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Who is Past Forward Heritage?


Past Forward Heritage Services (now Past Forward Heritage Limited) was formed as the result of the collaboration of Doug Mackey and his son Paul Mackey on a number of local history research projects beginning in 1994. Initially the plan was to produce small pamphlets for local consumption. As our research progressed we uncovered a wealth of original material. We realized that the stories were of wide interest and that previous writers had only scratched the surface. Our first study was of the Nipissing and Nosbonsing Railway (The Booth Track). It was about 80% complete when we began research for a book on the village of Fossmill. After interviews with aging former residents we realized the urgency of completing the research before the stories where lost. Recently as a result of one of the interviews rare film footage of the Fossmill operation came to our attention. 

Many oral history books present the stories of seniors with little historical context and explanation. Traditional history books look at the subject using evidence in documented and archival material losing out on the rich texture and emotional experience to be gleaned from oral histories. We have combined the two approaches capturing the power of people's memories and confirming and enriching them with traditional historical material. As a result we have true stories that have many features of historical fiction such as suspense, character development, descriptive detail capturing the sounds, smells feelings and sights of the past. Illustrations, maps and photographs will also help to recall the experiences of the past. 


    To promote and preserve local, oral and social history.


  • To publish local and social history books and DVDs


ALLAN DOUGLAS MACKEY: Doug is retired after 36 years as a Teacher, Principal and Superintendent. He has experience as a writer and researcher and has broad organizational and program development skills. He has taught log house building and spent two years as the Curator of the Mattawa and District Museum carrying out a variety of heritage projects. His educational qualifications are: B.Sc (Industrial Education), B.A. (Sociology), and three separate Masters Degrees in English, Administration and Special Education. 

Doug is now writing a weekly column called HERITAGE PERSPECTIVES in Community Voices a regional publication of the North Bay Nugget. Check out the HERITAGE PERSPECTIVES web page.

PAUL DOUGLAS MACKEY: Paul studied History and Anthropology at the University of Toronto. He has experience with heritage building restoration, boat restoration and cabinet making. He is an illustrator, photographer and has experience as an Historical Interpreter. Extensive research on a number of projects have been completed and he is skilled on computers and desk top publishing.

Read a transcript of a talk on Oral History Paul gave at the Pembroke cultural heritage conference
See a small selection of his photographs of  Steam Trains and Tall Ships


Past Forward Heritage Limited: 

330 Sumach St. #41, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5A 3K7   Tel. (416)-925-8412


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