09 October 2019


Southampton’s old houses have secrets.  Home renovations can lead to unusual finds, but sometimes a loose floorboard, a crack in the plaster, or something oddly out of place can provide the clue to a discovery that will leave a homeowner struggling to answer questions such as:  What is this? Why is it here? How old is it? Who put it here? The winding journey to answers can be challenging and fascinating.  We want to know who lived here before us, and how they prospered or struggled, because that knowledge enriches our own sense of being, and our place in the community.

The Southampton Cultural Heritage Conservancy welcomes everyone to an evening of stories and discoveries from Southampton homes on October 19th at 7:30 pm, at Duffy’s Fish and Chips in Southampton. Local history buff Jane Kramer, Southampton ghost-walk tour-guide Katherine Leonard, and owner of the historically designated 1853 James Cathay house, John Cameron, will recount their experiences finding interesting historical objects: 19th-century clothing, personal papers, furniture, and children’s toys that were tucked away or mysteriously hidden in the walls or buried in the cellars of Southampton homes.  

Following the three featured presenters, members of the audience will be invited to share the open mike, to show and tell about their own discoveries of hidden treasures.


15 August 2019

Bruce County Council Votes Down Motion to Withdraw from Legal Action Regarding Southampton Rectory in Closed Meeting

 The Board of the Southampton Cultural Heritage Conservancy is disappointed that the Bruce County Executive Committee, on 15 August, defeated the motion by Janice Jackson (Mayor of South Bruce Peninsula) which sought to “cancel the demolition of the Southampton rectory.” The motion also recommended withdrawing from legal action, and stated that, “considering the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NNI) will no longer be constructed on Rectory lands, the plans and appropriate budget to accommodate archives be revisited.” See Jackson motion:

 SCHC had hoped to see the motion pass, which could have opened discussions with the County regarding preservation measures and respect for the terms and conditions of the restricted Krug Estate Trust, and would have ended a prolonged legal case, funded by Bruce County taxpayers.

 Contrary to the norms of Civil Society, Bruce County Council held the entire debate on the motion in closed meeting, despite the fact that portions of the motion would not qualify for such designation under the Municipal Act. The County continues its lack of transparency, as SCHC was forced in July to place a motion before a judge to obtain closed-meeting documents spanning a period of two years, after the County refused disclosure.

 SCHC’s counsel will reschedule the Hearing date, as SCHC plans to continue its work to protect the public interest and the rule of law in this case.



14 July 2019


The Southampton Cultural Heritage Conservancy is pleased to announce that the Walker House has received the Conservancy’s inaugural Award of Excellence at a ceremony held 13 July 2019. This award was given to the owners, Mary Putnam and Robert Ho, for their vision and commitment shown in the restoration of this iconic heritage building.

As one of the first built structures in the 1850s, the Walker House spans three centuries as a hotel and restaurant. Its recent restoration showcases Southampton’s signature yellow-brick streetscape. 

Owned and operated by the Walker family from 1915-2013, its current owners bought the Walker House, in part, to save the restaurant from becoming a franchise in a commercial chain. As Mary Putnam remarked during the ceremony, “there are so many of us who have a personal history and passion for this place, the people, and the Town of Southampton, we couldn’t let that happen.”  

 It was noted that the quality of life of all of those in Southampton is enriched through an appreciation and awareness of our heritage. According to SCHC director, Sheila Latham, the Walker House is an outstanding example of “keeping our heritage alive while modernizing for the future.” The historic building is representative of our community’s long-standing reputation for hospitality. The Walker House is also a major employer (now employing over 80) in a building that is part of our identity as a town that values and conserves its heritage architecture.

 Southampton is also home to the former Anglican Rectory at 254 High Street, that was recently named as One of Canada’s Top 10 Endangered Places by the National Trust for Canada.

For more information on our organization and activities, please visit our website at or FB at

SCHC Mission: The Southampton Cultural Heritage Conservancy seeks to promote, protect and advocate on behalf of the history, cultural heritage, cultural landscape, civil society, and built environment of the town of Southampton and the surrounding area. We recognize and respect that all of this existed pre-contact, and continues to exist through the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, and the Metis who later settled in this area.

P.0. BOX 3036, Southampton, ON   NOH 2LO