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Seventh Town Historical Society7th Town Historical Society
(affiliated with the Ontario Historical Society)
Mission Statement
To collect and preserve the history of the Township of Ameliasburgh and, as a result of a bequest in 1990, to own and operate, in Trust, the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre.

Rev. Maurice McLeod, speaking at the funeral of Harry Bisdee on October 23, 2000, noted that Harry had, in the late 1960's, suggested starting a historical society. The Township of Ameliasburgh Council proceeded, according to Daisy Wannamaker in her Tribute to Harry at 7th Town Historical Society November 28th meeting (see Quinte Kin June 2001 page 11), to ask a group of people to take this project on. Seventh Town Historical Society (7th Town) was born in 1969, and on June 21, 1971 it was automatically incorporated, under the "An Act to Incorporate the Ontario Historical Society, S.O. 1899, C108, S.10.", when it was accepted as an affiliate by the Ontario Historical Society.

The Society began amassing the History of the Township and with the assistance of a New Horizons Grant were able to publish, in 1984, 7th Town/Ameliasburgh Township Past & Present, a 754 page hard cover history. The Book Committee was made up of Bruce Graham, Harry Bisdee, Seymour Hamilton, W.D. Hanthorn, Julia Sager, Rev. Maurice McLeod, Nellie Montgomery, Evelyn Hamilton, Marion Calnan, Beth Nightingale, Mildred Wanamaker, John Wannamaker, Daisy Wannamaker, Thomas Short and Loral Wanamaker. More were to come, 7th Town Remembers, Hamlet of Ameliasburg, Gunshot & Gleanings, Mission on Grape Island, The Accidental Prime Minister on CD, and many others. Time was also found to restore S.S. # 12, an Ameliasburgh school house, after it was the victim of a fire in 1981. It is now known as the Al Purdy Library, and houses the Ameliasburgh Branch of the County of Prince Edward Public Library.

In the fall of 1989 former local resident, Marilyn Adams, returned to the family home on Rednersville Road, having retired from teaching in Oshawa, Ontario. She promptly joined 7th Town. In the Spring of 1990 she discovered that she had only a few weeks to live. She changed her will to leave the bulk of her estate to the 7th Town Historical Society. A few days thereafter Marilyn left this world and the Society learned of her bequest. This extremely generous philanthropic act by Marilyn set in motion the creation of the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre (MAGRC). 7th Town holds two Trusts as a result of Marilyn Adams will: 1) Cunningham House/MAGRC; and 2) a Trust Fund which generates income to help operate the building and centre.

Saturday June 18, 1994 saw the opening and dedication of the Cunningham House, the building that houses the MAGRC. Tuesday August 2, 1994 saw the library open with 7th Town records and Marilyn Adams records on hand to be researched.

In the Spring of 1998 Minet Inc., an insurance brokerage in Montreal, donated an $80,000 dollar set of custom built wooden rolling archival shelves to 7th Town. This was the beginning of a major change that took place at the MAGRC, with individuals and companies donating equipment and records, personal collections, family histories, old letters, maps etc. in earnest. This is continuing at an unprecedented rate:

  • The Ontario Government gave the pre-1955 Hastings County Land Records to 7th Town, followed by a microfilming camera and many local assessment records for Northumberland, Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. 
  • The Tudor & Cashel Townships donated their records going back to 1853. 
  • The Women's Institute deposited many of their Tweedsmuir Histories, as well as Minute Books and other records. 
  • 7th Town had a TV show on local cable 4 called "What's In A Name". Not only was it filmed at the centre, profiling the MAGRC, 7th Town, and the Quinte Branch, but it also went on the road filming at other museums and events.
  • In 2002, the MAGRC added 4 more rooms: a new reading room, the Hastings County Land Records room, a Microfilming room, and storage space to accommodate the growing collection of computers, printers, microfilm and fiche readers, TV's and filing cabinets that have arrived since 1998, some of which have been donated to other groups in the area.
  • The MAGRC Names Database and the Heal Database currently hold over 1.5 million names.

7th Town Meetings are held on the 4th Saturday of February, March, October and November at 1:30 pm at the Ameliasburgh Community Hall, 13 Coleman Street, Ameliasburg. See the Events page for details.

Donations to 7th Town, and The Trust are welcome and income tax receipts are issued as 7th Town is a registered charity BN 89191 7577 RR0001. Memorials in lieu of flowers at times of bereavement and to remember other loved ones are part of the society's fund raising for the Trust. See our Memories page for details.

Sixteen Presidents have led 7th Town:

1969-70 Loral Wanamaker
1971 Mac Wallbridge
1972 Reg Barber
1973-74 Frances Young
1975-76 Mildred Wanamaker
1977 Bruce Graham
1978-79 Daisy Wannamaker
1980-81 Ron Dickens

1982-85 Rev. Maurice McLeod
1986-87 Nellie Montgomery
1987-89 Edith Cairns
1990-92 Gary Wilson
1993-95 John Wannamaker
1996 Pauline Sprague
1997-2013 Ian E. Reilly UE
 2013-present Diane Godbout

These officers and a large number of other dedicated volunteers created the 7th Town Historical Society and the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre. They have made them work, and those that follow will continue to build on these foundations. 7th Town is a very different organization now, than it was in 1969, BUT it is still collecting history, only on a larger scale thanks to Marilyn Adams.

Membership in 7th Town is open to anyone with an interest in preserving the history of the Township of Ameliasburgh and operating the MAGRC. If you are interested in joining or renewing your membership in the society please complete and mail the FORM / Application . You must have Adobe Reader to download this form.

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