Wetherald was born in 1857 as the sixth child out of an eventual eleven. Although born in Rockwood, Ontario, she spent most of her life in Fenwick (Pelham Township), Ontario, where she died in 1940. Wetherald used her surroundings as her inspiration and focused on nature. She has been coined a nature poet and journalist. Wetherald received her education at both the Friends boarding school in Union Springs, N.Y. and at Pickering College in Pickering, Ontario. After her schooling she wrote numerous articles for the Toronto Globe under the pen name Bel Thistelwaite, derived from her Grandmother’s name. These articles led to a position as Women’s editor of the Globe and later she was part of the Advertiser’s editorial staff in London, Ontario. Wetherald continued writing after she was finished with the papers and published six volumes of poetry between 1895 and 1931. Her work was not only known amongst school children, but also attracted the attention of Earl Grey, Governor-General of Canada in 1907 and Sir Wilfred Laurier, Prime Minster of Canada in 1911. In 1921 she published a book entitled Tree Top Morning, which she dedicated to her daughter Dorothy Rungeling who also became an author. Recently Rungeling published Life and works of Ethelwyn Wetherald 1857-1940 : with a selection of her poems and articles about her mother.

Click here to view the Ethelwyn Wetherald fonds finding aids: https://dr.library.brocku.ca/bitstream/handle/10464/3023/Ethelwyn%20Wetherald%20Letters%20RG%2084.pdf?

Recent Submissions

  • Personal Objects of Ethelwyn Wetherald

    A collection of items belonging to Ethelwyn Wetherald. The items include a purse, mirror, needle/pin keeper, notebook, leather change purse.
  • Scrapbook, 1885-1901

    Wetherald, Agnes Ethelwyn (1885-1901)
    A scrapbook (1885-1901) belonging to Ethelwyn Wetherald. The contents include “The Canadian Bookman” October 1931, “The Challenge” March 1933, “The Canadian” April 1933, articles written by Wetherald on various subjects for “the Globe”, “Women’s world” etc.
  • Poem "Red Cedar" written on red cedar wood

    Wetherald, E.W. (1895-04-05)
    A poem called "Red Cedar" written on a piece of real red cedar wood. In the bottom left corner is written "Mobile, Ala. April 5th 1895" and is initialed in the bottom right "E.W.".
  • Article - "Pelham Farm Nurtured County P..."

    An article cut and photocopied from the Welland Tribune 29 June 1963. The article discusses the life of Ethelwyn Wetherald from childhood to her death in 1940.
  • Photograph - Dorothy Rungeling at Rockwood Academy Historical Plaque

    A photograph at the unveiling of the Rockwood Academy historical plaque. Dorothy and an unknown gentleman are standing on either side of the plaque, Rockwood Academy can be seen in the background.
  • Programme for Unveiling Ceremony of Rockwood Academy Historic Plaque

    A programme for the unveiling of the Rockwood Academy historic plaque. The cover is an illustration of the academy and inside is a brief history of the school with a programme of events. The plaque was erected by the Archaeological Historical and Site Board of Guelph, Ontario.
  • Copy of the Birth Certificate of Sarah Harris

    A copy of the birth certificate for Sarah Harris, daughter of Thomas and Mary Harris of the city of Cork, 9 March 1786. There are witnesses signatures included. This would be a relation of Ethelwyn Wetherald's Mother, Jemima Harris Balls. There are two copies.
  • Photograph - Dorothy Wetherald 1916

    A photograph of Dorothy Wetherald in 1916 (approximately 5 years of age).
  • Photograph - Baby Dorothy with Mary Doane (biological mother)

    circa 1911
    A negative of Dorothy with her biological Mother Mary Doane ca. 1911.
  • Photograph - Baby Dorothy

    circa 1912
    A photograph of baby Dorothy ca. 1912. The reverse of the photograph is written "To Aunt Jennie from Baby Gladys Dorothy" with an X through Gladys. Dorothy was called "Gladys", but Ethelwyn changed her name when she became guardian. There are two copies of this photograph.
  • Photograph - Ethelwyn holding young Dorothy

    A photograph, mostly shadows, of Ethelwyn holding baby Dorothy.
  • Photograph - Rene Wetherald (son of Fred) and Dorothy

    A photograph of Rene Wetherald (son of Fred) and Dorothy (Ethelwyn's daughter).
  • Photograph - Mary Doane, William Wetherald Jr., Herbert Wetherald, Ethelwyn Wetherald and Dorothy

    circa 1914
    A photograph, mostly shadows, of Mary Doane (biological mother of Dorothy), William Wetherald, Herbert Wetherald, Ethelwyn Wetherald, and Dorothy.
  • Photograph - Barry Rungeling

    A photograph of Barry Rungeling, son of Dorothy (Ethelwyn's daughter) and Charles Rungeling.
  • Clipping "The Baby's Picture"

    circa 1912
    A clipping from a newspaper with a picture of baby "Gladys" before her name was changed to Dorothy. There is also a poem called "The Baby's Picture", it reads "Here is Baby Gladys, only partly dressed, And here is the camera man at the door. Run for a pretty frock - yes, bring her best, Ribbons at the shoulder straps and ruffles down before; Laces and embroidery around the petticoat, Little silky stockings and white kid shoes; Azure sash entwining her, with fringing ends afloat, And cushions piled up back of her in half a hundred hues. No, says the picture man, leave her tootsies bare. Woolly shirt and petticoat? Why, they're just the thing! Never mind the comb and brush; life her in her chair, Go and get the dinner-bell-ting-a-ling-a-ling! Now, will someone kindly sneeze - that will make her laugh. There, my little girl, you'll have a splendid photograph. E.W."
  • Birthday Card with Oriole Illustration and Poem

    circa 1925
    A handmade birthday card with an illustration of an oriole. The front reads "Spring your birthday, I carry spring and your birthday to you". Inside is a handwritten calendar for January 1925 and a poem called "The Oriole". The poem reads "It is a pretty Oriole, That builds her hanging nest, Then lays her lovely little eggs, That lie beneath her breast. And when the little ones hatch out, Their hanging bed will swing, And while the mother feeds her young, The father bird will sing. O what a pity it would be, To kill the little birds, Because 't would bring them misery, Too great for any words."
  • Photograph - Ethelwyn Wetherald, circa 1938

    circa 1938
    A photograph of Ethelwyn Wetherald in a floral print dress, over coat and hat. The image was taken circa 1938.
  • Photograph - Ethelwyn Wetherald and Charles Francis Wetherald at "Tall Evergreens"

    A photograph of Ethelwyn Wetherald and her brother Charles Francis Wetherald on the porch of their family home, "Tall Evergreens".
  • Photograph - Unidentified Woman

    A photograph of an unidentified woman in profile position. The photographer is Topley of 104 Sparks St., Ottawa, Ontario.
  • Photograph - Ethelwyn Wetherald seated on porch of "Tall Evergreens"

    circa 1925
    A photograph of Ethelwyn Wetherald seated on a rocking chair on the porch of her home "Tall Evergreens". The reverse of the photograph reads "Ethelwyn Wetherald at Homestead Age 67 Lot 11, Con. 11 - Pelham Twsp."

View more