Ontario's Historical Plaques 

Discover Ontario's history as told through its plaques

2004 - Now in our 15th Year - 2019

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"When You and I Were Young, Maggie"

When You and I Were Young, Maggie

Photos by contributor Colin Semple - Posted November, 2009

When You and I Were Young, Maggie

Plaque Location

The City of Hamilton
Inside the Township of Glanbrook building
on Binbrook Road (Road 52)
just east of Fletcher Road (Road 614)

Coordinates: N 43 07.752 W 79 50.257


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Plaque Text

This is the childhood home of Maggie Clark, subject of the famous ballad "When You and I Were Young". Its author, George Washington Johnson (1839-1917), wrote the poem shortly before his marriage to Maggie in 1864. Published in his volume of verse entitled "Maple Leaves", it was set to music as "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" by J.A. Butterfield, in 1866. It is believed that the mill referred to in this ballad was situated about 1.6 km north of here on the bank of Twenty Mile Creek. Johnson was born in Binbrook Township and taught at Glanford school where Maggie was one of his pupils.



Hamilton Plaques

Here are the visitors' comments for this page.

> Posted August 2, 2017
My Aunt and Uncle now own the home and, although they are great people who love and respect the history of it, were having a really hard time with people regularly coming up the driveway and wandering around. Unfortunately, this is why the plaque will not likely be there for the foreseeable future.
Dan Robinson dan.robinson@eaglesflight.com

> Posted April 29, 2017
I have a question. What was the address/location of the home on Nebo where this plaque used to be? A friend of the family named Leora lived there approximately 30 years ago. I have fond memories of playing on her farm. I was too young then to understand then, but I've since wondered, did she have anything to do with the history?
Thanks! Ruth Church ruthchurchrmt@hotmail.com

> Posted March 23, 2013
I have read that apatter verse was written to make it a double song. Is this verse still available? We feature this song in our jazz band repertoire and would like to include it.
Regards, Frank Lowe, frank_lorrainelowe@tiscali.co.uk

> Posted April 17, 2010
I am glad to see the plaque is safe. Maggie Clark is my wife's great-great-aunt. It is time that the Township negotiated with the owner of Maggie's house to re-erect the plaque where it belongs on Nebo Road.
Bob Moore, Guelph, ON

> Posted November 29, 2009
I have a copy of an old recording of this ballad sung by John McCormack. Very beautiful indeed! Interesting to learn there is a Canadian connection.

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