Tillsonburg Album

A Photographic History
Compiled and written by Matthew Scholtz, retired CEO of the Tillsonburg Public Library

Chapters include:

  • Aerials of Tillsonburg
  • Post Cards of Tillsonburg
  • Saturday Globe Article, 1894
  • Churches of Tillsonburg
  • Early Tillsonburg
  • Businesses of Tillsonburg
  • Events of Tillsonburg
  • Theatre Tillsonburg
  • Downtown of Tillsonburg
  • Library of Tillsonburg
  • Schools of Tillsonburg
  • Early Days of Tobacco in Tillsonburg
  • Moments in Time of Tillsonburg
  • People of Tillsonburg

Update: We are sad to report that on June 19 2023, Matt Scholtz passed away quietly and peacefully surrounded by friends and family.

However, Matt did not leave us without completing his goal of selling all 2,000 copies of the "Tillsonburg Album"! Earlier this year, the last two copies were sold to an eager customer for their parents. It was a long journey from 2013 when the book was first published, but Matt was happy to finally have the space back in his home. :) If you are here looking for a copy, your best bet would be second hand stores around the Tillsonburg and area, or Ebay/CraigsList/etc.

Matt also spent his retirement years doing many additional projects. One of his favourites was repairing old books back to use. Hearing the stories about where the books came from, their sentimental value to their owners, and then restoring the books so they could be used again brought him great pleasure. He was still working on repairs up to a couple of weeks before his passing. You can see some of his work on his dedicated Book Repair website

- Leni, Stephen & Andrew Scholtz

In the media...

What people are saying about Tillsonburg Album...

Hi Matt, I just purchased a copy of your book. It is fantastic, brings back alot of fond memories of growing up in Tillsonburg. Thanks so much for including my Mom, photo of telephone operators, I really appreciate it.

When my husband Peter looked at it, he found it brought back a multitude of memories. I even spotted a picture of Peter, in 1978 in has hardhat and tree climbing spurs, dropping the cable lines while a house was moved from downtown!

I picked up my copy a couple of weeks ago and love it. Now my daughter would like one also. I wondered if I could order one for her.

Hi Matt would it be possible for me to get another copy of your book tomorrow morning? I have a friend I would love to get one for. I can come pick it up if you like!

p.s. i love your book!

Any time that you are down town, I would appreciate it if you could drop the book off for me. I had a chance to scan one briefly and I was impressed. Today, a little girl in Grade 4 told me she had seen my picture 3 times.

I'd love to shake the man's hand. I only lived in Tillsonburg for four years, but it's still the most interesting place I knew for many reasons.

What a wonderful archive of the rich and interesting history of Tillsonburg!

I heard about the photo book you made of Tillsonburg and would love to purchase a copy. Could you let me know how to place an order?

Former resident, now in St John’s Newfoundland

Thoroughly enjoying my copy. Glad to have helped out. Great book, Matt!

Book arrived and is awesome. I have browsed through it but will need to spend more time looking at it more thoroughly. You did an amazing job!

Thanks so much. Mom is going to love it!

The book is lovely! I feel quite pleased and I am sure my sister will as well … You have two more sales!

Just received the book, and pored over it. Congratulations on an interesting, historically important, and very time-consuming project. It's clearly a work of passion and of expertise. Well done.

Paul Knowles

Matt, it's fabulous! Thanks so much - I just sat down with it tonight to have a look … Mom will adore it, and by the index, she knows at least 1/3 of the people mentioned. Well done!

Congratulations on your book. It was much discussed on Facebook a week or two ago, all positive.

About the Author

Author, Matthew Scholtz

Matthew Scholtz was born in Czechoslovakia in 1946, raised for a time in Germany and immigrated with his family to Kitchener, Ontario in April 1951. After graduating from St. Jerome’s High School in Kitchener, he attended the University of Western Ontario, where he attained an Honours B.A. in History and English, followed by a Masters in Library Science.

In August, 1970, he was appointed Chief Librarian of the Tillsonburg Public Library, a position he held until his retirement in September 2010. He founded and became the first chairperson of the Association of Small Public Libraries of Ontario (1980) and served on many area and provincial library committees.

In 1984, he edited and provided photographs for Tillsonburg: A History, 1825-1982, which was co-authored by J.I. Cooper and John Armstrong. A decade later, he wrote Tillsonburg Diary: A Chronological History 1824-1994, based on a monograph by Anna M. Bailey. Twenty years later, in September 2014, he published Tillsonburg Album: A Photographic History

Aside from being Library CEO, he has served as Executive Secretary of the Tillsonburg Chamber of Commerce (1977- 2010), and as a freelance correspondent for the London Free Press (1976 – 1990).

Volunteer activity includes reading literacy training and involvement with Theatre Tillsonburg, on and off stage, as well as administratively as treasurer of the Theatre Board. He is married and continues to make his home in Tillsonburg, where he is trying to catch up on his reading, now that his book has been completed.