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Military Lecture: From Wartime Refuge to Peaceful Hippie Haven: Generations of Youth on Grindstone Island

January 18 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Learn how a private island on Big Rideau Lake, Ontario was presented, experienced, and embodied as a refuge for youth endangered by or alarmed by war. Between 1917 and 1963, the island was the summer home of Admiral Charles Kingsmill and his family. During their tenure, among many things, they hosted British child evacuees during the Second World War. Afterwards, for over a decade, it was home to a Peace Education Institute and hosted programs attended by the children of peace and civil rights activists in which they considered non-violent solutions to Cold War tensions. Drawing on oral histories and archival documents, the chapter compares youth’s experiences confronting real and imaginary experiences of war, while living away from home in the Canadian wilderness.

From Wartime Refuge to Hippie Haven: Generations of Youth on Grindstone Island is presented by Tarah Brookfield.  Preregistration is required to attend in-person. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.  The lecture will premiere both in-person at the Civic Museum, and online via our Facebook livestream. The recorded conversation is available on FacebookYouTube, and our Museum Everywhere Portal. 

Guelph Museums’ Military Lecture series is presented in partnership with the Laurier Centre for the Study of Canada.

Image: Participants in the 1965 Grindstone Experiment gather on the island for a group photograph.

Watch The Recording:

About Tarah Brookfield:

Tarah Brookfield is an Associate Professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in History and Youth and Children’s Studies. Her research focuses on histories of women, childhood, and war and society in modern Canada. She is the author of several articles and book chapters, and two books Cold War Comforts: Canadian Women, Child Safety, and Global Insecurity (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2012) and Our Voices Must Be Heard” Women and the Vote in Ontario (2018). She is currently working on her third book Experiments in Peace: Families, Activists, and State Representatives on Grindstone Island.


January 18
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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