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. Call us at 613-967-3304.

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: George Forhan Receives Gift of Farewell, Registration Locations in Belleville

The Intelligencer June 12, 1918 (page 2)

“Presentation To Popular Theatrical Man. At the conclusion of the picture show at Griffin’s Opera House last night Mr. George Forhan, until recently the popular and genial manager of the house was a recipient of a presentation.

Mr. Forhan has joined Canada’s Fighting Corps having enlisted with the 73rd battery at Toronto. His presence here was taken advantage of by the staff of the two play houses here which he so successfully managed, and he was presented with a wrist watch. All the members of the staff were present and at an opportune time an address was read by Miss Maud Blaind, and the watch was handed to Mr. Forhan by Mr. W. Rothwell. The address was as follows:

Dear Mr. Forhan,—We, the staff of the Griffin Theatres take this opportunity of honouring you, and thus we honour ourselves at the same time. On the eve of your departure to take your place among the men who are protecting our home and fighting for our country to-day, we have gathered together to express our sorrow in losing you, to wish you God-speed and a safe return.

As a mark of our esteem and appreciation, we ask you to accept this wrist watch as a token of our regard and a reminder of the friends you leave in Belleville, whose wishes will follow you where ‘ere you go. Signed on behalf of the staff of the Griffin Theatres.

Mr. Forhan replied briefly but appropriately extending his thanks to the staff for their kind remembrance. He said he certainly appreciated the gift and he was proud of the fact that there had always been a hearty co-operation between the staff and himself in all matters appertaining to the conducting of the business of the house. Their efforts in this direction he was proud of. The gift would ever be a remembrance of the kindly feeling which existed between the staff and himself.”

The Intelligencer June 12, 1918 (page 7)

“Deputy Registrars Selected For City. Mr. J. A. Kerr of this city, appointed as Registrar for West Hastings under the Canada Registration Board, has selected the following places for the City of Belleville for registration purposes on Saturday, June 22nd.

Foster Ward: Mission Dundas Street, Marsh Engineering Works, Canada Steel Works, General Hospital.

Samson Ward: Queen Alexandra School, City Hall, Armouries, St. Thomas Parish Hall.

Ketcheson Ward: Belleville High School, Salvation Army Citadel, Bridge Street S. S., St. Andrew’s S. S., Y.M.C.A., Hydro Electric local office, Ontario Business College, Belleville Hardware Company.

Baldwin Ward: Queen Victoria School, St. Michael’s Academy, Tabernacle church S. S., Fire Hall No. 2, John Street S. S., Graham Limited employees.

Bleecker Ward: S. A. Station S. S., Grand Trunk Railway System.

Coleman Ward: Grier Street School and St. Michael’s Academy.

Murney Ward: Queen Mary School, Christ Church, Home For Friendless, Springer Lock Works, Wilson Munition Company, Deacon Shirt Company.”

100 Years Ago: C.N.R. Staff Bid Messrs. V. Nicholson and Norman Dawkins Farewell

The Intelligencer June 11, 1918 (page 5)

“Farewell to Soldiers. A pleasant event took place last evening at the C.N.R. passenger station in a gathering of members of the staff of the C.N.R. passenger freight and express departments here to say farewell to two comrades who have entered the military service. Messrs. V. Nicholson and Norman Dawkins were the guests of honor and addresses of appreciation were read, accompanied by gifts of a wrist watch to Mr. Nicholson, and a gold mounted pipe and case to Mr. Dawkins.

The presentations were made on behalf of the C. N. R. staff and employees of the express companies by Mr. E. M. Fiske, C. N. R. freight agent, who voiced the warm friendship felt for the two young men and best wishes for their military career. Appropriate replies were made by Messrs. Nicholson and Dawkins.”

100 Years Ago: Soldiers of the Railway Corps, Ad for Wrigley’s, Patriotic Garden Party Held

The Intelligencer June 10, 1918 (page4)

“Soldiers of the Railway Corps. Railway men who have gone from Canada overseas to help win the war are doing wonderful work, and with their customary iron nerve and dauntless courage in the face of danger are daily adding to the glory of Canada’s participation in the war. Running a train under constant shell fire isn’t exactly parlor croquet when a German shell may shift the track any moment or reduce the locomotive to junk, or suddenly administer the uplift to a car of ammunition, but the railway men ‘over there’ carry on through it all.

It is gratifying to note that a Belleville railway man, C. S. Underwood, was recently awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for outstanding bravery under fire in removing cars of ammunition from a blazing ammunition centre which was being heavily bombarded by the enemy, and also remaining in the face of a German advance, to replace on the rails a ditched supply train, thus preventing it from falling into the hands of the Boches.”

The Intelligencer June 10, 1918 (page 5)

Ad for Wrigley's

“Wrigley’s. It’s the great wartime sweetmeat. Send it to your friend at the front. It’s the handiest, longest-lasting refreshment he can carry.

Chew it after every meal. The Flavour Lasts. Three Kinds: Spearmint, Juicy Fruit, Doublemint. Made in Canada.”

The Intelligencer June 10, 1918 (page 7)

“Successful Garden Party. A garden party and afternoon tea was held at St. Agnes School grounds, Bridge Street East, on Saturday afternoon and evening. A large number partook of the dainty refreshments provided by the ladies.

The proceeds were for the Belleville Branch War Contingent Association and a goodly sum was realized for this worthy object. The grounds and tea room presented an attractive appearance, being tastefully decorated for the occasion.”

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