Advertisement for a game of Donkey Baseball

In July 1950, more than 1,000 people attended an unusual game of baseball in the grounds of Deseronto Public School. Local businessmen and officials took part in a game of Donkey Baseball to raise funds for the Lions Club Memorial Park. The event was reported on in the town’s newspaper of the time, The Deseronto Post on 19 July. (Spoiler: it was not a high-scoring game.)

The Deseronto Post was published for much of the early 1900s and its news stories covered local events in Deseronto and the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory and sometimes further afield. The Community Archives does not have a complete run of this publication, but there are over 200 issues in our holdings, most of them on paper and some on microfilm. The paper copies are fragile and in danger of further disintegration every time they are used. One of the projects we started before the Covid-19 closure of the archives was to scan these newspapers and share them online to help protect the originals. Staff are back at work in the archives and this digitization job is now complete.

Deseronto Post newspapers in archive box

The images for each newspaper page are run through an optical character recognition program and then saved as PDF files. This means that when the files are added to our online catalogue, Discover, the text becomes searchable as part of the catalogue index.

The Deseronto Post was originally founded by a former Home Child, Ernest Stewart Newport. Newport was born in Scotland and arrived in Canada in May 1896 at the age of four on the SS Scotsman, destined for the Marchmont Home in Belleville. In 1901 Newport was living on a farm in South Fredericksburgh as the adopted son of Lois Vanderwater. Lois died in January 1915 and it seems that Newport established the newspaper shortly afterwards. The first issue we hold was published on 14 December 1916.

Ernest Newport died of Spanish Flu on 3 November 1918 at the age of 26 and the newspaper was first taken over by Harry M. Moore, then by Maurice Detlor, R. L. Taylor and, finally, Earl Morrison (later the publisher of The Napanee Beaver and the Picton Gazette). The newspaper was sold to the Napanee Express in 1951 and the last issue was published on 24 January of that year.

The Deseronto Post is a rich resource for the history of Deseronto and the surrounding area for the first half of the twentieth century. You can use the ‘Quick search’ option on the newspaper's catalogue page to find names or topics within the various issues. We hope you enjoy exploring the Post's pages.