Wingham Historical Society holds first meeting, Feb. 15

WINGHAM – A newly-formed Wingham Historical Society held its first meeting on Feb. 15 at the Alice Munro Library.

Organizers were encouraged by the large turnout to the event and look forward to making concrete plans regarding the history locked away in the closed North Huron Museum.

Brent Bowyer reached out to fellow Wingham residents to see if there was any interest in forming the society after the unpopular decision made by council on Jan. 16 not to proceed with the relocation project.

“Bill Farnell, a former, long-time volunteer at the North Huron Museum, housed in the stately old post office building, brought the keenly-interested group up to date on the history of the museum and its neglected condition leading to its recent closure,” Bowyer said in an email to the Advance Times. “He encouraged those present to make their feelings about preserving Wingham’s heritage known to town council.”

An “impassioned plea” from Wingham resident Verna Steffler to work towards keeping the Alice Munro Nobel Prize for Literature and other memorabilia in the local area was met by resounding support from all the attendees.

Bowyer said, “Elizabeth French-Gibson, curator of the Huron County Museum in Goderich, and both Rhea Hamilton-Seeger and Larry Mohring, representatives of the Huron County Historical Society, spoke about future possibilities for the more than 20,000 artifacts in the North Huron Museum.”

The group explored several options to achieve its goal, including recording the memories, photos, and maybe even singing, poetry recitations, and playing musical instruments by Wingham and area seniors, also documenting Wingham’s historic homes, placing plaques on Wingham storefronts, setting up an online site where people could post old photos, documents, memories, and questions about Wingham and area.

The group’s next meeting will be held in two weeks on Wednesday, March 8 at 2:30 p.m. at the Alice Munro Library in Wingham.

Bowyer said, “Anyone interested is invited to come and share their ideas and get involved.”

Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times