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People and organizations
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Adams, Myrtle Reynolds

  • Person
  • 1889 - 1977

Myrtle Reynolds Adams, teacher, poet and author, was born on August 10, 1889 in Strathroy, Ontario. She graduated from The University of Western Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1910 and received the Governor-General's Academic Medal in her fourth year of studies. She went on to study at Queen's University and received a Bachelor of Education in 1915. While at Queen's she met her husband John Gordon Adams, of Glenville, Ontario. They married on September 29, 1917 in London, Ontario and spent the subsequent years moving around the province before leaving the country and settling in Detroit, Michigan. The Adams' lived in Detroit for twenty two years before returning to London, permanently, in 1951.

It was while in Detroit that Myrtle Reynolds Adams' career as a professional writer began. She was an active member of the local literary scene, serving several years as president of the Detroit Women's Writers Club and twice as the poet laureate of the Michigan State Federation of Women's Clubs. Upon her move to London she became involved with the London Poetry Group and University Women's Club of London.

Her poetry was published both in literary journals and popular serials; including Atlantic, American Weave, Canadian Forum, Canadian Poetry, Dalhousie Review, Fiddlehead, Georgia Review, Good Housekeeping, Lyric, New York Herald Tribune, Saturday Night and others. Ryerson Press published three chapbooks of her poems: Remember Together (1955); Morning on my Street (1958); To Any Spring (1960) and Fiddlehead Poetry Books published, By a Laugh and a Cry (1973). Sauble Calling, a compilation of already published poems, was self published in 1962. It was illustrated by Toronto artist, Vern Tremewen. Reynolds Adams also published articles and short stories in many popular magazines and newspapers, including American Home, Better Homes and Gardens, London Free Press, Maclean's, She, Telegraph Delivery Spirit, Women by Women's Digest, Woman's Day and others.

Myrtle Reynolds Adams passed away on September 17, 1977 at the age of 88.

Huggan, Isabel

  • Person
  • 1943 -

Isabel Huggan (nee Howey) was born in Kitchener, Ontario on September 21, 1943, to Catherine Innis MacLennan and Cecil Ronald Howey. Huggan was one of two children, including a younger sister, Ruth. Shortly before Isabel was born, her father changed the spelling of the family name from Hooey to Howey. After completing her primary and secondary education in Elmira, Ontario, Huggan studied English and Philosophy at the University of Western Ontario, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965. Following graduation, she moved to Toronto where she worked for the Macmillan Publishing Company, leaving after a year to travel Europe. Returning to Canada in 1967, Huggan began teaching English, Creative Writing and Theatre in Ontario High Schools (Oakville, Timmins, Clarkson, and Scarborough).

On December 31, 1970, she married journalist Robert David Huggan. In 1972, they moved to Bellville, Ontario, where she worked as a reporter and photographer for the local newspaper for three years. It was after the birth of her daughter, Abbey, in 1977, that Huggan decided focus on her writing career. By this point, she had already published various poems and short stories in Canadian literary magazines, and her short story "Celia Behind Me" won first prize in a National Film Board contest for women scriptwriters in 1976. Following the success of "Celia Behind Me", Huggan wrote more stories about its main character, Elizabeth Kessler. The Elizabeth Stories, published in 1984 by Oberon Press, chronicled the upbringing of Elizabeth over a ten-year period.

Moving to Ottawa in 1980, Huggan taught for several years at the University of Ottawa and for the Ottawa High School Board until Robert was offered a position in Kenya, which saw them move from Canada in 1987. That position lasted three years and led to postings in France (1990-1993) and the Philippines (1993-1998). The family returned to France in 1998 following the end of Robert's position in the Philippines.

While living abroad, Huggan held positions as editor, writer, and teacher at a variety of organizations; using her skills for writing in a monthly column for the Ottawa Citizen, facilitating writing workshops, and participating in speaking engagements. In 1993, Huggan published her second collection of stories entitled, "You Never Know". However, it was her third collection that caused the most buzz, with "Belonging: Home Away From Home" (2003), a book Huggan describes as a ‘memoir and fiction,’ winning the Charles Taylor Literary Non-Fiction Prize in 2004.

Zavitz Bycraft Family Collection

  • Middlesex Centre Archives
  • Family
  • c1850-1980

The records are a collection of family research, articles, journals, diaries, and photographs from the Zavitz and Bycraft families. These were early Society of Friends families and provide a good overview of the families' relationships and stories. The records were organized by Anna Mary Bycraft Ward who worked on a history of the Bycraft/Zavitz families in Coldstream, Ontario (part of the former Lobo Township). The records were deposited in the archives by Anna's family. The following is from the genealogy and explains some of the records that will be found in this colleciton.