Founding Families

Immerse yourself in the stories of the business magnates and civic leaders who played important roles in the development of our country. Delve into the lives of these fascinating individuals through visits to historic homes, hands-on activities, exhibits and special events throughout the 150th year celebration.

Delight your senses in a historic kitchen garden where servants once picked vegetables for dinner. Feel the incredible pride of ownership inspired by the simple home purchased by an African-American slave who escaped from a Virginia plantation in the late 1820s. Costumed interpreters and interactive programming at our collection of historic homes and museums will give you a glimpse of early Canadian culture.

Chiefswood National Historic Site, Ohsweken
Visit the birthplace and childhood home of Mohawk poetess E. Pauline Johnson. This wonderful historic house and museum features a selection of original furnishings and Johnson family artifacts.

Battlefield House Museum & Park, Stoney Creek
A National Historic Site, this early 19th-century homestead was once home to the Gage family, who retreated to the cellar during the War of 1812 as the Battle of Stoney Creek raged outside.
 
Bell Homestead National Historic Site, Brantford
From 1870 to 1881, this was the Bell family’s first Canadian residence and the place where Alexander Graham Bell discovered the fundamental concept of the telephone in 1874.

Dundurn National Historic Site, Hamilton
This 40-room Italianate-style villa built in the 1830's on the former site of a fortified military encampment established by the British in 1813 was once home to Sir Allan Napier MacNab, railway magnate, lawyer and Premier of the United Canadas (1854-1856).
 
Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum, Ancaster
This cultural heritage centre collects, preserves and exhibits local history and promotes the fine arts and the celebration of natural heritage through beautifully landscaped gardens and walking trails.
 
Whitehern Historic House & Garden, Hamilton
Prominently situated in a walled garden, Whitehern is an outstanding example of a  19th-century urban estate originally owned by a wealthy industrialist.

Westfield Heritage Village, Rockton
Step back in time and witness the evolution of Canadian culture as history comes alive at this site that features log buildings, a blacksmith shop, a railway station and locomotive, a one-room school and more.

Ireland House at Oakridge Farm, Burlington
This historic site reflects farm life over four generations with tours, educational programs and special events hosted all year round.
 
Myrtleville House Museum, Brantford
Learn about and experience early Canadian life in this ten-room Georgian homestead that was home to four consecutive generations of the Good family, who originally emigrated to Canada from Ireland.
 
Erchless Estate, Oakville
Explore Oakville’s heritage through year-round guided tours and exhibitions, special events and workshops on the historic grounds of Erchless. The estate was once home to six generations of Oakville’s founding family.
 
Griffin House, Ancaster
Explore the history of Enerals Griffin and other early Black settlers at this preserved early 19th-century home, set on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful Dundas Valley.
 
Situated in the rolling hills of Brant County, the Adelaide Hunter Hoodless Homestead is the birthplace and childhood home of a Canadian original who played a key role in the advancement of some of our country’s key institutions.
 
Here are a few ideas to start the celebrations:
  • Friends of Battlefield House Museum Lecture Series

    Join us for a historically-themed illustrated talk. Tuesdays:  January 9, February 13, March 13, April 10,  May 8, September 11, November… More >

    Join us for a historically-themed illustrated talk. Tuesdays:  January 9, February 13, March 13, April 10,  May 8, September 11, November 13

    Time 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

    Location 77 King St. W., Hamilton, L8G 5E5


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    - Nov -
    13
    To
    - Jan -
    09
  • Black History Month - "Honour Before Glory"

    Film Location: Ancaster Old Town Hall 310 Wilson Street East, Ancaster ON In commemoration of Black History Month and the… More >

    Film Location: Ancaster Old Town Hall

    310 Wilson Street East, Ancaster ON

    In commemoration of Black History Month and the 100th Anniversary of World War I, Griffin House National Historic Site proudly hosts the film, “Honour Before Glory”.

    This highly acclaimed one-hour docudrama is about Canada’s one and only all-Black military battalion that was formed during World War I. Above all, the film pays homage to the black soldiers of the Number two Construction Battalion who showed that the measure of a man is made through the courage in his heart and not by the colour of his skin.

    This is a free event.

    For more information contact:
    Phone: 905-546-4848
    Email: griffinhouse@hamilton.ca
    www.hamilton.ca/griffin

     

     

    Time 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

    Location 310 Wilson Street East, Ancaster, L9G 2C3

    Email griffinhouse@hamilton.ca

    Web http://www.hamilton.ca/griffin


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    - Feb -
    16
  • Family Day at Dundurn

    Explore a fascinating piece of Hamilton history at Dundurn National Historic Site. On a guided tour of over 40 rooms… More >

    Explore a fascinating piece of Hamilton history at Dundurn National Historic Site. On a guided tour of over 40 rooms in Dundurn Castle, discover what it was like to live and play above stairs and work and live below stairs. Visitors will enjoy hands-on activities throughout their tour and sample a variety of historic goodies made in the kitchen. Visit the neighbouring Hamilton Military Museum for a self-guided experience with dress-up and hands-on activities while exploring the historical figures whom lived around Burlington Heights during the War of 1812.  Regular admission rates apply

    Time 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    Location 610 York Blvd., Hamilton, L8R 3H1

    Email dundurn@hamilton.ca

    Web http://www.hamilton.ca/dundurn


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    - Feb -
    19
  • The Gages: An Early Upper Canadian Family

    Visit the 200 year-old Gage home on Family Day and experience the work and play of an early Upper Canadian… More >

    Visit the 200 year-old Gage home on Family Day and experience the work and play of an early Upper Canadian family

    Time 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    Location 77 King St. W., Hamilton, L8G 5E5


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    - Feb -
    19
  • May is Museum Month at Battlefield House

    Visit Battlefield House Museum & Park during this annual celebration and receive free admission.  More >

    Visit Battlefield House Museum & Park during this annual celebration and receive free admission. 

    Time 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    Location 77 King St. W., Hamilton, L8G 5E5

    Email battlefield@hamilton.ca

    Web http://www.hamilton.ca/battlefield


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    - May -
    06
    To
    - May -
    05
  • Canada Day Military Tattoo at Dundurn Castle
    Dundurn National Historic Site

    Come and enjoy a spectacular evening of military musical celebration and experience a tradition that extends back over a century!… More >

    Come and enjoy a spectacular evening of military musical celebration and experience a tradition that extends back over a century! Feel the thrill as the Regimental Band of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry Band and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Pipes and Drums perform out in front of Dundurn Castle. Catch a glimpse of the red coated defenders of Canada West at Ridgeway during the Fenian Raid of 1866, as the 13th Battalion Ceremonial Guard takes the field. 
     
    Time:  5 pm
    Free event.

    Time 5:00 pm - 12:00 am

    Location 610 York Blvd., Hamilton, L8R 3H1

    Email dundurn@hamilton.ca

    Web http://www.hamilton.ca/dundurn


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    - Jul -
    01
  • Sara Calder Day
    Battlefield House Museum & Park

    Celebrate the birthday of the woman who ensured the preservation of the Gage family home and the site of the… More >

    Celebrate the birthday of the woman who ensured the preservation of the Gage family home and the site of the Battle of Stoney Creek.  Light refreshments will be served in the rear garden of ‘Grandview’ (Nash Jackson House).

    Free event and museum admission

     

    Time 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Location 77 King Street West, Stoney Creek, L8G 1H9

    Email battlefield@hamilton.ca

    Web http://www.hamilton.ca/battlefield


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    - Aug -
    19

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