Since 1944

Welcome to The Head-of-the-Lake Historical Society

Hamilton Centennial 1913

Explore     Preserve     Relate

Since 1944


The Society holds regular meetings on the third Friday of each month, September through November and January through May in the Coach House at Dundurn Castle (unless otherwise specified).

Meetings begin at 7:30 p.m. All regular meetings are open to members of the public at a nominal charge.


In fulfilling its motto, "Explore, Preserve, Relate", the Society has been involved in many local activities. Guest speakers at monthly meetings have addressed a broad range of topics about Hamilton and its environs. Many of these past talks have been published in the Society's journal, Wentworth Bygones.

Over the years, the Society has attempted to collect and preserve historical photographs of the area. This activity led to the publication of two popular volumes of local history: Around and About Hamilton, 1785-1985, and Hamilton: Panorama of Our Past. As well, the Society has sponsored several historical plaques, including one on the site of the King's Head Inn, Memorial School (Memorial Hall) and the T H & B (James Street South and Hunter St.) to commemorate important people and events in the Hamilton area.

In 1990 a Society-initiated project saw the historic 1890 City Hall clock and bell incorporated into the Hamilton Eaton Centre development. The Society's next project was even more ambitious: the restoration of the Gore Park Fountain. Society members and residents of the community-at-large joined together, under the auspices of the Fountain Foundation, an offshoot of the Society, to raise over $500,000. This enabled the Scoiety to rebuild the fountain, which was a centrepiece of Gore Park and a kind of focal point for civic life in Hamilton until it was dismantled in 1959. The newly-restored fountain was turned on in October 1996, one of the major events in the city's sesquicentennial celebrations of that year.

ALSO, From its formation in 1944, members of The Head-of—the-Lake Historical Society frequently undertook “outings” to historical sites. One of the earliest of these ventures was a visit to Hamilton Cemetery. Through until the late 1990s numerous “June Outings” took place - many of them by chartered bus. Related information can be found in the Society’s Minute Books & possibly via other records within the Society’s Archives at the library.

Interested individuals are encouraged to become involved in the Society's activities. These include:

Stories in the Stones

Free Public Tours of Hamilton Cemetery Presented by Society Member Robin McKee.

Themed tours run from:
May to November (excluding August) at 11:00am Saturdays (unless otherwise noted).

For more information and themed schedule visit:
or “Historical Perceptions” on our Quick Links page

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