Bookshelf One
Books and publications published from 2000 - present
available for purchase through the Historical Society

Please note prices are in Canadian dollars.

Belleville in the First World War: Reports from the Intelligencer

Compiled and edited by Laurel Bishop, 2019

Belleville in the First World War coverUsing microfilmed pages from the local newspaper, The Daily Intelligencer, Editor Laurel Bishop tells the story of unsung heroes from the Belleville area during the First World War. This is the story of people of all ages who supported those on the front lines in the fields of Flanders and the plains of Northern France. This is the story of Belleville, written each day, each week, as the First World War progressed. News stories, editorials and commentaries appear as they were written and can be said to tell the story of every small town in Canada, where those at home supported their families and friends in Europe. While researching this book, Laurel Bishop looked through thousands of pages of The Intelligencer to find the fascinating tales that create Belleville’s unique story. It is a fitting tribute to those on the Home Front who gave so selflessly to the war effort.

Price: $30



The Accidental Prime Minister

The Biography of Sir Mackenzie Bowell

Mackenzie Bowell coverBy Betsy Dewar Boyce. Belleville's Mackenzie Bowell didn't want to be prime minister. He was quite happy to be in the Senate and also run his newspaper, the Intelligencer. But when death robbed Canada of two Conservative prime ministers in short order in the 1890s, Bowell was drafted from the Senate by the governor-general to do the job. His biggest challenge was the Manitoba Schools Question. Although he was a high-ranking Orangeman, he forced the Manitoba government to live up to its constitutional obligations to provide an education system for the province's Roman Catholics. Half of his cabinet resigned and he soon lost power. Betsy Dewar Boyce, who died in 2007, wrote this book some years ago and produced it on CD. Paul Kirby of Kirbybooks, Bancroft, has produced it now in traditional print format.

Price: $29.95



flag history coverA Short History of Canada's Flag

How the Maple Leaf Trumped Beavers, Igloos and the Union Jack

By Bill Kennedy, edited by Laurel Bishop. This 16-page booklet was produced as an informational tool by the Hastings County Historical Society to mark the 50th birthday of Canada's Maple Leaf flag. In full colour and with historical photos of the time, the booklet also contains images of some flag designs that didn't make the cut for the final round. The booklets are available at all Society functions for a suggested donation of $2, or $5 through this site. Prices for multiple copies can be negotiated. 16 pages. Paperback. Published 2015

Price:  By donation

Manly Edward MacDonald (1889-1971): Interpreter of Old Ontario

manly macdonald coverBy Charles Beale. Manly MacDonald is sometimes viewed by his admirers as the forgotten member of the Group of Seven era. While the famous group was recording Canada's wilderness on canvas, MacDonald with his paintbrushes recorded Canadian life in small towns and rural areas. He always painted in oils outdoors, en plein air, and his artistic works have been collected in a book by Charles Beale. Born and raised in Napanee, Beale recognized and respected the work of MacDonald, whom he regarded as a local artist with international appeal.  Beale is a graduate of the former communication arts program of Loyalist College and catalogued MacDonald's artwork for the college. 174 pages. Hardcover. Published 2010

Price $75

Billa Flint:  King of Hastings County

billa flint book coverBy Armand P. La Barge. Billa Flint played a huge role in shaping the early history of Hastings County. From his mercantile and industrial holdings in Belleville to his lumber and land dealings in the north, he used his wealth and influence to direct the growth of the county. He was death on booze, and designed a town in which no alcohol could be sold. He even changed the name of York River to Bancroft to honour his mother-in-law. When the country of Canada was created, he was appointed to a seat in the Senate. Published 2015.
Price $18.95

The Best of Boyce

By Gerry Boyce. Publisher Paul Kirby of Kirby Books, Bancroft, has published excerpts from the writings of Gerry Boyce. Known as Mr. History, Boyce has been publishing newspaper articles, journals, pamphlets, booklets and books about Belleville and Hastings County for more than half a century. He is the "go to" guy whenever anyone wants to solve a history mystery in the Belleville area. The Best of Boyce is a "greatest hits" sampling. Among his best known hits were Hutton Hastings, Eldorado, Historic Hastings and, recently, Belleville: A Popular History. Paperback. Published 2014.
Price $19.95

At the Call of King and Country

By Bill Kennedy. This book is a tribute to the men and women of Hastings County who served in the First World War. Some of them returned home, some did not. The stories in the book are of individuals who answered the call from king and country. The persons included herein (there are many more like them from Hastings County) were chosen on the basis of readily available biographical material in combination with the military actions in which they were involved. This material was drawn from a variety of local sources that included the county archives, family records, letters written home by front-line soldiers, Belleville High School magazines, the Belleville armoury, newspaper and magazine articles, publications by local authors, World War I websites, and online at the Canada Great War Project, this last being a soldier-specific site open to the public. Author Bill Kennedy serves on the current Board of Directors of the Hastings County Historical Society. Paperback. Published 2014

Price $20


The Trail of Broken Hearts:  Surveying, building and settling the Hastings Colonization Road

By Paul Kirby. Kirby provides new insight into the surveying, building and settling of the Hastings Road from the Tudor/Madoc township boundary through the settlements of Millbridge, Thanet, Glanmire, Murphy’s Corners, Umfraville, Ormsby, L’Amable, York River and Doyle’s Corners. 180 pages. Paperback. Published 2014




Price $20


Point Anne: History of a Cement Factory Village

By Vern Whalen. Point Anne, now part of Belleville, was a village on the city's eastern outskirts where Whalen grew up. He always wanted to write a book on the history of the village and its cement works. It was company town opened in 1905 by Belleville Portland Cement Company, at a place then known as Ox Point. Nearby, the Lehigh Portland Cement Company opened in 1908. The two eventually became Canada Cement Lafarge. During peak production, about 600 people lived in the village, with their own grocery store, churches, schools, and barbershop. Community amenities and recreational faciltiies were provided by the company, as were the houses. The plant closed in 1973. Paperback.  Published 2013


Price $20




Grace:  A teacher’s life, one-room schools, and a century of change in Ontario

GraceBy Millie Morton. The true story of a teacher’s life in one-room school houses and small communities. During the 20th century, the author's mother "Grace" taught children on slates through to computers. One of the first mothers in her area to work away from home, Grace was also a dedicated community volunteer and poet. In many ways her life was ordinary, yet it was also extraordinary:  a life that lasted 100 years that illustrates Ontario’s history and offers much to ponder. 246 pages. Paperback.  Published 2013



Price $25






Historic Hastings:  Vol. One

Historic Hastings Vol. 1 By Gerald E. Boyce. The definitive history of Hastings County, originally published in 1967, has been expanded with a comprehensive names index and an informative introduction.  Its 375 pages carry the reader through the earliest inhabitants of this region, the European settlement and later development and examines each of the townships in detail.   Hardcover, 2013 edition. 




Price $65


Your Loving Anna:  Letters from the Ontario Frontier

Your Loving AnnaBy Anna Leveridge. Following her husband, in 1883, Anna Maria Leveridge and their children came from Hochering, England to begin a new life in Canada. The reunited family settled on a homestead near Coe Hill, Ontario. For as long as her mother lived, Anna sent letters home describing in detail their everyday pioneering life. Young Loving Anna is her story in her words. 113 pages. Paperback. Reprinted 2013



Price $18





Mary Aylward:  The murder, the arrest, the trial. Her childhood, her children, her execution.

Mary AylwardBy Paul Kirby. Kirby digs into the archives of Ireland, the United States and Canada to trace the lives of Mary and Richard Aylward as they leave the potato famine and prejudice behind, only to meet tragedy in North Hastings, and death on the gallows in 1862 in Belleville. 122 pages. Paperback. Published 2012




Price $18


Heritage Buildings East of the Moira River

Published by Heritage Belleville. The 1991 edition provides an excellent inventory of several hundred buildings of historical and architectural interest in Belleville, east of the Moira River.  The 2012 reprint incorporates revisions collected by Lois Foster and Beth Green during the intervening years as well as some updated photographs by Lindi Pierce. 200 pages.  Paperback. Originally published 1991.  Revised edition published 2012




Price $30



The Remarkable Journey of Maurice Rollins

maurice rollins coverBy Orland French. Maurice Rollins was a self-made entrepreneur who through dint of sheer hard work and determination made his fortune out of a "middlin' education" and a grand opportunity. Born in Tweed, Ontario and raised in Belleville, Rollins turned an unpromising labourer's job of pushing wheelbarrows of cement into a housing empire that produced 10,000 housing units and the Journey's End chain of hotel-motels. Undeterred by a lifetime battle against depression, Rollins found success by exploiting the economic possibilities presented to him. Commissioned by Maurice Rollins, this book was published in 2011 at a price of $39.98. The price reflects Rollins's policy of pricing all his hotel units with a ".98" ending. Proceeds of the book go to mental health organizations dealing with depression. Hardcover.  Published 2011

Price $40.00


Belleville: A Popular History

By Gerry Boyce.  Gerald E. Boyce or "Gerry" is known as "Mr. History" in Belleville and the surrounding Quinte region. He loves telling stories: his recital of dry facts of forgotten names is why he was an exceptional teacher. Years after his retirement, Gerry's students fondly recall the lively hours spent in his high school history classes. He revels in the "not-so-glorious" stories as he recounts the lesser known side of Belleville's history, as well as its noble achievements and proud moments. 311 pages. Hardcover. Published 2008


 Price $35


 Heritage Atlas of Hastings County

By Orland French.  A full-colour, hardcover guide to Hastings County. Beginning with the geology of the county, the book traces the history of Hastings using a profusion of maps, historical photos and contemporary photographs. Published by the County of Hastings. 240 pages. Hardcover. Published 2006




Price $40



Tracing the History of a House

By Mary Jane Throop. Eight pages. Paperback.  Published 2004

Price $2



Glanmore:  National Historic Site of Canada



Compiled by Friends of Glanmore Museum, this book provides descriptions, pictures and historical fact about Glanmore National Historic Site. Built in 1882-1883 by wealthy banker John Philpot Curran Phillips and his wife Harriet Dougall Phillips, this grand house is an outstanding example of Second Empire architecture. The book was made possible by a generous donation by Lois Wishart, a Friend of Glanmore for over 30 years. 48 pages. Paperback.  Published 2003



 Price $12



Dockside Democracy

By C. W. (Bill) Hunt.  Hunt loves to tell stories of scandals and colourful characters, and he is at his best in this story of Belleville's famous and infamous Wharf Street Debating Club. The club, housed in a tired building that drooped over the city's harbour, had a reputation as a waterside treehouse for grown-up boys. No Gurlz Aloud! One night someone, presumably a girl, threw an iron bar through a window. It was mounted on the wall and cherished. Political incorrectness abounds. 198 pages. Billa Flint Publications. Paperback.  Published 2000



Price $10



For additional books and publications available for purchase through the Historical Society, go to:

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Prices and information last updated: November 2019