Society wins award for St. Joseph Memorial Park

The St. Joseph and Area Historical Society of St. Joseph, ON placed third in the annual Communities in Bloom 2015 Gardens of Remembrance program with their submission, the “St. Joseph Memorial Park”. The garden in St. Joseph’s Memorial Park was the only Ontario award recipient in the Garden of Remembrance program and the Historical Society was presented with a $100.00 gift card from Home Hardware.

The staff and owner, Gary MacLean of Home Hardware, Grand Bend are pictured with St. Joseph and Area Historical Society representatives, Martha Mungar and Mark Tucker.

The staff and owner, Gary MacLean of Home Hardware, Grand Bend are pictured with St. Joseph and Area Historical Society representatives, Martha Mungar and Mark Tucker.

Great Storm of 1913, Wexford Plaque erected in St. Joseph’s Memorial Park

Wexford Plaque

Martha Munger, Joan Karstens, Dianne Tucker, Mike Miller, Mark Tucker, Nancy Robison, Joe Wooten, Pat Rowe, Frank and Liz Ihrig

Last year our area commemorated the Great Storm of 1913.
For our part we presented a very successful dinner theatre “The White Hurricane”. During the evening we raffled off prints of the ships we featured in the production. Proceeds of the raffle and a generous grant from the Municipality of Bluewater allowed us to erect another historical plaque in St Joseph’s Memorial Park. The plaque faces the spot in the lake where the Wexford lies.

White Hurricane director wins award

Duncar's award 2inDuncan McGregor was presented with the Warden’s Award by Huron County Warden Joe Steffler at the Huron Arts & Heritage Network awards night on May 2, 2014. This award recognizes outstanding achievement by an individual across all categories. The St. Joseph & Area Historical Society congratulates Duncan for this well deserved recognition.

Joe Wooden and Pat Rowe are congratulated for receiving a joint nomination for the Community Contribution Award.

White Hurricane – The Great Storm of 1913
Nov. 6 to 10, 15 & 16, 2013 Hessenland Country Inn

Thank you – all shows are sold out and the waiting list is closed

Click to find other Storm of 1913 Events

Click this image to find other Storm of 1913 Events

Approximately 20 community actors and musicians will bring to life the first hand experiences of St. Joseph and nearby communities (from north of Goderich to south of Grand Bend plus more in-land towns such as Zurich, Exeter and Hensall) during the storm and its aftermath. The event begins in the main building of Hessenland Country Inn. Guests arrive at the main dining room (Garden Room) where they are greeted with drinks and hors d’oeuvres. As they socialize, they witness the arguments of the ships’ Captains as they decide whether to risk one last voyage even in the face of a rising super storm. The guests witness 2 sailors from one of the doomed vessels getting arrested for drunkenness (which actually saved their lives). They also witness one of the vessels’ engineers warning against going out on Lake Huron given the danger of the approaching weather. The warnings are disregarded and the Captains decide to go. All the guests are guided by the Captains to take the Hessenland Coach House where, as they approach, they are warned once more by weather forecasters with updates shouting out at them from the lighthouse-like tower of the Coach House. The warnings are once again ignored. Inside the Coach House the guests are seated at the dining tables where they enjoy a wonderful meal plus the continuous presentation through music and action of the story of the storm, the doom of the vessels and sailors and the experience of the onshore population during and after the storm. The guests witness the storm’s effect on farms and towns, the aftermath of the storm when bodies floated to the shores, and the attempts to honour the dead sailors through the services and identifying the bodies for loved ones. Although the storm was a tragedy, the event had ironic humour, action and an unifying humanity which we will present to our guests. Articles Written about the Great Lakes Storm of 1913  Summary of Historical Context: The Great Lakes Storm of 1913, historically referred to as the “Big Blow”, the “Freshwater Fury”, or the “White Hurricane”, was a blizzard with hurricane-force winds that devastated the Great Lakes Basin in the Midwestern United States and the Canadian province of Ontario from November 7 through November 10, 1913. As the deadliest and most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, the Great Lakes storm

  • killed more than 250 people
  • destroyed 19 ships, stranded 19 others and
  • did considerable damage along the shorline.

The financial loss in vessels alone was nearly US $5 million, or about $100 million at current value. This included about $1 million at current value in lost cargo (coal, iron ore, and gran) totalling about 68,300 tons. The storm, an extra-tropical cyclone, originated as the convergence of two major storm fronts fueled by the lakes’ relatively warm waters- a seasonal process called a “November gale.” It produced 90 mph (145 km/h) wind gusts, waves over 35 feet (11m) high, and whiteout snow-squalls.