There are many things Ontario Doug and Dr. Lucy Troweler want to explore while at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. In addition to the various exhibits and Lawson Village, there are a lot of different activities happening at the museum this summer.
Dr. Lucy is really interested in what’s happening behind the scenes and has already started exploring the museum’s on-line collection to find out more about the museum’s artifacts and how they can be used to inspire an appreciation for Ontario’s cultural diversity. Dusty and Seabiscuit are really looking forward to checking out all the fun stuff our future archaeologists are doing at the museum during Summer Camp and Ontario Doug can’t wait to help out during the Youth Dig-It Camp in August. Read more
A Farm Boy’s Christmas, 1898
Written by Wilfrid Jury
The Christmas spirit started in November with practice on Tuesday and Friday night at the church for the Sunday school concert, one of the highlights of going to Sunday school. If you could sing or play the mouth organ, [jaw] harp or tin whistle, fine – otherwise you took part in a dialogue or gave a recitation. If you were lucky you got a ride there in a buggy, more often walked, hoping it would snow so you could get the cutter out soon. Skating wasn’t possible until Christmas, if you were lucky enough to have it cold enough by then to freeze the pond.
After the Sunday school concert Christmas preparations were in full swing. The house took on the Christmas smell – mince meat being prepared, the plum pudding mixed (everyone took turns stirring it) seeding raisins, shelling nuts, polishing cutlery. Getting the house straightened up for the big event.
Then came the Saturday before Christmas when all of us went to London. Read more
Excerpt of Annual Cycle of Life on the Farm as a Boy
Written by Wilfrid Jury February 24, 1967
I remember potato digging, in fact all the fall work, as father used to go out west on the harvester excursion.
When I was fourteen he left mother and I to cope with it. Looking back I wonder how we did it. That finished my schooling but it gave me confidence. There was no time to get into mischief. Up at the break of day work until sundown. Mother and I carried on. When dad returned everything was in ship shape and we were proud of the words of praise. I usually had a day off to go squirrel shooting before Dad went up to Port Franks duck shooting for two weeks. Later he went deer hunting. The drive to the Port in the democrat was a long one, leaving home at 5am and getting there before dinner at George Hurdon’s, the proprietor of Waverly Hotel. After the horse had a good feed I’d start home. The horse knew the way; I didn’t. I got home in time to help milk. Then on a Saturday, two weeks later, I went up and got dad and his friend Jim. They had shot a barrel of ducks. We had wild duck off and on all winter.
Each year Dad would come home with one or two Indian relics that he had picked up in the sand hills around Port Franks. On his return from shooting, I’d usually have the fall ploughing started. We always summer-fallowed a large field. Other fields had to be ridged so they would dry out early in the spring, enabling us to have an early seeding. There was a long open ditch that ran through the pasture field to the swamp, this ditch carried off the water from all the drains of the entire farm. Through the spring and summer the cattle drank out of it. They also tramped on the side wall. It was a fall job to open this with rubber boots, a long handled shovel and a lot of hard work. This annual job was completed. Read more
Real Photo Postcards 1899-1930s
MOA has a vast collection of hundreds of Jury Family personal photographs beginning in the 1890’s and ending in the 1960’s. Within the collection we see the unique shift of photography during the early 1900s, especially with the introduction of the real photo postcard.
The real photo postcard began after the development of the dry plate process and roll film in the 1880s. The introduction of roll film was integral to the shift of professional photography allowing for photos to be created by the ‘common man’. Many companies opened during this time in order to supply the public’s demand which in turn depressed the entire market. George Eastman, the man most responsible for the real photo postcard decided in order to survive the highly competitive market, he needed to create something unique. He created the new camera system Kodak with a highly recognized marketing campaign; you press the button, we do the rest.
During my internship here at MOA, I decided to dive into Wilfred Jury’s personal records, reflections, and photos in order to gain an in depth knowledge of the man. After creating a search base for all of the records left through both his estate and through years of collection by our previous directors, I decided to put my search aid to use and share my experience.
What I thought would be a tedious endeavor became one of intrigue. Elsie Jury puts it eloquently enough,
“[Wilfrid Jury has a] leprechaun or whimsy quality. Pranks, shenanigans, ‘never a dull or idle moment’ for those who have worked with him.”
Wilfrid Jury’s Legacy
Wilfrid Jury was an important archaeologist in Ontario who helped us define and understand archaeological settlements across Ontario. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology is one of many legacies Wilfrid Jury leaves behind. His excavations and collections provide a fundamental understanding of aboriginal and pioneer culture. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology’s collection holds Jury’s original scholarly articles, site reports, short stories, and photos chronicling his life as well as the large ethnographic and archaeological collection he accumulated over his lifetime. His goal was to preserve objects of past generations for future generations to come. The Museum of Ontario Archaeology continues his legacy by advancing the understanding of Ontario’s archaeological heritage through stewardship, research, and education.
As well as curating the Museum of Indian Archaeology and Pioneer Life (now MOA) on Western’s campus (in June 1934), Wilf introduced Archaeology as a practice to Western. He taught an archaeology class and established field schools to give students hands on opportunities of learning at a number of sites he excavated through the years, a practice that continues to this day. Site reports, photos, and artifacts from these excavations are held in the Museum of Ontario Archaeology collections and are often referenced in current research. Read more
Wilfrid Jury’s Archaeological Work
St Ignace II
St Ignace II was one of several Jesuit Mission sites in Huron- Wendat territories during the mid 1600’s. In March of 1649, the Huron-Wendat village and Jesuit mission were attacked and captured by Five Nations Iroquois. Jesuit missionaries Brebeuf and Lalement from the nearby St.Louis mission were captured and taken back to St Ignace II and killed. Wintemberg previously conducted excavations at St. Ignace II in 1937 and 1938 and continued actively on the site until his untimely death in 1941. Excavations halted both due to Wintembergs death and World War II. However the Jesuits appealed to Sherwood Fox, Present of the University of Western Ontario, to continue excavations on site. In 1946, with the assistance of President Fox and Wintembergs notes, Wilf resumed excavations which uncovered a structure he interpreted as a Jesuit church or chapel. Wilf also undertook partial reconstruction of the site, inolving a frame of the longhouse and segments of the palisade. For Wilf’s efforts, he received a blessing from Pope Pius XII in 1946.
Penetanguishine Read more
Archaeological Sites with Wilfrid Jury
Prior to 1935, few prehistoric Iroquoian village sites in Southern Ontario had been documented or excavated. From July- September 1935, Wilf conducted the major excavation at Southwold Earthworks, as assistant to renowned archaeologist W. Wintemberg. They employed a crew of hired men with little excavation experience to complete the manual labor. Despite this limitation they were highly successful and became the first archaeologists to excavate and completely expose a number of longhouses on an Iroquoian village site. They were also the first to systematically map a set of Iroquoian earthworks and palisades. Read more
Wilfrid Jury’s adventures as a young man began in 1914, when he joined the navy. He first served as a recruiting officer in London, Ontario, then became a billeting officer in Montreal and Quebec City. Next he became special messenger to Commander Wyatt at Admiralty House in Halifax. On December 6th, 1917 tragedy struck Halifax Bay when the Belgian Steamer IMO and French Steamship MONT BLANC collided, which resulted in a massive explosion and over 1000 deaths. Within the chaos and confusion of the blast, the Navy sent word to Amos and Julia that their beloved son was missing and presumed dead. Fortunately, Wilf who was severely injured, washed ashore and was taken in by a kind Darthmouth family who had nursed him back to health. In January of 1918, after being hospitalized for his injuries, Wilf returned to limited duties as an able seaman on the NIOBE, but, less than 6 months later, he contracted tuberculosis and was discharged from the Navy for Medical reasons. He was awarded the War Service Medal and the British War Medal for his service. Read more