Mayor Dilkens and Museum Windsor Seek Photographs and Artifacts Highlighting Walker Legacy and Prohibition Story

Mayor Drew Dilkens and Museum Windsor have launched a public call for important historic photographs and artifacts connected to Hiram Walker, the Walker legacy, Canadian Club, Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd., and all things connected to the history of rum running and Prohibition in our community.

The Mayor was joined by Museum Windsor’s Exhibitions Coordinator Craig Capacchione, with the two making the request from the Hiram Walker Boardroom in the Mayor’s Office suite at Windsor City Hall. The walls and shelves of the room are filled with a collection of Hiram Walker, Canadian Club, J.P. Wiser’s, and other related memorabilia.

Museum Windsor is planning a temporary exhibition titled “Windsor’s Prohibition History” for the summer of 2024. Meanwhile, the City of Windsor is days away from celebrating Hiram Walker’s 206th Birthday Celebration with a two-day festival that includes the unveiling of the commemorative bronze statue of Walker, the grand opening of the new and permanent Coach House Exhibition tracing the history of the Walker family and legacy in Walkerville, a memorial gathering at the graves of Edward and Mary Walker, the Walkerville Art Walk, and a Roaring 20s fundraiser dinner at Willistead Manor.

The Mayor and museum staff came together to leverage the excitement around Windsor’s Walker history for this important public call.

Residents are asked to search basements, attics, storage areas, and family treasure troves for photographs, artifacts, clothing and accessories, and other memorabilia relating to:

  • Windsor’s Prohibition era (1920s to 1930s)
  • Hiram Walker
  • Walker family
  • Canadian Club
  • Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. Distillery / J.P. Wiser’s Distillery
  • Local breweries and distilleries
  • Equipment used in the production of alcohol
  • Rum running
  • Local gangsters (e.g. The Purple Gang)

How to Get Involved: To arrange for a donation appointment, simply contact Museum Windsor at 519-253-1812 by phone or wmuseum@citywindsor.ca by email. Loan of items is also accepted. In the case of a loan, Museum Windsor staff will take down resident information about the items and contact them closer to the exhibition date.

Learn more about the Hiram Walker’s 206th Birthday Celebration.

Visit www.MuseumWindsor.ca to learn more about Museum Windsor.

Quotes:

“I’ve often said that in the city of Windsor, we all know or have someone in our own families who either worked at or is connected to Hiram Walker & Sons, Canadian Club, and to our automotive manufacturers. When we began experiencing the devastation caused by floods and other natural disasters, I could not help but think about the possibility of lost treasures connected to the history that has shaped our community. If folks have items they’re not sure what to do with, where to donate, or even whether or not there’s value in the stories these artifacts have to tell, I’d ask them to come forward as part of this public call. Museum Windsor and its archives is the absolute right place where these pieces of history will be not only safe, but celebrated. This is a chance for everyone to help write Windsor’s story together.”
- Mayor Drew Dilkens

“Museum Windsor’s motto is ‘Telling Our Stories ... Sharing Yours.’ Our sites house permanent, travelling and temporary exhibitions that help tell the history of our city and people. We do this at our core downtown facilities, the Chimczuk Museum and François Baby House, and at satellite locations across the community including the Duff-Bâby House, Willistead Manor, and the Coach House. Other City facilities that help interpret and share our local history but are not under the Museum Windsor umbrella include Mackenzie Hall and the Ojibway Nature Centre. Our online database includes items from several collections, is available for viewing, and is only part of the total archive. We are always working to capture, preserve, and share our history through the artifacts and stories that make it come alive. We need your help to do it.”
- Craig Capacchione, Museum Windsor Exhibitions Coordinator

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