Sheenboro Archives Grand Opening

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Sheenboro Archives celebrates official opening

Peter L. Smith

SHEENBORO – June 21 was a historic day for Sheenboro residents and those interested in history as an official ribbon cutting marked the grand opening of the Sheenboro Archives with over 60 people in attendance. Sheenboro Mayor Doris Ranger, Archives committee member Lorna Agnesi and MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller cut the ribbon while Parish Priest Reverend Scott Murray blessed the archives, located in the Sheenboro municipal office.

Special guests included Venetia Crawford from the Pontiac Archives, Robert Wills from the Pontiac Historical Society, Helen Davis and Donna Gagnon from the Pontiac Genealogy Society and Chapeau Regionale Gallerie, local mayors, and Jacob Gale representing Pontiac MNA André Fortin.

Committee member Joann McCann welcomed everyone, paid tribute to the indigenous peoples, and spoke of the importance of history, notably the former Hudson Bay Trading Post and Ottawa River. “We have to know where we came from to know where we are going,” she stressed. McCann spoke of many famous people who visited Sheenboro in years past as well as the late Lorna Keon, a Timmins nurse from Sheenboro, who died while caring for victims of the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Lorna Agnesi, a teacher and long-time resident of Sheenboro, expressed appreciation to the municipality, MRC Pontiac and Fortin’s office for supporting the archives venture.

“We need your old family trees, old photos, anything related to history,” emphasized Agnesi, calling on the crowd for help. “Originals will be returned after we scan them,” she noted.

Joan McGuire shared memories of Sheenboro and what helped shape their history: old time dances at family homes, fairs, Sheenboro Shamrocks, etc.

Tim Doyle, an archives volunteer, referenced various cultural events held locally such as two Irish Festivals (2011, 2015) and historical books published by the community including Crosses and Shamrocks, Sheenboro School Reunion and The Sheen Collection (Sheen township, Pontiac, Quebec 1800-1900) by Sean Harold Darcy.

“Our Archives Centre is so important to cottagers who visit and want to know more about the history of Sheenboro. Many have roots in our community and after walking through St. Paul the Hermit Cemetery, have questions about their late relatives. Our archives will provide a place where they can get answers,” concluded Doyle.

Photo: L/R: Jack Brennan, Vince Agnesi, Jane Toller, Art McGuire, Janet Retty, Betty Morris, Cathy Overton, Lorna Agnesi, Joann McCann, Tim Doyle, and Joan McGuire at the opening of the Sheenboro Archives, June 21. (PS)