Peterborough Chapter - Dena Doroszenko

  • May 22, 2018
  • 7:00 PM
  • Trent University Room B104, Life Health Sciences/DNA Building

Speaker: Dena Doroszenko
Topic: Archaeology at the Niagara Apothecary

As a professional archaeologist Dena Doroszenko has directed a wide range of public archaeology programs and excavations for the Ontario Heritage Trust. In her presentation she will share some of her recent experiences designing and implementing historical and archaeological projects, including some remarkable experiences excavating and restoring a nineteenth century pharmacy. She describes her presentation as follows:

“In 1964, pharmacist E. W. Field, closed his practice in Niagara-on-the-Lake due to ill health. This pharmacy had been in operation for a total of 156 years by 6 pharmacists, 5

of whom had been apprenticed to their predecessors. Re-opened in 1971 as an authentic restoration of an 1866 pharmacy, the building is owned by the Ontario Heritage Trust and curated by the Ontario College of Pharmacists. Several archaeological investigations have taken place in the rear yard of the apothecary, most recently in 2017 with further work planned in 2018. The excavation of a large feature recovered hundreds of pharmaceutical bottles dating from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. This assemblage allows for discussion on the role of the pharmacist in a small community as well as allowing observations to be made regarding the community’s behaviour and social needs with this service over time particularly in response to disease. The local apothecary was part of an old tradition, that of being a medical advisor and this site has a wealth of historical records and archaeological data to review developments in local health in small town Ontario. In 2017, celebrating Canada and Ontario’s 150th, our project was a public collaborative archaeology project with volunteers from the Niagara Historical Society and Museum and resulting in a very large number of visitors to the site.”

Since 1978, Dena Doroszenko has worked for a series of public and private agencies resulting in her involvement with a wide variety of archaeological and historic sites across the Province of Ontario. Prior experience with professional and avocational archaeological societies, teaching public archaeology programs and directing excavations have provided opportunities to be directly involved in policy development, public education, promotion and advocacy. As the Senior Archaeologist for the Ontario Heritage Trust since 1987, her responsibilities include the design and implementation of historical and archaeological research programs including collections management, focussing on the wide range of provincially significant sites that fall under the purview of the Trust. Her research interests include urban archaeology in Toronto, the archaeology of domestic sites, public archaeology, industrial archaeology, African-Canadian studies and historic material culture across Ontario.

This presentation is part of the Peterborough Chapter’s monthly Public Speakers Series, conducted with the support of the City of Peterborough and the Trent University Archaeological Centre. Members of the public are invited. There is no charge. Light refreshments will be served. For further information contact chapter secretary, Dirk Verhulst, at

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