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.

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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: The Girl from Kokomo Under Auspices of Argyle Chapter I.O.D.E., Poster for June 3rd Carnival

The Intelligencer May 29, 1918 (page 1)

“ ‘The Girl From Kokomo’ Made A Big Hit At Griffin’s Theatre. Amateur dramatic performances always have a certain attractiveness on account of the novelty of recognizing familiar faces in unfamiliar roles, while dramatic talent is not expected to materialize to any great extent in productions of this kind. However, a departure from this general rule was witnessed last evening in the presentation of ‘The Girl from Kokomo,’ by local amateurs at Griffin’s Theatre under the auspices of Argyle Chapter, I.O.D.E. The production was admirably staged and presented in a smooth and finished manner, which ranked well with any first-night professional production. …

Beautiful bouquets of flowers were handed across the footlights to the lady principals during the progress of the play. When the curtain arose every seat in the theatre was filled, and from beginning to end laughter and applause was continuous. …

‘The Girl from Kokomo’ will be repeated Monday evening at Griffin’s in connection with the King’s Birthday celebration of the Great War Veterans.”

The Intelligencer May 29, 1918 (page 4)

Poster for June 3rd carnival“Spend June 3rd the Guests of Canada’s Heroes. A Military Carnival You’ll Never Forget! The Fastest Horse Races Ever Seen on the Belleville Track. Big Card of Athletic Events and Baseball Game.

Come and Spend the Biggest Day of Your Life—Monday, June 3rd.

Make June 3rd, Belleville’s Biggest Day.”

100 Years Ago: All Roads Lead to Belleville June 3rd, Ad for Government Fish, Myrehall Red Cross Prepares Shipment, Thank-You Letter to Mrs. (Dr.) Farley, Plenty of Coal, Preparations for June 3rd, The Girl from Kokomo Ready

The Intelligencer May 28, 1918 (page 4)

“All Roads Lead to Belleville Monday. Monday, the King’s Birthday, is a fitting day for the Great War Veterans to celebrate and the occasion is most appropriate for all good citizens to show by their presence and patronage that they appreciate the great sacrifices the soldiers are making in order to protect the homes of Canada from the savagery of the Hun.

The Veterans are the hosts next Monday and have prepared excellent entertainment of a military and civic nature for the many visitors from far and near and the home folks as well. The success of Monday’s celebration means much to the soldiers. Let everybody lend a hand and make it the biggest day ever held in Belleville. Let’s clean and tidy up our streets and homes and when the day arrives throw all our flags and bunting to the breeze as a token of welcome to the visitors and appreciation of the Great War Veterans. All roads lead to Belleville Monday, so come early and stay late.”

The Intelligencer May 28, 1918 (page 6)

Ad for Government Fish“Government Fish. The First Government Fish Will Arrive Wednesday, May 29th. This stock will be the very finest from Lake Nipissing, the coolest and best fish producing lake in Canada. R. Oliphant & Son, 44 Bridge Street. Phone 910.”

The Intelligencer May 28, 1918 (page 7)

“Shipment for Overseas. The Myrehall Red Cross met at the home of Mrs. W. Alford, on May 9th, nineteen members being present, and sent the following to Foxboro: 58 towels, 14 nightshirts, 17 pairs of socks, 2 day shirts, 2 quilts, 13 suits of pyjamas, check for $15.”

The Intelligencer May 28, 1918 (page 7)

“A Pleased Soldier. It is very gratifying to receive from one of our gallant soldiers who is fighting for us at the front, such a grateful response as the following, received, by Mrs. (Dr.) Farley, which speaks for itself:

France, May 8, 1918. Dear Mrs. Farley:—I take this opportunity to thank you exceedingly for the gift of tobacco and cigarettes. The feeling it conveys to a soldier in the field to know that he is thought of by some kind thoughtful unknown friend, gives him heart to carry on in this great fight for mankind. I am not acquainted with Canada beyond Camp Borden, where I did my training, having lived in New York for many years. However, I am a Britisher and have been in France nearly a year, and have seen a good deal of the battle fronts. Thanking you again, I remain, Yours sincerely, Frank Kennedy.”

The Intelligencer May 28, 1918 (page 7)

“Full Coal Supplies. Citizens Should Place Orders Now for Normal Supply. Having consulted with all the Coal Dealers in the City of Belleville with a view to ascertaining the quantity of coal the various dealers have received during the present season so far, and the quantity likely to be received during the balance of the season, I have satisfied myself that the dealers have done exceedingly well in regard to the quantity of coal already in and arranged for, and it is my opinion that the Fuel Controller’s restriction to 70 per cent deliveries be waived in Belleville, and as the Fuel Controller’s regulations leave this matter to the local Commissioner’s discretion, I would advise all parties to purchase their full normal coal supply from the dealers, as early as possible, and I do hereby waive the clause in the regulations restricting deliveries to 70 per cent, for the present.

I would also draw the attention of prospective purchasers of car load lots to the necessity of purchasing a license from the Fuel Controller at Ottawa which can be obtained for the sum of twenty-five ($25.00) dollars, the penalty for non-observance being a fine of one thousand ($1,000) dollars. Thos. F. Wills, Local Fuel Commissioner, Belleville, Ont., May 27, 1918.”

The Intelligencer May 28, 1918 (page 7)

“June 3rd Event to be Brilliant Success. Live Interest Being Taken For Miles Around In Veterans Big Celebration On King’s Birthday.

The Great War Veterans’ determination to make their first annual re-union ‘Belleville’s Biggest Day’ seems well to meet with complete success, for reports from all the surrounding districts and towns  state that the great majority of the populace will migrate to Belleville on that day. Last evening the entertainment committee brought in its final programme, and one would marvel that such a festival of real genuine fun and sport could be crammed into one day. Something doing every minute, seems to have been the slogan of this committee. Horsemen from all over Ontario are taking keen interest in the racing events and the fastest races ever seen on the local track are assured. Spend the biggest day of your life with Canada’s heroes.”

The Intelligencer May 28, 1918 (page 8)

“Tonight’s the Night Girl from Kokomo. ‘The Girl from Kokomo’ is all set for tonight. Nothing further can be done to add to the success of the performance. …  Cadet Gault, of Camp Mohawk, one of Canada’s leading violinists has kindly consented to assist the orchestra and accompanists. To hear Cadet Gault play the violin is worth the price of admission alone. Cadet Roberts who is in Belleville convalescing after an accident at Leaside Camp, will also assist with his guitar and banjo. Cadet Roberts and Cadet Gault have both been heard here before with the Camp Mohawk Pierrots last season, and those who heard them then will appreciate what a wonderful addition they will be to the production. The Argyle Chapter I.O.D.E. are indeed fortunate in securing their services.

The sale of seats has been very heavy but there are 200 rush seats that will not be put on sale until 7.30 p.m. at the theatre. The price of these seats will be only 25¢, and there is no war tax to pay. There will be also a few good reserved seats left which can be secured at Doyle’s Drug Store until 6 p.m. and at 7.30 p.m. at the theatre. Don’t miss the season’s best attraction.”

100 Years Ago: Poster for Canada’s Veteran Fighting Forces on June 3rd, Potatoes for Planting at Children’s Shelter, King Desires No Celebrations on Birthday June 3rd

The Intelligencer May 27, 1918 (page 2)

“Canada’s Veteran Fighting Forces in Grand Military Manoeuvers By Land and Air. Belleville Monday, June 3rd.

Athletic Events, Bicycle Races, Baseball Match, Spectacular Street Parade, And many Other Novel Features. Spend the Day with Canada’s Heroes and have the time of your life!”

The Intelligencer May 27, 1918 (page 7)

“Provided Potatoes for Planting. The school children of the city responded to a request for the providing of potatoes for planting of ground in connection with the Children’s Shelter premises. The result of the contribution was that more potatoes were received than were required , but they will not be amiss as a considerable quantity is used daily at the institution.”

The Intelligencer May 27, 1918 (page 8)

“Military News. The King’s birthday is to be celebrated on the actual date this year, namely, the 3rd June. His Majesty desires that in the matter of ceremonial observance the precedent of last year shall be strictly followed in all respects. No salutes, reviews, dinners or other celebration are to take place.”


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