Stories

My Father's Home

My Father's Home

by Mary Hofstetter

1950s

My father, C. H. Douglas Clarke, was a naturalist who studied forestry and wildlife biology at U of T in the 30s and went on to a distinguished career as a researcher, administrator and writer in the field of wildlife management. He always told me that when he first came to U of T as an...

Scary Mummy

Scary Mummy

by Shirley Fowley

1940s

About 1946, when I was 2 years old, my Grandparents were babysitting me in Toronto while my mother was expecting a baby. My Granddad took me to the ROM for the first time. Now, I know current theory holds that children don't remember things earlier than age 3 or 4, But, I assure you, I am an...

An Unexpected Visitor

An Unexpected Visitor

by Ian Montagnes

1960s

[Chief Mineralogist Dr. Vic] Meen was in Teheran when an unexpected visitor appeared at my office door in October 1964. He seemed inconsequential: a short, elderly man in a grey overcoat. I was alone in the room and on the phone with Dr Swinton, who was at home with a cold. Sharon, my secretary,...

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

Theodore A. Heinrich, Director, 1955-1962

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Theodore Heinrich is appointed Director, the first for a single ROM. He has come from New York and is a novelty in Toronto the Good.  A new era begins with a flurry of restructuring. Salaries are studied. When the subway is being built (in ’59), there is restricted access but the stop gets a...

Love at first snap

by Meryl Leslie

1950s

I was asked to attend the ROM by my then, classmate. He asked me to assist him with his photography equipment while shooting at the museum. He was shooting the large dinosaur by the main entrance. After our trip, we began dating and today we have been married for over 50 years. We bring our...

"He's looking at rocks"

"He's looking at rocks"

by Gary Layng

1960s

So my parents took their young son to the ROM for some education and entertainment. Being as I was about 5 at the time, I quickly wore Mom out. She sat on a bench in the rotunda waiting for Dad and me to finish in the gemmology exhibit. Dad comes out - alone - and slumps next to her in exhaustion....

Ruth Home

by Kate Zankowicz

1930s

Ruth M. Home developed the education department at the Royal Ontario Museum from 1928-1945. She was an important figure in the history of the museum, and more broadly, in the history of museum-based education in the province. She developed programming that was geared towards what were then...

Dawn of DMV

Dawn of DMV

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1950s

Museum Volunteers committee is started, soon becoming the Department of Museum Volunteers. Over the years since, it has been a crucial force in fundraising and programming. For a long time, they were predominantly women but times have changed! Watch the video for a capsule history of the...

The Night the Bells Were Silent

The Night the Bells Were Silent

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

This story comes from Elvira Hamilton, who joined the ROM in 1913 and was a staff member for 48 years. " I well remember the night the bells didn't ring throughout the Museum. This was the responsibility of the guard on duty. I don't recall his name but he had a physique that would...

The Beardmore Relics

by ROM ReCollects Editor

1930s

The ROM purchases several artifacts that had been found in what is now Thunder Bay. They were "found" again in Beardmore and caused much speculation about Norse penetration into North America. Today, you can see the sword with other armour on display. The story is well told at...