Welcome to the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County

The Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County preserves the history of our community through the records of local governments, individuals, families, businesses and organizations. Find us in the Belleville Public Library building at 254 Pinnacle Street, Belleville, Ontario.

The archives is open Monday to Thursday, 9.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm and on Friday and Saturday by appointment.

Archives News

Belleville in World War I

Follow the citizens of Belleville and Hastings County as they face the challenges of the home front during the First World War through excerpts from The Daily Intelligencer, August 1914 to November 1918.

100 Years Ago: Ad for Sunlight Soap, Ad for Wrigley’s, Conservation of Food Supplies Discussed

The Intelligencer August 13, 1917 (page 3)

“10 A.M.—and Sunlight Sue, her washing through, is knitting Socks for Soldiers.

Think of wash-day as a day of SUNLIGHT. Forget all about old-time trials, troubles and hard work. Look forward to wash-days as to other days, because you use Sunlight Soap.”

The Intelligencer August 13, 1917 (page 5)

“He’ll Be Happy When He Gets This. Whether ‘Jim’ is on a man-of-war or in a trench, he’s going to have long-lasting enjoyment and a lot of benefit from Wrigley’s. The Famous Chewing Gum. The Flavour Lasts!”

The Intelligencer August 13, 1917 (page 5)

“Conservation of Food Supplies. A meeting of the Organization of Resources Committee, Hastings County Branch, was held in the City Hall on Saturday. …

Mayor Ketcheson occupied the chair and introduced Dr. Parks of Toronto, organizer of Resources Committee for the County of Hastings. Dr. Parks, in addressing the meeting, referred particularly to three important subjects: organization, production and waste. …  Dr. Parks eulogized the women of Ontario for the splendid work they had accomplished and for their enduring patriotism and believed if the men would work as consistently that the object the committee had in view would be realized. …

Warden McLaren, on behalf of the county of Hastings, assured the meeting of the county’s co-operation in furthering the interests of the committee. …

Mayor Ketcheson was confident the city of Belleville would do everything consistent with the public welfare to insure the success of the movement.”


100 Years Ago: Instruction in Food Conservation at City Hall, Ad for Canadian War Savings Certificates

The Intelligencer August 11, 1917 (page 1)

“Food Conservation Organization. Government Expert Will Instruct Belleville Women in Canning and Cooking. A well attended and successful meeting was held in the City Council Chamber Friday afternoon. In response to the call of Mayor Ketcheson, presidents and representatives of all the local Women’s organizations were present to discuss plans for Food Conservation.

All churches and societies are invited to co-operate and every housekeeper must take a personal interest. The government is sending a demonstrator and the following course of instructions will be given at City Hall.

Tuesday, August 14, 3 p.m.—Canning of vegetables. Tuesday, August 14, 8 p.m.—Canning of fruits. Wednesday, August 15, 3 p.m.—Canning of meats. Wednesday, August 15, 8 p.m.—Breadmaking and biscuits. Thursday, August 16, 3 p.m.—Substitutes for meat. Thursday, August 16, 8 p.m.—Substitutes for white flour.”

The Intelligencer August 11, 1917 (page 10)

“Where You Cannot Prophesy—Prepare! Money saved and loaned to Canada by Canadians is a two-fold safeguard for the future. The lenders will benefit directly from the excellent interest return and absolute security—and indirectly because the interest thus kept in Canada will help to keep business good after the war.

Canadian War Savings Certificates are issued in denominations of $25, $50 and $100, repayable in three years.

The National Service Board of Canada.”


100 Years Ago: Marson Hitchon Dies of Wounds, George Hoppings Is Wounded, Poster for Men to Help Farmers, Letter from Leslie Yerex on Anniversary of His Arrival in France

The Intelligencer August 10, 1917 (page 1)

“Pte. Hitchon Died of Wounds. Mr. Joseph Hitchon of this city, Sunday last received a message from the military Director of Records at Ottawa, stating that his son, Marson, had been seriously wounded on August 1st, and had been admitted to the 33rd Casualty Clearing Station. This morning another message was received conveying the sad intelligence that he died on August 2nd, as the result of wounds received.

Marson Hitchon left Belleville with the Signal Section of the 155th Battalion, and was one of the first of that section to be sent to France, and had only been there a short time before he was wounded. He was a young man only 20 years of age and previously to enlistment had been engaged in a vulcanizing establishment here.

He was a very bright and cheerful young man, and while a pupil of the Belleville High School was very popular with his companions. He was an athlete and had won many prizes at the annual field days in connection with the school. The news of his death will be learned with deep regret by all who knew him.

In addition to the parents a brother, Allan, and a sister, Jean, both of Belleville, survive. The heartfelt sympathy of all citizens will be extended to the bereaved relatives.”

The Intelligencer August 10, 1917 (page 2)

“Officially Reported Wounded. Pte. George Hoppings, son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Hoppings, Dundas Street, Deseronto, who went overseas with the 155th Battalion, was officially reported wounded on July 25th with gun shot in the left leg. He has been admitted to the General Hospital, Letreport.”

The Intelligencer August 10, 1917 (page 6)

“Take Off Your Coat and Give the Farmer a Hand! When, three months ago, we called upon Ontario’s farmers for mighty efforts to avert the threatened Famine and World-Hunger, they responded splendidly.

Aided by Providential weather, Ontario’s Crop is one of the biggest in her history. The farmer has done his part.

We Town and City Men must do our part.

Belleville Men Register at Mayor’s Office.”

The Intelligencer August 10, 1917 (page 7)

“From Leslie Yerex. 33rd Battery. July 13. Dear Mother:—As this is the anniversary of my arrival in France I thought I would celebrate it by writing to you first thing this morning. It is just six o’clock and I have finished my breakfast, consisting of a spoonful of porridge (I don’t know what it is made of), two pieces of bread, and some tea. …

I received two Top-Notch magazines the other day, also scrap book Elsie made, two magazines from Aunt Bert, received two letters and parcel from you yesterday. They were welcome indeed. Everything in the box was good, but was sorry the cake was not bigger.

Tell Dad if he cannot send more than that he must not make it so good, as then I would not like it and a small one would do. Now don’t mind this little kick, for it’s Dad’s fault for making the cake so good. It was fine. I would much rather have it than canned goods. You see about nine-tenths of what we have at meal time consists of canned stuff, including dried vegetables from R. J. Graham’s.

They are all good, but we do like the home-made things for a change. I have enough cocoa to last me a while yet. The maple sugar was great. Well, I guess this is all for this time. Les.”


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