Feature Artifact - Paper Holder

The Jones Pattern Company, shoe pattern makers and designers, operated in Kitchener from the early 1930s until sometime in the 1960s. The company was originally located at 251 King Street West but later moved along the street to 391. This paper holder belonged to Robert McCash (1910-1967) of Galt (now Cambridge), who worked as a shoe designer for the company. Robert later became the company’s manager in the 1950s.


Past Artifact - Advertisement

The John Forsyth Company Limited of Berlin (Kitchener), Ontario began manufacturing shirts and collars for men in 1903. Located at Duke and Young streets, the company also operated manufacturing facilities locally in Waterloo and Wellesley. The Forsyth family was involved in the management of the business until it was sold in 1973. This 1950s advertisement was used in a retail environment to promote the sale of Christmas gifts. 

Past Artifact - Peanut Can

This peanut container from the 1960s was part of the Jack’s Snacks brand produced by Raymond’s Nut Shops. The company was founded in 1935, and the first store was located beside the Lyric Theatre at 124 King Street West in Kitchener. Additional stores and a manufacturing facility were opened by the mid-1940s. The company produced various nut, popcorn, and cheese puff products until it was sold to Borden Limited around 1975.


Past Artifact - Watercolour Painting 

This watercolour was painted by Muriel Violet Seibert (1904-1965) in 1928. Muriel’s parents were Jacob Erb Seibert (1859-1945) and Rachel Ogram (1875-1956), and they owned Seibert House found in Doon Heritage Village. Built around 1850, the house was originally located on Madison Avenue South in Kitchener. Muriel’s younger sister, Emily, was the last owner of the house prior to it being donated to the museum in 1964.


Past Feature Artifact - Brass Plaque 

The J.M. Schneider name has long been associated with Kitchener. Founded in 1890 by John Metz Schneider (1859-1942), the company was originally a butcher shop. In 1911, J.M. purchased 16 acres of land on Courtland Avenue but a meat processing plant was not built there until 1924. This brass plaque was added to the office building entrance in 1942. The Courtland Avenue plant was closed in 2014. 


Past Feature Artifact - Hand-Painted Fine Bone China 

Hand-painted by Louise (Grube) Vogelsang (1883-1927), this fine bone china plate dates to between 1908 and 1916. Louise’s married name is painted on the back of the plate, indicating it was done sometime after her 1908 marriage to Otto Vogelsang (1873-1945). Louise and Otto lived in Berlin (now Kitchener) where he worked as a foreman at Lang Tanning Company.  


Past Feature Artifact - School Pin 

This pin belonged to Henry Brubacher Bowman (1900-1991), a member of the first graduating class from the Elmira Continuation (high) School in 1917. The Elmira Continuation School was first formed in 1896 but closed soon after. In 1914, the school was restarted and occupied one room in what would become Riverside Public School. The first class to graduate consisted of 12 students.


Past Feature Artifact - Portrait of James Cook 

This crayon portrait is of James Cook (1800-1880) from the former Waterloo Township. Crayon portraits were popular from the 1860s to the early 1900s, and were an inexpensive alternative to a painted portrait. The process involved enlarging a photograph onto drawing paper using a weak emulsion, which produced a faint image. The artist would then draw over the photograph with charcoal or pastels, copying the photograph while making it look hand drawn.


Past Feature Artifact - Wooden Trunk Used in Immigration to Canada 

This wooden trunk was used by Maria (Dienesch) Gellner when she immigrated to Kitchener in 1950. Born in Birk, Romania, Maria and her family were ethnic Germans who became displaced persons (refugees) during the Second World War. Maria's first husband was killed during the war, and she sailed to Canada all alone onboard the Beaverbrae. The Beaverbrae brought 33,000 refugees, mostly ethnic Germans, to Canada between 1948 and 1954. 


Past Feature Artifact - Great West Felt Company Children's Boots

This pair of children’s boots was manufactured by the Great West Felt Company of Elmira in the 1920s. Founded in 1910 by Oscar H. Vogt (1868-1927), the company manufactured heavy felt footwear under the brand names of Great West and Polar King. During the 1920s, Great West was one of the largest employers in Elmira. The factory was located at 20 Arthur Street North and the company closed around 1950.


Feature Artifact - Weathervane 

Almost non-existent today, brightly coloured, wooden weathervanes were commonly found on barns and smaller farm buildings in Waterloo Region in the 1920s. This quirky example is attributed to Sidney F. Martin (1918-1999) of Woolwich Township. Made between 1940 and 1960, this weathervane has a mechanism that, when activated by the wind, makes it look as if the man is sawing a log.


Past Artifact - Drawing 

This drawing of a Mennonite man entitled Traveling was created by Minnie Hunsberger at age 89. Minnie was a daughter of Levi Witmer (1884-1916) and Mary Cober (1849-1926) of Waterloo Township. She married Rev. Noah Hunsberger (1877-1958) in 1926 and they had two children. Minnie was an amateur artist, creating ink drawings and Scherenschnitte (cut paper work).


Past Artifact - Stoneware Butter Churn 

This salt glazed stoneware piece is part of a dash butter churn manufactured by Henry Schuler (1842-1908) from Paris, Ontario. Henry apprenticed with and learned the pottery trade from Xavier Boehler in New Hamburg. By 1868, Henry had opened a pottery in Paris with Peter McGlade but the partnership dissolved in 1873. Henry continued his own pottery, the Paris Stoneware Works, until it was destroyed in an 1884 flood.


Past Artifact - Photograph of the Schneiders 

This photograph, dating from around 1885, is of siblings Oliver B. Schneider, Elizabeth (Schneider) Meyers, and Susannah (Schneider) Thaler. They are the children of David Bechtel Schneider (1840-1928) and his first wife, Elizabeth Bricker (1841-1866). Oliver, Elizabeth, and Susannah are great grandchildren of Joseph and Barbara Schneider, the original owners of Schneider Haus National Historic Site.


Past Feature Artifact - Oil Painting of Clydesdale 

This oil painting is of Redgauntlet, a Clydesdale stallion owned by Jacob S. Meyer (1855-1927) of St. Clements, Wellesley Township. Jacob served as Deputy Reeve and as a tax collector for the township. He owned several Clydesdale stallions; Cedric King and Fyvie Pearl were two others. The painting was done by Jacob’s sister-in-law, Anna (Affholder) Koebel (1862-1942) and is dated 1900.


Past Feature Artifact - Jacquard Coverlet 

This double woven, jacquard coverlet dates from 1885-1890, and belonged to Amanda (Otterbein) Heckendorn (1871-1958). According to family lore, Amanda and her three sisters each received a coverlet as a gift from their parents, Henry Otterbein (1838-1883) and Lydia Kolb (1842-1873). The weaver of the coverlet is unidentified but William and John Noll, brothers from Petersburg, did produce this pattern.