Branching Out 1994

Spring 1994

Grand River Branch 

Donation for Chiefswood

Chiefswood, birthplace of E. Pauline Johnson.

On 7 October, 1993, Glen Bell, Doris Marcellus and Rev. Jim W. Files presented a cheque of three thousand dollars to former elected Chief Wellington Staats (1979-1985).  Staats is Chairman of the Chiefswood Restoration Fund for the restoring of the foundation and roof of the museum. This is the second large donation by Grand River Branch which was also ear-marked to save the historically significant birth home of the Six Nations poetess E. Pauline Johnson.

This recent donation will be matched by government funding.  It is fitting that the Grand River Branch acknowledge by donation the largest group of Loyalists to settle along the Grand River: the Six nations arrived under the leadership of Chief Joseph Brant in 1784.  Mohawk Chief Jacob Johnson (1758-1843) great-grandfather of poetess Pauline Johnson was in the Brant group.

“Chiefswood” was built by the grandson of Jacob Johnson, Chief George Henry Martin Johnson (1819-1884) for his English bride Emily Susannah Howells (1824-1898).  They became the parents of four children; Henry Beverly Johnson, investor; Helen Charlotte Eliza Johnson, business worker and writer; Allan Wawanosh Johnson, teacher; and Emily Pauline Johnson, poetess and writer.  Members of the Johnson family were proud of their Loyalist heritage.

The approximate 140-member-strong Grand River Branch is also involved in other projects including: an information centre at Taquanyah, near Cayuga; a set of books on genealogy for the Simcoe public library; and their own publication of Loyalist Families of Brant County.

Reverend Jim Files presents cheque to Chiefswood Restoration Project chairman, Wellington Staats.

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