Meg Reiner

Belle Vue Conservancy stays busy in 2018


(EDITOR’S NOTE — The River Town Times invited service groups, churches, non-profit organizations and museums to recap their activities and accomplishments. Three organizations responded in time for the Jan. 2 issue and we printed their submissions.)

BVC Ongoing Activity Report

-Monthly installments regarding the residents of Belle Vue authored by Debra Honor, printed in River Town Times

-Research commenced for a play/book “The Medicine Bag” and the Belle Vue Story led by Mary Anne Ada

-Photos by Paul Hertel and coverage by RTT concerning replacement of Belle Vue roof and eaves funded by donations to Amherstburg Community Foundation through the Belle Vue Conservancy

The Belle Vue Conservancy has a new logo, designed and donated by local artist Elio Del Col.

BVC 2018 Monthly Activity Report

-Annual Windsor Military Studies Conference February 9 & 10, 2018 Paul Hertel & Meg Reiner presented a showcase celebrating WW1 Veterans who lived at Belle Vue from 1946-1954

-March 4, 2018 First Annual International Womens’ Day Brunch, partnered with RTT, local leaders and LaSalle Food Bank

-National Trust Launch Pad Coaching session

-First BVC Newsletter distributed to volunteers and donors

-April 13 Rocking for Belle Vue with Rick Rock at the Legion

-May 1 Second Annual WSO Concert at Christ Church

-All That Jazz for Belle Vue – first fundraiser starring Renee King Jackson at Artisan Restaurant June 25

-Property Cleanup deferred due to roof scaffolding on property

-August – Issue Two of BVC Newsletter distributed

-Mandate Organization & Core Activities document endorsed by BVC

-September Birdies & Bogies for Belle Vue, Nine and Dine Golf fundraiser Sutton Golf Course

-October 29 Memphis Jazz and Soul for Belle Vue – second fundraiser starring Renee King Jackson at Artisan Restaurant

-Belle Vue Future Use Report released by Town confirming use as a Conference Centre

-November Christmas decorations and Holiday wishes added to Belle Vue street signage

-Anonymous donation $10,000

-Updated window inventory for donor sponsorships

-December walk through of Belle Vue with local antique expert to inventory saleable items for Belle Vue Restoration fund

An employee from Robertson Restoration works on the roof at Belle Vue in June 2018. (Photo by Paul Hertel/Belle Vue Conservancy)

BVC 2019 Activity  – Tentative Plans

-Ongoing activities from 2018 report continue

-BVC 2019 Monthly Activity Report

-February – Annual Windsor Military Studies Conference TBD

-February – Second Annual Rick Rock Rocking for Belle Vue

-March Second Annual International Womens’ Day Conference

-April 24. 2019 Third Annual WSO Concert at Christ Church

-May- Birdies & Bogies for Belle Vue Nine & Dine event

June –Jazz concert

July – Property Cleanup weekend

August – Birdies & Bogies for Belle Vue Nine & Dine event

September/October Jazz concert


To get involved with the Belle Vue Conservancy or to make a donation towards the restoration of the historic property, please visit


“Birdies and Bogies for Belle Vue” raises money for restoration



By Ron Giofu


Golfers hit the links Friday evening for the second annual “Birdies and Bogies for Belle Vue” fundraiser.

Approximately 41 golfers turned out for the event at Sutton Creek Golf Course, which was scaled back this year from the full tournament the Belle Vue Conservancy held in 2017. This year’s event was a “nine and dine” format” with the meal and prizes awarded after the golfers came back off the course.

“It went really well,” said Meg Reiner, the conservancy member who organized the event. “I think people really liked the nine and dine format, which we tried for the first time this year.”

The switch allowed the conservancy to see which format the golfers prefer.

“Birdies and Bogies for Belle Vue” golf tournament
organizer Meg Reiner (centre) stands with winners Wes Stewart (left) and Walter Stewart (right).

“It sounds like this is what people like,” she said, after Friday night’s event.

A fundraising total wasn’t available immediately after the event but should be finalized in the coming weeks.

The Belle Vue Conservancy has fundraised for the roof replacement and are hopeful to have windows replaced later this year. The exterior face of the building is the next goal, with the hope of havingwork started on that next spring.

Early reviews were positive, with Maria Goggin saying “I loved it” though joking she was part of the “worst team” in the 11-team tournament.

“We were the first ones back, so we were number one,” she joked.

Mallory Reiner, Meg’s sister, was on the same team as Goggin and praised her sister’s efforts.

“This was so much fun,” said Mallory. “The weather was really good. I think doing it in the evening was a really good idea.”

Marsh Historical Collection settles in at new Richmond St. location



By Ron Giofu


After 23 years at its original location, the Marsh Historical Collection has moved and they are enjoying their new digs.

The Marsh Historical Collection is now located in the Heritage Square plaza at 80 Richmond St., around the corner from their former location at 235 Dalhousie St. It is a move that staff is glad is over, but happy that has occurred.

Research assistant Phyllis Chant said that 250 totes plus other archives and furniture were moved by Glen’s Moving and Storage and brought to the new location several weeks ago. Collections co-ordinator Meg Reiner said the public area is set up largely like it was at the former location, with a reference library and a small gift shop.

“We’ve got microfilm ready for people to check out the Echo,” said Reiner, noting they have copies of The Amherstburg Echo from when it opened in 1874 to when it was closed by Sun Media in 2012.

The Marsh Historical Collection has moved into the Heritage Square plaza at 80 Richmond St. where Phyllis Chant (left) and Meg Reiner are among the staff ready to assist.

The Marsh Historical Collection has moved into the Heritage Square plaza at 80 Richmond St. where Phyllis Chant (left) and Meg Reiner are among the staff ready to assist.

There is a separate room, not open to the general public, where they can store their archives.

“We like it back here because we can control the temperature and humidity,” said Reiner, noting they try to keep it no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit in the archives room. “It slows down the deterioration.”

The archives also house land deeds from Amherstburg as well as the former Anderdon and Malden townships.

“Those go back to Crown patents,” said Reiner, adding they range in age from the 1850s to the 1950s.

Large collections of documents, photographs, artifacts and family archives are also housed in the archives. The new location also has a separate workspace to work with the archives.

Reiner said more people have been attending the Marsh Historical Collection since the move, which was completed in mid-June. Genealogy is a one of the main reasons people come to the Marsh Historical Collection, she said, with property research being another.

“Educational groups come in,” added Chant, noting such groups pick a theme and research it.

The collection is being digitized using the program “PastPerfect” but Reiner points out it is not online just yet. She hopes the public will be able to access their collection online within a year.

The move went faster than anticipated, Reiner added.

“We’ll see how it works for us,” said Reiner. “CDP hooked up our computers. They were very helpful.”

Chant stated the Marsh Historical Collection is now more accessible to the public and the new location has given them more exposure to local residents, some of which didn’t know they existed.

Collections co-ordinator Meg Reiner looks through newspaper archives housed at the Marsh Collection.

Collections co-ordinator Meg Reiner looks through newspaper archives housed at the Marsh Historical Collection.

According to Eleanor Warren, the local historian who helped launch the Marsh Historical Collection, she became friends with John Marsh through her employment at Fort Malden National Historic Site. Marsh owned the Echo at the time with sister Helen and amassed a large collection of materials pertaining to local history.

Warren said this led to the creation of the Marsh Collection Society in 1983, a registered non-profit organization with a board of directors and her as administrator.

The original Marsh Historical Collection location opened on Dalhousie St. in 1994, eight years after Helen Marsh died and one year after John died. It doubled in size three years later at that location.

Warren noted their microfilm holdings also include census records for Essex County, assessment rolls, land instruments and local newspapers such as The Amherstburg Echo and River Town Times. They also have published several books and put out a quarterly newsletter.

The Marsh Historical Collection is open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit, e-mail or call 519-736-9191. They can also be found on Facebook by searching “Marsh Historical Collection.”

Belle Vue golf tournament raises over $10,000



By Ron Giofu


Bright, sunny skies greeted the golfers who hit the links in support of restoring the 200-year-old Belle Vue property.

The Belle Vue Conservancy held its first golf tournament, entitled “Bogies and Birdies for Belle Vue,” May 13 at Sutton Creek Golf Club in McGregor. Approximately 90 golfers hit the links for the tournament, including dignitaries. Those dignitaries included Essex MPP Taras Natyshak, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, fire chief Bruce Montone, retired fire chief Al Reaume and Councillor Leo Meloche among others. The Amherstburg Police Service also entered a team.

“It’s pretty good for a first tournament,” said golf tournament organizer and Belle Vue Conservancy member Meg Reiner. “It’s perfect weather. You never know when it’s early May.”

The Belle Vue Conservancy presented a cheque of over $10,000 to the Amherstburg Community Foundation last Thursday afternoon.

The Belle Vue Conservancy presented a cheque of over $10,000 to the Amherstburg Community Foundation last Thursday afternoon.

Now, two weeks later, the money has been counted and total proceeds from the tournament have amounted to $10,080.59.

Michael Prue, the conservancy’s treasurer, credited Reiner for her work in organizing the tournament.

“Meg, her family and her friends put a lot of effort into this cause,” said Prue. “She pulled it off. Meg and her friends are responsible for (the total).”

Reiner said some of the teams dressed in 1920’s style attire, with prizes for the best dressed. She said a large number of businesses helped out by donating door prizes for the tournament.

“The businesses were very supportive,” said Reiner. “We’re doing a silent auction.”

Golfers not only came from the Amherstburg area, Reiner added, as she noted some came in from Windsor as well.

Jacob Kelterborn, Jeff Kelterborn, Brad Nelson and Tom Wigle were the winners of the tournament.

Prue added that the conservancy was thankful for all of the tournament’s sponsors, a major one being Families First Funeral Home. He also thanked Sutton Creek for their efforts in hosting the tournament.

The Belle Vue Conservancy also publicly updated how much it has risen now that the golf tournament proceeds are known. Counting in-kind contributions, the conservancy has raised over $100,000 towards its $1 million goal.

“There’s more to come,” said Prue.

The conservancy also has plans for the fall, but has not released details as of yet.

“We’re planning for a huge event in September,” said Prue. “We’ll leave you in suspense for now.”

Jacob Kelterborn, Jeff Kelterborn, Brad Nelson and Tom Wigle were the winners of the Belle Vue golf tournament.

Jacob Kelterborn, Jeff Kelterborn, Brad Nelson and Tom Wigle were the winners of the Belle Vue golf tournament.

DiCarlo joked at last Thursday afternoon’s cheque presentation that he was likely the most surprised that his team used his shot once during the best ball tournament. He also pointed out that he sank a putt.

On a serious note, the mayor told conservancy members “as a municipality, we are so lucky to have you all. We are so lucky to have people like you.”

Without people like the volunteers in the conservancy, the mayor continued, there would be no hope to restore the Belle Vue house.

“I keep telling people this is going to become a reality and that we’re going to do it,” said DiCarlo.

The cheque was presented by the conservancy to the Amherstburg Community Foundation. The foundation is the charitable arm of the town, with town treasurer Justin Rousseau stating that it is “nice to see people coming together to make the Belle Vue house a reality for everyone.”

Online donations for the restoration of Belle Vue can be made at


New Marsh Collection staff planning exhibit during car show


By Ron Giofu


A pair of new Marsh Collection staff members are planning a car-themed exhibit during the Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show.

Jacklyn Bezaire and Meg Reiner joined the staff at the Marsh Historical Collection with Bezaire being an administrative assistant and Reiner as the archives co-ordinator.

“I went to school for library and information science,” explained Bezaire.

Bezaire’s duties include maintaining the library portion of the Marsh Collection, new publications and indexing. Reiner’s studies included collections management and heritage preservation. Reiner, who was a volunteer at the Marsh Collection prior to being hired, is working to get the collection online.

Both were hired in the spring.

“I like that we are learning a lot about local history,” said Reiner.

Reiner added that when a person comes in with a question, they become investigators and try to seek out answers to history questions. Bezaire added that they are learning new information regularly.

Jacklyn Bezaire and Meg Reiner joined the staff at the Marsh Collection. They are planning a special exhibit for this Sunday during the Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show.

Jacklyn Bezaire and Meg Reiner joined the staff at the Marsh Collection. They are planning a special exhibit for this Sunday during the Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show.

“It’s pretty neat,” she said.

The Amherstburg’s Gone Car Crazy show lasts from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. this Sunday and the exhibit will be open through those hours. Bezaire said Amherstburg had two automakers at one time.

“Both were short-lived,” said Bezaire. “We are going to be doing an exhibit with Amherstburg’s early history with the automobile.”

In addition to Reiner and Bezaire, the Marsh Collection is staffed by Eleanor Warren and Liza Price. Bezaire said they welcome people to come in with their history and genealogical questions.

“We’re here to help,” said Bezaire.

Warren said they are happy to have Bezaire and Reiner now working at the Marsh Historical Collection.

“We’re very fortunate to have these young ladies at the Marsh Collection,” said Warren. “They are going to bring us into the 21st Century.”

The Marsh Collection is located at 235 Dalhousie St., above The Cellar restaurant. Their website is and their phone number is 519-736-9191.