The Elgin Historical Society

Exploration of the Great Lakes, 1669–1670. Translated and edited by James H. Coyne. Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1903
Exploration of the Great Lakes, 1669–1670. Translated and edited by James H. Coyne. Toronto: Ontario Historical Society, 1903

The Elgin Historical Society can trace its roots to the Elgin Historical & Scientific Institute, founded in 1891. Throughout the years the Society has sought to preserve and promote the history of Elgin County. We continue that tradition today.

Please explore the resources in our media library. Books, videos, audio files, Images and external links.

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“Empires of the Dead”

Lichfield Crater, Resting Place of Ellis Sifton V.C.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 7:30pm

The Rev. Canon Nick Wells will present “Empires of the Dead” the life and work of the Imperial War Graves Commission that will include a model of a standard War Graves Cemetery, evolution of markers, and illustrative panels.

Elgin County Museum, 450 Sunset Dr, St Thomas, Lower Level

The Elgin Historical Society Presents - The Talbot Anniversary Dinner, May 19th, 2017 (1817-2017)

The Elgin Historical Society is pleased to announce the Talbot Anniversary Dinner will be held May 19th, at the St. Thomas-Elgin Art Centre (Drinks 6pm, Dinner 7pm). This dinner marks 200 years since the first such celebration in 1817.


Tickets are $50, available at the St. Thomas-Elgin Art Centre. Our guest speaker will be Deborah Coyne, lawyer, politician, professor, author and descendent of the the Coyne family. The Coyne family arrived in the Talbot Settlement in 1817, and played a large role in the early development of the County and City. Dr James H. Coyne was co founder and long time president of the Elgin Historical Society.


The Anniversary Dinner commemorates the arrival of Col. Thomas Talbot in this area of the world in May, 1803, and thus, the beginning of the Talbot Settlement. Fourteen years after Talbot's arrival, members of the fledgeling community held the first Talbot Anniversary Dinner the 21 st May, 1817, at Doctor Lee’s Hotel, in Yarmouth. The early settlers invited Talbot to the 1817 gathering saying,


“...your first arrival at Port Talbot we refer, as the auspicious hour, which gave birth to the happiness and independence we all enjoy, and this day commemorate. In grateful remembrance of your unexampled hospitality and disinterested zeal in our behalf ; and contemplating with interested feelings the astonishing progress of our increasing settlement, under your friendly patronage and Patriarchal care, we have unanimously appointed the 21st May for the Talbot anniversary. And this public expression of the happiness among ourselves, and of our gratitude to you, we transmit through our children to our latest posterity.”


2017 is the bicentennial of the naming of St. Thomas, being named at the opening of Horace Foster's store, Talbot St., near the site of the Jumbo statue. It is also the 150th year of Confederation. With all these auspicious events occurring in a single year it seemed an ideal time to revive the Talbot Anniversary celebration. The Elgin Historical Society invites you to celebrate the progress of the Talbot Settlement, pay tribute to its founder and people, and show your support for the Historical Society and St. Thomas-Elgin Art Centre.


For further information contact:

Pete Sheridan 226 927 1913

St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre: 519-631-4040