Chesterville Historical Society strives to update ‘The Time that Was’ last produced in 1980s

Above, Gail Parker is pictured outside the Heritage Centre in Chesterville with a copy of “The Time That Was” which chronicles the story of Chesterville since its beginning until 1977. Courtesy photo

CHESTERVILLE — A committee of the Chesterville and District Historical Society composed of local residents and members of the CDHS are working together to produce an update of the history of Chesterville. Led by Gail Parker, the committee includes Maryke DeJong, Shelagh Derks, Carol Goddard, Ashley Harper, Corrie McRae and Pauline van Kessel who are planning to chronicle the history of this small North Dundas community since the CDHS last produced an update to the 1977 “The Time That Was” in the latter part of the 1980’s.

“Chesterville history and its heritage is of utmost importance to our local historical society and our local residents who have many fond memories of our wonderful, fun loving and friendly village of inhabitants both past and present. Our wonderful group of volunteers have been having fun since the New Year and yes didn’t expect Covid-19 to shock us but that didn’t stop or delay our plans to get started collecting our local history in preparation of a current “Time That Was” 1987-2020. We have phoned, mailed and contacted over one hundred individuals for Chesterville history in many categories, businesses, social groups, churches, sports and personalities etc. The response has been fantastic and thanks for everyone’s dedication, research and hard work. To help fund our endeavour of this latest upcoming publication of Chesterville history we hope people will financially donate to the cause as we don’t want to burden the society with any extra expenses and please note charitable receipts are available. Please come forward with any Chesterville information and help keep our village history current, alive and interesting not just today but for our future generations. We look forward to hearing from you and supporting our local history,” says Committee Chair, Gail Parker.

“The Time That Was”, a history of Chesterville and area, was published in 1977 as the village’s Tweedsmuir History to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the local W.I. branch. Compiled by the Heritage Committee of the Chesterville Women’s Institute, this book provides the reader with the history and stories of this North Dundas community and is the Tweedsmuir History of Chesterville.   

In 1989, an update to “The Time That Was” which covered the history of Chesterville between 1977 and 1987 entitled “A History of Chesterville & District 1977-1987: A Supplement to The Time That Was” was published.

In early January 2020, the CDHS decided it was time to provide an update to the history of this community and the committee was struck. Over the past few months, the group has met by teleconference to discuss the parameters of the work, researching and reaching out to local businesses and personalities in the Chesterville area. It is hoped the information will be received by the end of June 2020. Compiling and writing the book will subsequently commence, with an anticipated publication date of later this year.

“This volume will build on the invaluable work done by the local Women’s Institute in the 1970s and 1980s. A lot has happened in Chesterville in the last three decades, and it is important for us to record this history in order to preserve it. But this sort of project cannot be done by a few individuals – it takes a village to write our history, and we have been very grateful for the support that we have received from the community thus far,” explained Program Facilitator, Ashley Harper.

What is A Tweedsmuir History: 

Named after Lady Tweedsmuir, wife of the Canadian Governor General in the mid 1930’s, a Tweedsmuir history is undertaken by the heritage committee of a Federated Women’s Institute of Ontario branch to preserve the history of the area.  More information on the Women’s Institute and this project can be found at 

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