Corran estate of Alexander McNeill, Amabel Township.
This finding aid lists the resources held by the Bruce County Archives about Chantry Island.
Colpoy’s Bay United Church
This fonds consists of minute books and financial records created by the Colpoy’s Bay Ladies’ Aid Society, affiliated with the Colpoy’s Bay United Church. The women’s missionary society was formed in 1905 to study and raise money for foreign missions. In 1909, it was renamed the Ladies’ Aid and its prime financial responsibility became the maintenance of the parsonage. Over the years it contributed substantially to the maintenance and improvement of the church building.
Country Sisters Community Club fonds
The Country Sisters Club was established in late 1919 by women in the vicinity of S.S. #1, Saugeen Township. The Club was formed as part of the United Farm Women of Ontario, a women’s auxiliary to the United Farmers of Ontario.
County of Bruce fonds
This Finding Aid lists a portion of the materials held by the Archives for the County of Bruce. Contact Archives or County Staff for more information if the resource you are seeking is not listed here. The Bruce County Fonds consists of Administrative records for the United Counties of Huron, Perth and Bruce (1850-1852), the United Counties of Huron and Bruce (1853-1866), the County of Bruce Provisional Council (1857-1866), and the County of Bruce (1867-2008). The fonds includes departmental records for the County of Bruce from 1850-2008 and comprises the following series: Administration, Council & Legislative Services, Development & Planning, Finance & Accounting, Human Resources, Justice, Legal, Protection & Enforcement Services, Social & Health Care Services, Transportation Services.
Directories and Telephone Books
Directories list names, occupations and other information about residents of towns/townships
Telephone books have similar information, without the occupation, in more recent times.
Donald Cameron fonds
This fonds consists of 3 day books created by Donald Cameron within his occupation as storekeeper of a General Store first in Underwood and by September 1893 in Hepworth, Bruce County, Ontario. The day books cover the following time periods: 1886-1890, 1890-1893, and 1897-1899.
Family Histories Guide
The Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre’s Research Room has a host of Family Histories. Please use the find feature in Adobe to see if your family name is mentioned.
This finding aid lists the resources held by the Bruce County Archives about Fairy Lake.
Large stands of forests used to cover much of what is now Bruce County. The diversity of the trees and their sheer numbers made this area an ideal place for talented and industrious individuals to create a living working with this rich resource. Thus, from the earliest cottage industries to the most modern manufacturers, Bruce County has an enduring history with furniture making. It is a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. Here is a brief history of some of those factories.
Genealogy Resource Checklist
A checklist of materials in the Research Room & Archives that may be useful to family historians.
General Stores were often the hub of a growing pioneer community. A partial list of archival material from Bruce County General Stores is available in this finding aid.
Gould Lake Ratepayers Association
This fonds consists of materials reflecting the aim of the Association to protect Gould Lake and to ensure as much safety on the lake as possible. Includes information about Gould Lake and its environment.
H.M.S. General Hunter
This finding aid lists the resources held by the Bruce County Archives about the H.M.S. General Hunter.
Harold Button’s Orchestra fonds
Harold Robert Button, was born on September 15, 1916 in Kinloss Township,on the north-west edge of the Village of Lucknow. As a young man, Harold played his E-flat alto saxophone at over 400 engagements with local bands from 1936-1940.
James Rowand Burgess and Elizabeth Oliver Burgess fonds
This fonds consists of the diaries of James Rowand Burgess and Elizabeth Oliver Burgess between the years of 1911 and 1974. In the diaries, a brief entry is generally made for each day. Topics covered in the diaries include: rural life, weather, social activities (literary meetings, box socials), farm work, house work, chores, high school work and activities, and community involvement. A few references are made to people leaving to serve in the Bruce 160th Battalion and war-time matters such as the fuel controller. The entries make references to friends, families and neighbours.
John Peirson fonds
John Peirson (1839 – 1934) and his wife and Sarah Barkley (1838 – 1916) moved to Bruce County in or around 1863, settling near Burgoyne, on lots 2 and 3, River Range B, Saugeen Township. John Peirson was a farmer and local politician. His diary entries include information related to his family, political life, rural life, personal financial information, social engagements, church meetings, weather and farm operations and activities.
John Spence family fonds
Captain John Spence (1814-1904) was one of the first settlers in Southampton, Ontario, in or around 1849. Captain Spence and his sons engaged in a coastal trading and lumber business businesses in the 1880s and 1890s. They also kept general stores in Pike Bay, Dyer’s Bay and Tobermory.
Captain John Spence
More information can be found on Captain Spence in other resources within the Archives and Research Room. This finding aid lists many of those resources.
John Weichel Research files index
These research files consist primarily of notes and copies of newspapers and other published materials collected by author and historian, John Weichel. Updated to include material donated in 2013. (446 p.)
John Harnage Scougall was the Clerk of Kincardine and an avid amateur photographer. The J.H. Scougall Collection is a wonderful pictorial depiction of life in rural Ontario from the 1870s to 1920s.
Leeder family fonds
This fonds consists chiefly of personal correspondence between the family members over five generations (1834 – 1937) from Saugeen Township in Bruce County, Ontario, to England, America, Cuba and wartime France; the personal journals of Nathaniel Leeder and Ed Leeder (1854 – 1904) detailing their experiences in Saugeen Township; and over one hundred years of Leeder family accounts and business transactions in England and Ontario (1830 – 1949).
Loyal Orange Lodges of Bruce County
An inventory of records from the following LOL chapters: Allenford, Belfast, Bethel, Chesley, Dobbinton, Dyer’s Bay, Ebenezer, Elsinore, Hanover, Kincardine, Kinloss, Pinkerton, Purple Hill, Purple Valley, Rosemount, Royal Scarlet Chapter of Arran District, Southampton, Tara, Underwood and Walkerton.
Loyal Orange Lodges of Bruce County collection – Membership Certificates
These certificates were collected by the Kincardine Loyal Orange Lodge as various Bruce County L.O.L.s disbanded over the years.
The Research Room and Archives contain a variety of marine related resources. These include books on the maritime history of Bruce County, microfilm of Marine Casualties on the Great Lakes 1863-1873, Lighthouse Keepers logs, and more. For photographs see the Photo Gallery and JH Scougall photo collection. Both of these collections include a number of marine related photographs.
McInnes General Store fonds
This fonds consists of 3 day books listing customer names and items purchased each day, with prices, at McInness General Store owned by Christina McInnes in Tiverton. The day books cover the following time periods: July 1904 – September 1906; November 1, 1910 – October 5, 1912; and October 10, 1912 – November 20, 1914.
Search images from our collection pertaining to the military history of the people of Bruce County. Want to know more? Visit the Research Room to learn about Bruce County’s military involvement. General military history books are available as well as microfilm reels from pre 1900 involvement in the 32nd Bruce Battalion. Most of our Area Histories have a chapter on the military involvement of their community. We have a variety of newspapers that cover the war years. Our collection boasts both audio and video oral histories of local veterans.
Military Oral History Interviews
List of interviews completed since 2005 of local veterans around Bruce and Grey Counties. These videos are available to be viewed at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in the Research Room.
Bruce County has a strong natural history. The Bruce Beckons is a wonderful book about the natural history of Bruce County by Sherwood Fox. We have a reference copy as well as holding the manuscript. Many of our Area History books have a chapter on the natural history of the area. We also hold the Grey Bruce Birding Committee records.
List of microfilm copies of local newspapers.
Newspapers – Inventory of Kincardine Newspapers on Microfilm, 1877-1932
Inventory of Kincardine Newspapers (1877-1932) on microfilm at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre. The BCM&CC also holds more complete microfilm of the Kincardine News issues from 1934-1971.
Peter S. Schmalz fonds
This fonds reflects Dr. Peter S. Schmalz’s career as an educator, researcher and author from the late 1960s to early 2000s. He used these resources in the creation of a Master’s Thesis, a Doctoral Thesis, numerous learned articles, several books, and reports for the Ministry of Natural Resources, First Nations communities, the provincial government and federal government. The focus of his research and writing concerned First Nations as well as Town of Walkerton history.
Browse through historic photographs from the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre’s archival collection. Subject areas include: Agriculture, Architecture, Business & Industry, Disasters, Government, Marine, People, Schools, Social Events, Sports, and Views & Miscellaneous.
Port Elgin Senior Citizens Friendship Club #976 fonds
The fonds consists of minutes, correspondence, a scrapbook and certificates pertaining to the Port Elgin Senior Citizens Friendship Club, established in 1959. The club was active in the community until the early 2000s. It was created for the betterment of life for all senior citizens, to serve their community and as a recreational outlet for senior citizens.
Primary Resources by Township
A list providing a sample of some of the primary resources held in the Archives, organized by Municipality. For more information about primary resources, please contact the Archives.
Robert Digby Belcher fonds
Robert Digby Belcher (b. 1951) was the great-grandson of Augusta Lucinda Barnes (1843-1905) and Col. Alexander Emerson Belcher (1844-1926) who resided in Southampton and was active in politics in the area. This fonds consists chiefly of records created and collected by Robert Belcher, during the course of his Belcher family genealogy research.
Sauble Falls Telephone Company fonds
The Spring Creek Telephone Company began in November 1910 as an independent telephone company with telephone service from Hepworth to Sauble Beach. Around 1926, the company incorporated, changing its name to Sauble Falls Telephone Co. Ltd. This fonds consists of two minute books: one reflecting minutes taken at meetings of directors and/or shareholders of the Spring Creek/Sauble Falls Telephone Company from November 1910 to December 28, 1918.
Southampton Long Dock
This finding aid lists the resources held by the Bruce County Archives about the Southampton Long Dock.
Southampton Marine Heritage Society scrapbooks index
Two volumes of scrapbooks, consisting of newspaper clippings glued to pages, concerning Marine Heritage of Bruce County and area, chiefly dated from 1994 – 2003.
Thomas Vance family fonds
This fonds consists of records of Thomas Vance which provide some details of his fifteen year military career in the 31st Regiment of Foot in the British Army (1851 – 1866).
Whitford Vandusen fonds
This fonds consists of invoices and correspondence (1887) between Robert Everard Moore and Whitford Vandusen concerning family and business matters, and of 14 journals (1884-1899) concerning Whitford Vandusen’s private banking business in Tara, Ontario. In 1864, Whitford Vandusen began his grocery and dry goods business in Tara, Ontario, in partnership with John Tobey. In 1884, he sold his general store and opened a private bank. In 1900, Vandusen sold to the Merchants Bank and moved to Toronto. Vandusen and his brother-in-law, Robert Everard Moore, were partners in a lumber business managed by Moore in Lion’s Head, Bruce County, Ontario, commencing in or around 1884.
We have a newly acquired collection of copies of all of the Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Collections from Bruce County. These books show a women’s perspective of history. We also have various original minute books, scrapbooks, rally books, minutes of the Bruce County Tartan Committee and Tweedsmuirs.