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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

A New Home for Deseronto’s Archives

Archives room in Deseronto Public Library Today the Deseronto Archives transferred 100 boxes of material from its former location in Deseronto Public Library to the Community Archives here in Belleville. The Community Archives [...]

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: Memorial Service for Fleming Rollins, Veterans’ Big Demonstration Monday, Poster for Canada’s Registration

The Intelligencer June 1, 1918 (page 7)

“Memorial Service. A memorial service was held in St. Andrew’s Church, West Huntingdon, in honor of the late Pte. Fleming Rollins, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hulsia Rollins, who fell fighting for King and country on April 26th last. Deceased was 20 years of age last October. Just one year ago from the day of the memorial service he left Belleville for overseas.”

The Intelligencer June 1, 1918 (page 7)

“Back Up The Veterans In Monday’s Big Demonstration. Monday’s the day that every citizen will have an opportunity to show their appreciation for the boys to whom they owe so much. The Great War Veterans are not asking for charity, but instead they have planned a big day’s entertainment that should attract thousands on its merits alone and send them home with more than their money’s worth.

Not one detail has been overlooked to make June 3rd a huge success from every standpoint. There’ll be amusements galore for everyone—men, women and children. In fact, the programme as arranged is one of the most attractive and extensive that has been staged in Belleville for many years.

At eleven o’clock in the morning the proceedings will be inaugurated by a Grand Street Parade which will include dozens of elaborate patriotic floats, Brass Bands, Cadets, Great War Veterans of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, and many other novelty features. At two o’clock the programme will commence at the Fair Grounds. The races will start at that hour as well as the baseball game, so be on hand to see the commencement and stay until the last event is staged, and then you’re sure to admit it was the best day’s sport of your life.


The Intelligencer June 1, 1918 (page 9)

Poster for Canada's registration

“Canada’s Registration. Its Purpose and Application. Canada faces the gravest crisis in her history. Four years of war have taken from the Dominion a heavy toll in talent and labor, yet despite the shortage of man power, our Allies still depend on Canada to maintain her own fighting forces at full strength and to increase her exports of food and war materials, so vital to them, and to the successful prosecution of the war.

Should the war continue for another year, food cards and a rationing system may have to be instituted.

It is quite probable that before the war is won our Government may have to place restrictions upon the occupations in which men and women may engage. In such an event the Government wishes to be in a position to render all possible assistance in keeping our population usefully and profitably employed.

Registration Day, June 22nd. Issued by authority of Canada Registration Board.”

100 Years Ago: Harold Gordon Newton Returned to England Voluntarily, Farmerettes to Stay, Poster for June 3rd, Request for Merchants to Decorate Properties for Carnival

The Intelligencer May 31, 1918 (page 2)

“Returned Voluntarily. England, May 11th. The Editor Daily Intelligencer, Belleville, Ont. Dear Sir:—Some of my friends in France have received word from Belleville, that I was brought back from Canada under escort.

I wish to deny this utterly, as I volunteered to come back to England again, strictly of my own accord. Of course, I do not know who is responsible for starting such a rumor, but I consider it rather a mean and underhanded piece of work, considering that I have been nearly four years in the service, the greater part of which I spent in France. I expect to be going to France again shortly, so if it is not asking too much I wish you would let the people of Belleville know the real facts. I am, Yours sincerely, No. 40465 Gun. H. G. Newton, ‘C’ Battery, Can. Res. Artillery, Whitby Camp, Surrey, Eng.”

The Intelligencer May 31, 1918 (page 3)

“Farmerettes to Stay Despite All Protests. Farmers Who Doubted Their Ability Are Now Wavering in Views. ‘I am actually becoming a good milker—not that I have milked more than three cows as yet, but I am quicker than I was.’ So writes one of the fashionable farmerettes to Miss Hazel Martin, director of the women’s farm department of the Government Employment Bureau. She is working on a mixed farm in Frontenac County. …

That the farmers who have not tried out the so-called farmerettes, are still rather dubious, is a known fact, but it is also seen that they are ‘coming around.’ …  Worried fathers invade the offices every now and again to find out what on earth those ‘crazy daughters of theirs’ are trying to do anyway.

The farmers’ wives seem to favor the farmerettes from the start, however, even though their better half is opposed. After a great deal of family controversy on one farm as to whether a farmerette should be employed, the farmer gave his consent. In telephoning to the employment department asking for one, the wife said to Miss Martin, ‘Now please whatever you do, send me a girl that my husband won’t be able to say, “I told you so,” about.’

And so it goes, but still the farmerettes seem to be here to stay.”

The Intelligencer May 31, 1918 (page 4)

Poster for June 3rd event“Belleville’s Biggest Day, June 3rd. Spend the Best Day of Your Life the Guest of Canada’s Heroes on Monday!

Two Spectacular Street Parades 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. A Big Card of Athletic Events. Star Baseball Game, Belleville vs. Picton. Help Make June 3rd Belleville’s Biggest and Best Day. Many Thrilling Novelty Features Worth going miles to see.

Hastings’ and Prince Edward’s Great War Veterans’ First Annual Re-union, King’s Birthday.”

The Intelligencer May 31, 1918 (page 7)

“For the Soldiers of the King. The Great War Veterans’ Celebration Committee are anxious to have the city in gala attire Monday, particularly they ask the merchants along Front and Bridge Streets to decorate properly, and thus create an atmosphere of real patriotism. Let every business house and every home hang out every flag and every piece of bunting obtainable, and show visitors that Belleville is thoroughly wide awake and progressive.”



100 Years Ago: Two Monster Parades Planned, Poster for The Girl from Kokomo

The Intelligencer May 30, 1918 (page 3)

“A Banner Day For Belleville June 3rd. Two Monster Street Parades Will Inaugurate Proceedings Kings Birthday. ‘All aboard for Belleville June 3rd’ seems to be the slogan the surrounding towns and communities have adopted, and they are coming to witness and take part in the biggest and best celebration ever held in Belleville.

There will be something doing every minute from the time the first monster parade leaves the market square at 11 o’clock in the morning until the curtain rings down on the final act of ‘The Girl From Kokomo,’ which is to be repeated in the Griffin Opera House Monday night in aid of The Great War Veterans. It will be the day of all days for Belleville, and every home and business house should be decorated. Hang out all the flags and bunting you have and put our city in gala attire on ‘Belleville’s Biggest Day.’

Those who are participating in the morning parade should be at the market square at 10.30, so that it can start prompt at 11 o’clock.”

The Intelligencer May 30, 1918 (page 4)

Poster for The Girl from Kokomo“By Request Of, And In Aid Of The Great War Veterans.

The Two Act Musical Farce ‘The Girl From Kokomo’ Will be Repeated at Griffin’s Opera House, Monday Evening, June 3rd.

This will be positively the last chance to see this successful Musical Comedy. Prices—$1, 75¢ 50¢, 25¢. Seat Sale opens at Doyle’s Drug Store Saturday Morning, June 1st.”


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