|historian Dan Buchanan (photo courtesy C.Stutt)
|photo courtesy Catherine Stutt
Positions on the board have been filled by the usual suspects: The group's chair is Dan Buchanan, known for his genealogy and history website, and countless presentations. Dan is a prime mover in the popular Brighton History Open Houses, along with Dot Connolly and Susan Brose, author of the fine book The History of Brighton Businesses. My friend Florence Chatten, writer of several local history books, most recently the engaging Brighton Township has found the role of Community Advisor to be a good fit. I shared some of this delightful historian's history in the winter issue of County and Quinte Living. And there are two positions still open for community-minded volunteers.
|Dave Cutler, Heritage Advisory Committee (C.Stutt photo)
So it would seem that Hilton Hall (1861) is in good hands. I've uncovered coverage by the worthy local paper Northumberland News dating back to 2009 when a grant was applied for to do some restoration. Looks from the crisp shingles and neat soffits that the work was done.
There is much in the future for stories of the past. Dan is safeguarding the 1859 indenture document for the purchase of the property from Robert Rogers in 1859, against the day when a community archives can receive it. A digital archives project is planned; local folks with documents and photographs pertaining to the township's past will be invited to bring them in for scanning and sharing.
|at one time the Brighton-Seymour gravel road
passed by right outside the hall
I forget if it was David or Dan ( it could easily have been either of these men devoted to local history and community) who said that people move into an area for a sense of community. And community doesn't come from folksy neo-Gothic farmhouse styled subdivisions with front porches. It comes from knowing our shared history - and it lives not just with folks who have several generations in a place, but with newer people also, who replace curiosity with knowledge with dedication and affiliation and love.
Hilton Hall was built in 1861 by local stonemason Joseph Adams. The hall was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1990, and restored in 2010, after several years of neglect.
And in April 2014, it looks like Hilton, and Hilton Hall, and their shared history, are in good hands.