An exciting and shocking story of the roaring '20s in Ontario where rum-runners challenged the storms of Lake Ontario to smuggle booze to the American side. Hear the story of Ben Kerr, the most notorious of the bunch, who ran his last load of booze out of Presqu'ile and ended up crushed by February ice near Colborne. Based on two books by C. W. Hunt, "Whisky and Ice" and "Booze, Boats and Billions."
The History Guy can tell any one of these stories at your event:
Rum-Runners: The Story of
Ben Kerr and Prohibition
Murder In The Family:
The Dr. King Story
Based on my first book, "Murder In The Family; The Dr. King Story", published in 2015, hear about the only person ever executed in Northumberland County and how the author is direclty connected to the murderer. It is a family story, so to speak but is known around Brighton and Cobourg as local lore. Can you imagine 10,000 people attending a hanging in June 1859, at the old Court House in northwest Cobourg? Here is a true-crime story to match any.
The Loss of H.M.S. Speedy
H.M.S. Speedy was lost off Presqu'ile in 1804 and the result had lasting effect in the region. Learn about the raw politics of the time and why the Speedy sailed to begin with - at the insistence of the Lieutenant-Governor, so a murder trial could take place in the distant and brand new village of Newcastle, on Presqu'ile Point. You will be amazed by the evidence that suggests the remains of H.M.S. Speedy have been found and what that might mean for the future. Fascinating Ontario history!
Riding The Rails:
Brighton Railway History
Presented for the first time at Brighton History Open House in February, 2016, Riding The Rails starts with the building of the railways in the 1850s, the expansion and bankruptcies of the later 1800s, touches the emotions of going to war on the train and shows how the railway supported the development of Brighton up to the 1970s when the smaller stations closed. Learn how Ralph and Eugenia Bangay saved the original Grand Truck Railway station from destruction and how Memory Junction Museum began, including how the community supports it with donations of money and labour. This is truly a ride through time.
Dance Hall Daze
Presented for the first time at Brighton History Open House in February, 2015, Dance Hall Daze highlights the history of two beloved venues, The Brighton Opera House and Presqu'ile Pavilion. Both met their end in the 1970s but for many decades these two meeting places defined the cultural activities of the time. From travelling theatrical companies at the Opera House in the 1910s to Rock and Roll at the Pavilion in the 1960s. Many people have emotional recollections of their experiences in these places and, well, it is just so much fun to reminisce.