Use the "Surname Index" to find details for a person.

Go to the "History" section for Dan's History Stories.

Rural Roots

Brighton History Week 2018 is in the works! The theme this year is "Rural Roots" which means we will focus on the history of farming in the Brighton area, from clearing the land to the modern computerized farm.

I need help! Farm history will come from farmers a lot more than from history books. We need to find pictures of farming activity that can help me tell the story. We can also use stories from farmers that demonstrate some aspect of the decisions to be made or difficulties overcome. Just regular work is OK too. How have changes in the marketplace and government and technology impacted the farm? How does the family make decisions about major change? Lots of stuff to learn here.

The Brighton History Week events will be as follows: The Show, called Rural Roots, will be presented twice, first on Saturday evening, February 24, 2018, from 7 to 9 pm, then again on Sunday afternoon, February 25 at 2 pm. The Rural Roots Open House will be March 3rd, 2018 (A WEEK LATER!!! - which is different!) from 10 am to 4 pm. All events at the Brighton Community Centrfe.

If you want to participate in Rural Roots, please drop me an email at Everyone welcome.

Race Against Time: Toronto to Montreal in 1840

This is the title of my next book, being editted as we speak and hopefully available in spring or summer 2018. It is a fascinating glimpse of Upper Canada history in 1840, a time we hear very little about. In February of 1840, William Weller, the Stage Coach King, drove the Governor General from Toronto to Montreal in under 36 hours - setting a land speed record. Why in such a hurry? How could they accomplish such a feat with the roads as bad as they were in those days? Race Against Time takes a seat on the bench of the sleigh as William Weller passes every town and village on the Kingston Road and the King's Highway all the way to Montreal, stopping every 15 miles to change horses. Quickly. Keep an eye out for events related to the release of the book. We are going to have much fun with this.

Brighton Digital Archives

The folks working on the Brighton Digital Archives have been very busy. You will see on the web site that the Latimer Photos are available as well as the Memory Junction videos. Also, some of the barn photos are there. These are the result of a recent project to record the images of fast-disappearing barns in the community. There has been a calendar produced with some of these beautiful pictures and we expect they will be available in numbers for everyone to get one. Check out the web site at...

Guest Speaker

Retirement leaves me more time to do things I love and telling history stories is at the top of the list. I will be the guest speaker at your group's meeting or event. Check out the "Guest Speaker" tab on the left for a full list of the stories I can tell. Give me a call at 613-439-8992 or email to to book a time.

New Stories for 2017! Ask for these any time.

VIMY: The Battle and the Memorial: On November 5, 2017, 2 pm at Hilton Hall Heritage Centre, I will present this talk about the battle of Vimy Ridge and the memorial at Vimy that so many folks visited in April 2017 for the Centennial of the battle. Why did the battle happen and who was involved in the command? What decisions gave the Canadian soldiers at Vimy a better chance of success? How did they prepare for the battle and why? Also, why was the Memorial built at Vimy and how was it built? How has it been remembered by Canadians thorugh the decades? What does it mean to us now?

Proctor Family History: On October 21st I will be giving this talk at the Barn Theatre beside Proctor House Museum for Volunteer Appreciation Day and it will be available for any occassion afterward. Recent research and some documents from Proctor descendants have enhanced our knowledge of the family that built Proctor House, the big house on the hill in Brighton. How did they get started? How did John Edward Proctor get so rich? Lot's of interesting history here.

William Weller - The Stage Coach King! My next book will be about William Weller, the Cobourg stage coach operator from the time before the railways. Here is some fascinating Ontario history on a practical level and from a time in history we hear much too little about. William Weller was the first Mayor of Cobourg and would be serving in that capacity for the third time when he died in 1863. He was an amazing man, very successful with stage coach lines and other businesses. He suffered along with others at the failure of the Cobourg and Peterborough Railway but was always positive and had a fitting quip for every situation. Lots to learn here.

Books re Brighton History

Murder in the Family: The Dr. King Story, by Dan Buchanan, published July 25, 2015 by Dundurn Press, is available in book stores ($24.99), e-book sites and libraries. See

Florence Chatten's book "Brighton Township" is available from Florence at 613-475-1244. Yes, she still has a few left. Get yours soon! It can also be ordered online through the publisher's web site (Look under the "Other" Category.)

Susan Brose has produced three small booklets focussed on the churches, schools and cemeteries of the Brighton area. They are available from Susan Brose.

Susan Brose's book "The History of Brighton Businesses 1816 to 2009" provides lots of interesting info re businesses over the years in Brighton Village and surrounding area. It contains 424 pages with 140 business ads and 576 pictures. It is available in Brighton at End of the Thread and Family Realty on Main St., Hair Sensations on Elizabeth St. or call Susan Brose at 613-475-1028.

"That's Just The Way We Were; Brighton Memories", published by The Municipality of Brighton in 2006 is available at the Brighton Municipal Office.

Bonnie Browne's books about life in Brighton are available from the author. Call Bonnie at 613-475-0915

Email Me. Ask Questions. Send Info.

Send me an email at