Southampton 150th Anniversary calendar image


NEWS RELEASE          For release July 17, 2008

We're celebrating Southampton's incorporation
on Friday, July 25: come to the play

Southampton, Ont., July 17, 2008 -- Back in 1848 when Capt. John Spence and Capt. William Kennedy built a cabin on the beach, little did they know how things would develop. In only ten years the settlement of 130 buildings officially became the "village of Southampton".

Fast-forward 150 years. On Friday, July 25 everyone is welcome to an evening of celebration marking Southampton's incorporation in 1858.

At the heart of the evening is a play at Town Hall especially commissioned for the occasion. In Captain and the Council, playwright Deanna Underwood has taken the actual minutes of 1858 council meetings and recreated the birth of Southampton, as the fledgling village council struggles to bring order to a pioneer settlement. They're a boisterous crowd, not above pulling one another's leg.

In a contrasting scene drawn from contemporary accounts, founder John Spence battles the elements and rescues 15 shipwrecked American sailors off Michigan shores. The audience is encouraged to move back in time with the actors of Performing Arts of Saugeen Shores by dressing in period costume.

The evening starts at the Flag at 6:30 p.m. when Town Crier Neil Menage makes his proclamation and he and piper Michael Smith lead a parade up High Street to Town Hall.

The play starts at 7 p.m., followed by presentation of a historical plaque marking the location of the first village council meeting. There is no admission charge.

The evening concludes with a reception offered by the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, just a short walk away at the museum. Guests will be entertained by the Saugeen First Nation Drummers and Dancers, and guitarist Chris Yenny.

The commemorative plaque will be mounted at the Schendel and Sullivan store on High Street. It will mark the spot where the first village council met. It reads:

Southampton, Ontario
incorporated as a village, July 24, 1858

Here stood the British Exchange Hotel, where
the village council first met, Aug. 26,
1858: James Calder (reeve), James
Conaway, George Jardine, Peter
McGregor, Alexander McNabb;
clerk, John Eastwood.
Presented by the 150th Anniversary Committee, 2008

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For more: Dunc McCallum, 519-797-2043,



  For all news releases, see

 2008 marks 150 years since Southampton was incorporated as a village on July 24, 1858. Celebrations culminate in the 150th Anniversary Weekend, Aug. 14-17, 2008. For more about Southampton's 150th Anniversary, see

  To see all 150th anniversary events, pick up the Events Flyer at the Chamber of Commerce and at various locations around Southampton, or visit

  Ticket prices are at

  The Southampton, Then and Now calendar is available at selected locations, listed at

 See the summary of 150 years of Southampton history (1816 to 1993) at


The Southampton 150th Anniversary Committee is composed of volunteers and is a sub-committee of the Saugeen Shores Chamber of Commerce. As a steering committee, it plans events and works closely with local groups and businesses, which run their own 150th anniversary events along with their regular programming.

Southampton 150th   Southampton 150th Anniversary
Box 1133, Southampton ON N0H 2L0
Enquiries: Brenda Barringer, 519-797-2215,
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