Thursday, October 19, 2017
Collections New Donations
Building Our Collection
The DCMA relies on the generosity of our donors for many things, including the building of our collection of Dufferin County artifacts and archival documents.  Items donated to us are used for research, exhibition, education and to foster community pride. The records that we create for each item include information on the original and subsequent owners, location of owners or creators, known biographical information and the “story” or connection of the donor to the item.  In “museum-speak,” we call this information the “provenance” of the object.  Each item is physically numbered and the collection record is placed in a searchable database for both in-house and public use. Please check this page again monthly for more new donations as they are accepted and accessioned into the DCMA permanent collection.

2014 Fall / Winter New Donation

A tenor banjo and case that belonged to "Harry" Galbraith, ca 1900.

A H Galbraith, owned a jewellery and music store located on the south side of Main Street, Shelburne. The store was opened by Alfred V Galbraith (1859-1924) in 1878, and in 1921 he retired and his son Alfred Henry "Harry" Galbraith (3 Nov 1890 -17 Jan 1947) took over the business. Harry was a 5th generation jeweller. Harry and his father Alfred installed the clock in the town square of Shelburne in 1913. The banjo was owned and played by Harry, he played many instruments including the trombone in an Army orchestra during WWI.

Harry's main focus was on financial and stock market operations, so in 1927 he sold a large part of the store stock to another Jeweller, George M Watts. Harry eventually opened a stock brokerage office in Orangeville.


2014 Summer New Donation:

This hooked rug wall hanging was created by Lottie (Sturdy) Platt (1883-1959). Lottie came over from England with her mother and 4 brothers, they settled in Hamilton. It was there that she met her husband George A. Platt (1882-1955) while he was working for the Internation Harvester Company. They married 14 February 1906. George was born on the 10th Line, East Garafraxa. In 1920, the couple decided to move to be closer to George's family, they bought a farm on the 2nd Line, East Luther. Later, the family moved to Grand Valley and lived above Steadman's Store. Lottie and George had two children Ethel (Platt) Ritchie (b 1907) and John Vernon Platt (b.1927). Lottie raised her own sheep in East Luther, then sheered, carded, dyed and spun it all by hand, the scene was adapted from a Christmas card.


2014 Spring New Donation:


Ebay can be a frustrating, but sometimes fascinating tool. Recently a silver coloured, Swiss pocket watch made by Regina Watch Company came up for auction, in the description it is noted that the face was “marked for Russell Morrow, Orangeville Ont.” Often Jewelers or Watchmakers would have their name printed on the face of clocks and watches to advertise their business. One of the patrons of the DCMA saw the auction, contacted staff and found out that we did not have one in the collection, and purchased it. The auction was from a dealer in Milan, Missouri. We have contacted them and they can provide no provenance of how it has made its journey from Orangeville to Missouri. It does however provide a wonderful artifact from a once well-known and popular name along Broadway in Orangeville. 

The story of Morrow's Jewelry in Orangeville starts with James Russell Morrow (13 Jan. 1890 - 15 Nov. 1954) who was born in Orangeville Ontario the fifth and youngest child of Elizabeth Graham and William Morrow.  Educated in Orangeville schools, in 1910 he started to work with Orangeville jeweler Andrew Marshall Harkness in his store in the first building east of the Ketchum Block on Broadway (lot 5, Plan 46 now 185 Broadway). Andrew M. Harkness had started in the jewellery business in Orangeville in 1888.  Russell Morrow worked with him until January 1914, when he moved to Detroit to work for a jeweler firm there (possibly that of William Harkness, brother of A.M. Harkness).

A.M. Harkness died suddenly in early June 1914.  A month later, in July 1914, Russell Morrow bought A.M. Harkness' jewelry and watchmaking business. Mr. Morrow continued in business at this location until 1951. During these years, he leased his business space from Dr. G.H. Campbell who owned the building. In 1934, his elder son Myr Morrow (1917- 2003) joined the business.  He served in the RCAF during the Second World War, rejoining the business after demobilization.

In 1951, Mr. Morrow's younger son, Bill Morrow (1922 - 1983), retired from the air force and came to Orangeville to join the family business. At this time, the business moved down street to the McKim Block, a building Mr. Morrow had owned since 1943.  In October, 1951 they opened a china and giftware shop in the easterly part of the premises (Plan 47, lot 24, 117 Broadway), which was operated by Bill Morrow.  The jewelry and watch repair business operated by Myr Morrow occupied the westerly part of the space.  The business was renamed Russell Morrow and Sons, and continued under this style until the business closed in December 1992.

Source: Research by Steve Brown, Archivist - May 2014


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