The City of Kawartha Lakes honoured stewards of community heritage with the Osprey Heritage Awards at City Hall in Lindsay on Thursday (December 7).
Author Sara Walker-Howe, the Manvers Township Historical Society, Paulette Sopoci of Primrose Hill Manor, and Boyd Heritage Museum were all recipients of the awards that celebrate outstanding projects and contributions promoting and preserving community heritage within Kawartha Lakes.
Returning for the first time since before the pandemic, the 2023 Osprey Heritage Awards acknowledged community heritage projects and contributions from 2019 to 2023. The awards include three categories — publication and research, community heritage, and heritage restoration or adaptive reuse — with the city’s municipal heritage committee introducing an inaugural 25-year heritage award this year.
Sara Walker-Howe received the Publication and Research Award for her non-fiction book Historic Citizens of Kawartha Lakes which features 20 unique stories of local women, including the first woman from Kawartha Lakes to become a doctor or the first woman doctor to establish a practice in Lindsay, a woman from Verulam Township who became a spy and ran a trading post in Siberia during the Russian Revolution, and a woman who parachuted out of hot air balloons only to be shot in the back, carrying the bullet next to her lungs until the day she died.
The Manvers Township Historical Society received the Community Heritage Award for 40 years of work honouring the heritage of the former township of Manvers, including opening a research centre at the old post office in Bethany, registering the organization’s buildings as heritage sites, creating a website and Facebook page, expanding display opportunities to the library space in Bethany, and hosting community outreach events including a project to honour local veterans with banners in three villages in the former township.
Paulette Sopoci received the Heritage Restoration/Adaptive Reuse Award for an extensive renovation of Primrose Hill Manor in Janetville, which was built in 1880 and is known locally as the Doctor’s House. Renovations over the past two-and-a-half years included new electrical wiring, a new plumbing stack and hot water tank, a new furnace and two air conditioners, new bathrooms, and an updated kitchen. Sopoci also hired skilled tradesmen to restore the walls and ceilings in each room, with special attention given to the grand hallway and double parlour. Medallions, corbels, and crown mouldings were respected to maintain the heritage look of the home.
Bobcaygeon’s Boyd Heritage Museum received the inaugural Heritage Milestone Award, which acknowledges the dedication of heritage organizations in Kawartha Lakes in 25-year increments. Built in 1889, the building that now houses the Boyd Heritage Museum was home to The Boyd Lumber Co., The Trent Valley Navigation Co., and a private school for the Boyd children. Boyd Heritage Museum has been collecting and preserving artifacts and records about Mossom Boyd, a pioneer who arrived in Upper Canada in 1833 when he was 19 years old and subsequently became the “Lumber King of the Trent Valley,” his businesses, two generations of his family, and the Village of Bobcaygeon and surrounding areas.
The Osprey Heritage Awards will return in 2025, with the awards now following a bi-annual schedule that alternates with the Doors Open initiative of the Ontario Heritage Trust.