Kathy Renwald: Celebrating Hamilton’s history through the founding Terryberry family

“The biggest one must weigh 250 pounds, we loved them and moved them in the house for safekeeping,” says Mills.

Prior to being found in Hagersville the weathered and broken stones, dating to 1865, were awaiting replacement at the Barton Stone Church Cemetery. They were discovered by David Faux, a Terryberry descendent. He took possession and stored them at his Hagersville home, but when he moved to California the stones didn’t make the trip. Mills donated them to the Terryberry library at the suggestion of cemetery historian Robin McKee.

The tombstones join a growing archive of Terryberry family artifacts. In a storage space at the library, HPL communications manager Shelley McKay and manager of local history and archives Karen Milligan open a wooden chest full of domestic treasures. They were donated by Ellen Dornemann, daughter of Wilfred Terryberry. She lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and though very interested in the family history, she thought the library was the best place for the heirlooms. She drove them to Hamilton in 2016.

.. The antique trunk many of the items were brought in. | Barry Gray , The Hamilton Spectator

“I loaded up all this loot, including a grandfather clock, in my Prius and when I crossed the border into Canada I got a lot of questions.”

Opening the treasure chest, library staff discovered a moustache cup belonging to Albert Terryberry, a curio case holding $25 in scholarship money for Wilfred Terryberry circa 1917, an 1870 sugar bowl, a dinner plate, teacup and saucer, and a German beer stein. Inside the beer stein was a handwritten letter to “Aunt Lizzie” discussing money matters.

The lovely grandfather clock dates to 1788.

.A grandfather clock donated to the Terryberry central Mountain library from the Terryberry family. | Barry Gray , The Hamilton Spectator

Library staff are making plans to display all the items at the 50th anniversary of the library in 2020 says Karen Milligan.

“It’s very timely that these donations found their way to us and we’re able to preserve them and tell more people about the history of the Terryberry family.”

That delights Dornemann on far away Cape Cod.

“My father loved family history, I guess that’s where I got it from. It’s wonderful to hear it’s being pieced together for a celebration.”

Instagram:@kathyrenwald, krenwald@gmail.com

Instagram:@kathyrenwald, krenwald@gmail.com