Category Archives: Photos

A Local Manufacturing Company

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. [1]

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.

Informal Pod Exhibit Chats — Some photos

On Thursday, August 25 at 2 p.m. members gathered to hear the summer students share what they learned from preparing their pod-exhibits:
“The Illicit Industries of Owen Sound” by Paige Linner

“The History of The Harbour” by Sarah Van Trigt

“Caboose Life” by Lily Fletcher

Photo collage of end of summer event with student presentations

Click on photo to enlarge

Light refreshments were served.

We thanked our students for their contributions this summer and wished them a good year at school.


Stories in Ink – Ken’s Story

Ken's tattoo - semi-colon

My name Ken, and I am or was the least likely guy to get a tattoo.

I was not “anti-tattoo”, in fact I was often intrigued by them, especially ones that carried a story.

Then in August 2014, I lost my son to depression, he like too many others suffered in silence, a victim not strictly of depression but of a stigma. 

In his memory I planned to get an elaborate tattoo that honoured his greatest passion, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Then I was introduced to the Semi Colon Project, a simple idea wth humble beginnings that has grown to become a symbol of suicide awareness. And a movement to end the stigma related to it

The idea is simple, it represents a point at which a story could end, but there is more to tell, the story is not over. For some it represents a point where they tuned away from suicide and decided they had more life to live, that they mattered, and for others it is a promise to lost loved ones that they too matter, and their story did not end with there time here on earth.

There was no turning back, the simplicity of the idea won me over, and six of us went to the parlour that day. Our stories are different but all of us with the same idea, to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide.

For me it is personal, a reminder that my son’s story did not end on August 21, 2014. His story is not over, he still matters.

And I welcome the opportunity it provides me to share with others.

You see talking openly about suicide and metal illness fights the stigma, and a stigma has a tipping point where it is eclipsed by acceptance.  And acceptance gives people like my son opportunity to make better choices

I encourage you to look up the Semicolon Project, especially the original posting by Amy Bleuel

And for my son, for her father and so many others help us end the stigma and start conversations. 

Thank you,