Chesterville & District Historical Society launches updated history of the village, “Bridging the Centuries The History of Chesterville: 1988 – 2020”

New book captures over 30 years of Chesterville’s history

Above, watch as the Chesterville and District Historical Society launches its new village history book. Copies of Bridging the Centuries The History of Chesterville: 1988 – 2020 are available from the Society and, Dec. 31, at the Chesterville Scotiabank branch. The book updates Chesterville’s last major history volume, The Time that Was. The new title sells for $50 a copy.

CHESTERVILLE — Just in time for Christmas!

The Chesterville and District Historical Society held a book launch for Bridging the Centuries – The History of Chesterville: 1988-2020 on Sunday. The book features 200 stories and over 350 photos contributed by the community.

Caroline Roberts, historical society president, says the book updates the history of Chesterville. She notes that the Women’s Institute published a book titled The Time that Was in 1977, followed by an addendum in 1987.

“Nothing has been published since then to update our history,” Caroline explains. “This book is a good way to mark the 130th anniversary of Chesterville’s incorporation in 2020.”

Pictured, the committee members who made ‘Bridging the Centuries’ possible: Shelagh Derks, Pauline
van Kessel, Maryke DeJong, Ashley Harper, Corrie McRae, Gail Parker, Carol Thompson Goddard,
Caroline Roberts and Verne McMillan.

Gail Parker, chair of the book committee, says people were very excited about the endeavour and certainly wanted to do their part.

“Needless to say, as chairperson, I loved working with all my fun-filled, energetic committee members,” she notes. “I want to thank our patrons for all their visits, calls, stories and photos, because without all of you, we wouldn’t have a book today. As people read about your journeys, they will realize that we live in the best part of our country.”
Gail thanked everyone who helped out with the project, including the approximately 200 local donors.

Eric Duncan, MP for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry, was on hand to celebrate the book launch. “This is something that we can celebrate today – a walk down memory lane for a lot of people,” says Eric. “This book is going to be around for generations to come.”

Allan Armstrong, SD&G Warden and North Dundas Deputy Mayor, says seeing the book fills him with pride. “Congratulations to every single person who contributed to this project,” he notes. “This book reflects that community spirit.”

Bruce and Kim Henbest, editors of the book, highlighted some of its features.

“Not only does it bridge the 20th and 21st centuries, it also steps back to the 19th century and even earlier in order to provide a more complete history of our area,” explains Bruce.

He notes that the book covers a myriad of topics, including political representatives, churches & cemeteries, schools, library & post office, community groups, healthcare & doctors, local businesses, and farms & elevators.

The books are $50 each, with proceeds going back to the historical society for future projects. The book is available at Scotiabank in Chesterville during banking hours until December 31. The bank has agreed to match sales up to $3,000. You can also buy the book at the Heritage Centre (14 Victoria Street) from 1pm to 4pm during the weekends of December 11 to 12 and 18 to 19.

For more information about the book, contact the historical society directly.

Members of the book committee are as follows: Shelagh Derks, Pauline van Kessel, Maryke DeJong, Ashley Harper, Corrie McRae, Gail Parker, Carol Thompson Goddard and Caroline Roberts.

Gail Parker (left) and Caroline Roberts (right) pose with Chesterville Scotiabank reps. The bank will sell the book on its premises until Dec. 31st.

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