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mcclella's blog

Speeeeed Skaaaaaaating


Photo of Charles Jewtraw in speed skating pose

Charles Jewtraw, an Olympic skating champion, performed at the London Skating Club's Ice Festival on February 19th, 1926 before an audience of 1,500 spectators at the London Arena.  On

World Famous Figure Skater Performs in London in 1864

Almost 150 years ago on February 9, 1864, Jackson Haines (1840-1975) of New York performed at the London Skating Rink.  His repertoire included the clog hornpipe, the double cross back roll, the double grape vine twist and the sewing stitch.  Haines, the father of modern figure skating, is credited with inventing the sit spin and was the first skater to perform to musical accompaniment. 


Icy Blast from the Past

The 2013 ISU World Figure Skating Championships are coming to London's Budweiser Gardens in March.  150 years ago this month on February 5, 1863, the London Skating Club hosted the grand opening of its rink on the southwest angle of Lake Horn (near present-day Kenneth Avenue and Waterloo Street).  The rink even contained a small refreshment room.  Stay tuned for more blogs on skating.     


Women Unite!

Almost 120 years ago, the inaugural meeting of the London Local Council of Women was attended by 2,000 women on February 14th, 1894.  This local council still exists and is affiliated with the National Council of Women, which has been working for women since 1893.  Harriet Ann Boomer, wife of the principal of Huron college, was president of the local council from 1897 to 1920.    


Raise a Pint and Enjoy the Haggis

Happy Robbie Burns Day!!  Did you know that:

1. After Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Robert Burns (January 25, 1759 to July 21, 1796) has more

Auld Lang Syne

For over 30 years, former Londoner Guy Lombardo (1902-1977) and his Royal Canadians rang in the New Year at the Roosevelt Grill in New York City with their rendition of Auld Lang Syne.  Guy's musical career began when his father purchased a three-quarter sized violin for him.   Anthony Vita, who died  65 years ago tomorrow on January 9th, 1948, gave Guy his first music lesson.    


New Year's Day, 1849, Eldon House

January 1st, 1849 excerpt from the diary of Charlotte Owen Harris:

Mamma, Amelia and Eliza went to church.  Jack went to the election in the Township of London.  We had about fifty visitors.  Mr. Hay & Mr. Butler had too much wine.  This is the first time anyone has called here in that state.

To learn more about Eldon House, attend the New Year's Day Levee from 1-4 pm.     

Century Old Christmas Greeting

A very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to our many customers and friends from H. Wolf & Sons, furniture business, 265 Dundas St.  (London Free Press, December 25, 1912).  Other businesses located at this address over the years included Starr Co. of Canada (phonographs), London Silk Shoppe, Singer Sewing Machine Co., Downtown Delicatessen and Gift Shop and South Pacific Clothing Co.  265 Dundas Street was demolished in 1988 and is now part of the library's Rotary Reading Garden. 


Happy Melvil Dewey Day!

photo of chocolate cake with 641.865 on it

The cake pictured above was from the Library celebration today, Mon. Dec. 10, for Melvil Dewey Day. Can you guess what subject the call number on top represents?

Brothers in Life, Brothers-in-Arms, Brothers in Death

While assisting a patron in the London Room, I came across two twin brothers who served in the Second World War.  Jerry Milton  and Malcolm John Bowern were born on September 28th, 1923 in Byron , the sons of Milton Bowern and Elizabeth Ann Crapp and brothers of Percy, Wesley, Flossy, Maggie, Edna Ada, Olive and Mabel.  Milton died on July 21, 1925 when his twins were almost two years