Although the museum was not open for the 2020 season, the Board of Directors decided that it did not want to miss sharing the story of Owen Sound becoming a city one hundred years ago.
Go to our web page Virtual Exhibit. On that page, you will find links to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre YouTube channel and also links to the individual videos. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Beginning November 17, 2020, the exhibit panels was on display at the Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library in the Carnegie Wing. They will be there for a few months.
In last week’s posting of items from the Community Waterfront Heritage’s Centre’s collection, nothing was shown that represented Industry, one of the three areas of focus of the Centre.
This photograph is part of the archival collection. These two women are shown with a machine that made a product in an Owen Sound factory. This product could be found in stores outside of Canada. What were they making and what was the company name? Did you or did anyone in your family work at this industry?
This black and white photo depicts two women at the toothpick machine, Keenan’s, Owen Sound. The women are identified as Darlene Brown and Jo Forbes. Mrs. Forbes was awarded a gold pin for 50 years service.
This shows one of the toothpick boxes that is in the collection.
Keenan Woodenware Co. Ltd. / Keenan Bros. Ltd. / Keenan Industries Ltd. were names the Company was known by. It was an important industry in Owen Sound for one hundred years (1896-1996) and was located on the east side of the harbour.
The August 1, 1929 issue of The Financial Post featured Owen Sound industries. “Keenan Industries Varied Products Wide Distribution” provided information about the company. Keenan Industries was the sole manufacturer of toothpicks in Canada.
The parent company was Keenan Brothers Ltd., all privately held in the family circle. … Everything manufactured is produced cheaper through the close alliance of tugs, barges, sawmills and factories and one set of owners who are content with one profit from the allied industries. 
The company’s large ad on the front page of the second section “From Stump to Finished Article” highlighted the diversification of the company.
Grey Roots Archives provides some history of Keenan Woodenware Co. Ltd. / Keenan Bros. Ltd. / Keenan Industries Ltd. and shows some related items in their collection.
May 13 — Oil Lamps [Rail]
The catalogue description describes it as “A yellow lamp with a glass chimney. The bottom of the lamp has CN stamped in it. The bottom is also painted brown. The lamp is missing a wick. Canadian National Railroad – Owen Sound owned it.”
May 14 — Union Badge
Badge –CBRT & G.W. (Canadian Brotherhood of Railway, Transport & General Workers) Local 401 C.M.U. Navy and gold coloured circular badge with a navigational rose in the middle. It was last owned by Joseph Weir of Owen Sound.
Thanks to one of our members, we have some more information to add: C.M.U. stands for the Canadian Maritime Union. C.M.U was a new union that split from the Seafarers International Union and subsequently joined the CBRT&GW as local 401.