Guelph Museums Military Lecture

From Wartime Refuge to Peaceful Hippie Haven
Generations of Youth on Grindstone Island
with Tara Brookfield

From Wartime Refuge to Peaceful Hippie Haven: Generations of Youth on Grindstone Island with Tara Brookfield

This presentation will interrogate 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 1917-1963, 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 WWII. 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.

The lecture premieres in-person at the Civic Museum, and online via the Guelph Museum’s Facebook livestream. The recorded conversation will be available on Facebook, YouTube, and the Museum Everywhere Portal after the event.

To attend the conversation in-person, registration is required. There is no fee. Register on Eventbrite.

Full event details available on the Guelph Museums site HERE.


Headshot of Tarah Brookfield.Tara 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, 2024 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm Guelph Civic Museum + Google Map View Venue Website

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The Guelph Museums Military Lecture series is presented in partnership with Guelph Museums.