Friday, 16 September 2011

Women's Institute Tweedsmuirs

Tweedsmuirs are essentially scrapbooks that document the history of a village. The Tweedsmuir Histories were/are kept by local branches of Women's Institutes across Canada. The Brant OGS library is fortunate to have access to a private collection of Tweedsmuir histories.

These books document a fascinating look at the history of a town or village as it grows and develops. Many names are included in these scrapbooks as are local businesses, construction of roads or buildings and issues of importance for the village are also well documented.

After more than half a century of operation in the Brantford area, the city’s second largest independent groceteria is bowing out of local business circles. The last store, located on Burnley Avenue, has been sold by it’s present owners, Russell Gowman and his son, James K., grandson of the founder. The first store was opened on Terrace Hill in 1898 by Richard Gowman, a blacksmith from Devonshire, and from his small beginning in that lonely spot, the business prospered.

Many older residents will remember the original Gowmans. A newspaper of the period explains how Mr. Gowman canvassed for his first customers by employing six men who went round from door to door in the neighbourhood extolling the merits of his store. However, residents did not have to be told. Business began to boom so much that in 1933 Mr. Gowman had four stores operating in the city.
Mark 55th Anniversary of Moyle Women’s Institute

PARIS—A three-tiered cake was made by Miss. L Depew for the 55th anniversary meeting of the Moyle Women's Institute. It was decorated with yellow roses and formed a lovely centre-piece for the luncheon table. Mrs. W.C. Good, program convener, reviewed activities of the institute down through the years and Mrs. C Douglas and Miss T Sharp tied for first place in a picture identifying contest.
Mrs. L. Depew received a prize for winning an old hat contest and Mrs. Good, Mrs. E.D. Clump, and Mrs. Earl Sowden, three charter members, received cups and saucers bearing the institute crest. Mrs. T. Randall, president, conducted the meeting. Mrs. William Coombs and Mrs. John Kirby reported on meetings they attended recently and Mrs. S. Holden gave a report on the Tweedsmuir history workshop.
Mrs. Norm Cavan was appointed public relations officer for the institute and arrangements were made for a mystery bus trip June 24. Members going on the trip will meet at the Texaco station, 5 and 2 highways, at 8 a.m. Mrs. Randall and Miss Depew are conveners for the trip. Lunch was served by the hostess. (taken from the Tweedsmuir history book for Moyle Women's Institute Volume 1 which is available at the Brant OGS branch Library)

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