The OHS was saddened to learn of the passing of Jean Morrison on September 22, 2014, at the age of 87. For over four decades, Jean played a vital role in the historical community within Thunder Bay and across the province.
Jean was the first woman to receive a Master of Arts degree in History from Lakehead University. Her thesis, “Community in Conflict: A Study of the Working Class in the Canadian Lakehead, 1903–1913,” brought national attention to the history of Northwestern Ontario and remains a seminal work in Canadian Labour History.
Her last book, Labour Pains: Thunder Bay’s Working Class in Canada’s Wheat Boom Era, received recognition with the 2009 OHS J. J. Talman Award. She also won two M. Elizabeth Arthur awards and is the author of the book Northwest Company in Rebellion: Simon McGillivray’s Fort William Notebook, 1815.
Until her retirement in 1990, Jean served as a research historian at Old Fort William (now Fort William Historical Park). Her expertise and impact in that community led the historic park to name its Fur Trade library in her memory.
In addition to Jean’s significant impact within the historical community in Northwestern Ontario and beyond, Thunder Bay Museum Director and Editor of Ontario History Dr. Tory Tronrud remarked that she will be remembered, “most for her sparking personality, her willingness to help, her sense of humour, and her constant professionalism.”