culture section

At different times, by different people, the Sydenham River has been called Jonquakamik, Ah-yan-yon-kege, or Big Bear Creek. One tributary off of the northern branch of the river is still referred to as Bear Creek. The name Sydenham comes from Lord Sydenham, who was governor of Canada from 1839-1849.

sydenham glass plant, about 1902
Sydenham glass plant, about 1902

The Sydenham River has provided a fishing ground for natives, a transportation route for successive waves of immigrants, and a shipping route for early logging traders. It feeds the area s historic agricultural industry, and offers a prime location for businesses of all kinds.

If you drive along the Sydenham River, it becomes obvious that for many decades now, culture has affected the river. Dams, floodplains and mills are the most obvious signs of this influence. However, you will also see hundreds of historic homes, churches and schoolhouses. These buildings stand where forests once grew, and in some cases, where the river once flowed.

To meet the people who live in the Sydenham's watershed, click on any of the vignettes below.

vignette Invasion at Baldoon vignette The Oldest Church in the County
vignette Settlement on the Sydenham vignette The One Room School House
vignette To Stake a Claim? vignette Strife in Upper Canada
vignette World War Two and the Home Front vignette Currie And The Battle Of Vimy Ridge
vignette Sydenham Hospitality vignette Political Opinions and The Age
vignette Neither Rain Nor Sleet or Snow... vignette Woo! Woo! All Aboard!
vignette Amazing Maize vignette Tobacco Farming
vignette Home Sweet Home vignette Wallaceburg's Shipbuilding Heritage
vignette Onthaal aan Canada! vignette Lager, Ale and Mathew Bixel
vignette The Lyceum Theatre vignette The Alvinston Maple Syrup Festival
vignette Big Wheels, Keep On Turning! vignette Boa vinda a Canadá
vignette Strathroy Furniture vignette Slavery and the Sydenham
vignette Ontario's Glass Company vignette Ancient Peoples of the Sydenham