The Press’ early history is filled with text-heavy pages, as photography was not yet a common practice. Above is a copy of the oldest known edition of The Haldimand Advocate; the number on the paper suggests the first edition was published sometime in February 1868. This December edition showcased a list of people charged, including charges that are still common today such as trespassing or drunk and disorderly, along with charges like vagrancy, sheep killed by dogs, keeping bawdy house, and refusing to work.
By 1902 The Haldimand Advocate had undergone some minor changes to its design at the top of the page, had increased from one to two columns of advertising, and had adapted more graphic headers to separate the different areas of the front page.
The first-ever edition of The Hagersville Press is shown above; it featured a history of the town and an overview of recent sports results. It also showcased “personal items”, a common feature of old newspapers, in which residents submitted personal news such as, “Mr. and Mrs. E. Buckley spent Friday in Hamilton” and “Miss Oakes, of the Public School staff, has returned to town after the summer vacation.
Photos became more common as technology advanced to make photography more accessible. While colour printing was possible, most newspapers continued to print everything in black and white. The above paper from May 1967 showcased a photo of the groundbreaking for a park pavilion as part of the Official Centennial Project. A small note in the top right also mentions that Wilson MacDonald Memorial School Museum will open the following month.
The first ever Haldimand Press as it is known today. Along with announcing the birth of the new paper, this front page also announced the birth of Hagersville’s Becky Kellar, who would go on to win multiple medals with Team Canada in women’s hockey from 1998 to 2010. Since neither of Haldimand’s two local hospitals host a maternity ward today, New Year’s baby announcements are a thing of the past for the county.
The Haldimand Press underwent a significant re-design under previous Publisher Jill Morison, as seen in the difference of these two front pages from 2015 (shown here) to 2016 (shown next).
A copy of the paper from 2016 after the redesign by Jill Morison. Current Co-Publishers Jillian Zynomirski and Kaitlyn Clark have continued to make design updates since taking over in August 2017. What differences can you spot compared to our current front page?
The Haldimand Press as it is known today was born on January 16, 1975. It was the child of two local papers amalgamating – The Haldimand Advocate and The Hagersville Press. The Advocate was started in 1868 by EC Campbell, first printed in the back of Campbell’s Book Store on the corner of Ouse and King streets in Cayuga. The Hagersville Press joined the news world on September 6, 1932, first headed by Publisher DG Mounteer. With over 150 years of history – and the needed change in leadership to cover such a long period – The Haldimand Press has seen its fair share of changes over the years. Below is a sampling of front pages to look at how the paper has adapted with the times.