Palermo Sons of Temperance No.143 1850-1886
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- Item Type
- This is the membership register of the Sons of Temperance in Palermo, from 1850 to 1886. It is titled, "Book of Constitutions", "List of Charter (Memberships? Subscriptions?)". It is all handwritten with dip or nib pens and inkwells so no attempt at inscribing or at OCR has been done. The cover and about 10 of the possible about 30 double pages are in this record - to see the other pages, click "Select" "Pages" - including a newspaper clipping about the 50th Anniversary celebration of the society. The original book is now in the collection of the Trafalgar Township Historical Society.
The book records, "A List of all the Members Initiated in to the Palermo Division, No. 143 Sons of Temperence." (Yes, "Temperence" not "Temperance".) It is hard to read as writing has been imposed over the original entry, but the next line is, "June 19, 1850, the D.G.M.P Brother Duff opened the Division and installed the following offiers (assisted by Robert Bal?en (perhaps "Balwin?") of Oakville)" and names are then listed, You can view this on the 2nd image in this record. The Jubilee newspaper clipping is on the opposite page.
The Sons of Temperance of North America, Grand Division Ontario was a fraternal and prohibitionist society. As you can see in this book, only men are registered in the early years so other prohibitionist societies existed as well, some of them welcoming or exclusively for women. In the later pages of this book, women's names do appear.
Prior to 1878, various levels of government had jurisdiction over alcohol. But in 1878, the Canada Temperance Act was passed which gave local municipalities the right to hold votes to ban alcohol sales.
In his essay, "Palermo: a Historical Description", Dr. Buck says about area hotels, "Hotels have always occupied a conspicious place in the village's history, as the Dundas Street was the main road from Toronto to Hamilton, from the ealiest days the trail having been blazed through the forests by Governor Simcoe as early as 1808. In 1836 and 1840 two large hotels, one on the west the other on the east corner where built by the late Lawrence and David Hager. Theirs was a very lucrative business in catering to the wants of the public, when the county was almost a wilderness, as well as in slaking the thirst of many in the village and vicinity, who were in the habit of frequenting there. Later other hotels sprang up to meet the requirements of the stage coaching days until the year 1882, when they became a thing of the past and liquor in our quite little village of Palermo came to an end - I hope forever. It was largely through the efforts of the old Palermo Sons of Temperance, Division No. 143, during the fifty-two years of its existance that brought about new social conditions here."
More than one source says that the Palermo Sons of Temperance lodge was the predecessor of the Palermo Public Hall with its many community societal activities.
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- Trafalgar Township Historical Society
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Latitude: 43.43341 Longitude: -79.78293
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- Palermo Sons of Temperance No.143 1850-1886
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Trafalgar Township Historical Society Sponsor: Jeff Knoll, Local & Regional Councillor for Oakville Ward 5 – Town of Oakville/Regional Municipality of Halton