Welcome to the Oshawa Historical Society!

The Oshawa Historical Society was founded in 1957 and is an affiliate of the Ontario Historical Society. The purpose of the Oshawa Historical Society is to bring together those individuals interested in the diverse historical aspects of Oshawa and to research, record, retain, preserve, and present historical information pertaining to the Oshawa area.

This website provides information on the Oshawa Historical Society, its  historyMembership information, and the latest updates on our Speaker Series.

The Oshawa Historical Society also manages the Oshawa Community Museum, located in Oshawa’s beautiful Lakeview Park.  Joining the Oshawa Historical Society is the best way to experience the Oshawa Community Museum. Membership is an affordable way to stay connected, and by joining you will become a partner in preserving local heritage.

For information on how to join, please contact the Membership Co-ordinator at
membership@oshawamuseum.org or 905-436-7624 (106).

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Mourning After: The Victorian Celebration of Death

“Ring the bell softly, there’s crepe on the door”

The term ‘mourning’ came to mean more than just grieving for the loss of a loved one; it comprised all the ways that the Victorians expressed that grief.  During the Victorian Era, there was an extensive mourning culture created that employed elaborate dress, jewellery, funeral trappings, photographs and a myriad of commemorative items.

Mourning After: The Victorian Celebration of Death explores the way in which mourning was expressed by drawing on museum and private collections. From funerals to clothing, post-mortem photography and cemeteries, this exhibition provides an in-depth look at mourning from over a century ago.

From now to the end of November, you are invited to take a step back in time to September 20, 1879 and enter the home of the Henry Family, where a death has recently occurred.  The family is bound by the rules of etiquette that dictate what they must do next.

Mourning After is on display now through to the end of November 2015.


Special thanks to Gold and Silver level Exhibit Sponsors:

oshawa port Suchan McQuaid

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October Speaker Series – Souterraine Impressions: Cave Carvings by Canadian Soldiers in WWI

Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy, France

Canadian National Vimy Memorial, Vimy, France

In Canadian history, the Battle of Vimy Ridge is seen as a watershed moment.  Fought in April of 1917, this battle was a success for the Allies and was won by the Canadian Corps, becoming a symbol for Canadian strength, sacrifice, and national identity.  Prior to the battle, soldiers awaited orders in caves outside of Vimy where they left lasting impressions in the form of cave carvings.

On Tuesday October 20, the Oshawa Historical Society welcomes the Canadian Historical Documentation & Imaging Group (CANADIGM) as they share not only their research into the soldiers’ cave carvings, but they will also share images of the cave carvings left by soldiers awaiting what would become a historically significant battle.

The Oshawa Historical Society’s October Speaker Series is taking place Tuesday October 20 at 7PM. The Speaker Series will be held at the Art Resource Centre, located at 45 Queen Street, Oshawa. Admission to the Oshawa Historical Society Speaker Series is $3 or FREE for members of the Oshawa Historical Society.

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