The Sarnia Historical Society Board meets monthly.  If you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact us.

Ron RealeSmith
Ron RealeSmithPresident / Secretary Treasurer
Ron RealeSmith enjoys technology a little too much.

Originally born in Felixstowe, England, his family immigrated to Sarnia when he was eight.
Ron proclaims to be “Sarnia’s biggest fan” and provides tours to any and all who visit.

When asked about his interest in history he replied “My Grandfather, Geoff Shepherd was a dear friend of mine. After the passing of my Grandmother, he moved in with us and became like a third parent. I was fascinated with all of the experiences in his life time. As I grew older he would share stories, play music and make European dishes. He spoke of a time in history so foreign to me. We would drink scotch at our local and there was always a new story. I wish I could have recorded it all. After his passing I have been obsessed with history and listening to those who share theirs.”

Emily Potter
Emily PotterVice President
Emily Potter, born and raised in Sarnia, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Honors in Classical Studies and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor. After occasionally teaching with the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, as well as Hillside School in Kettle Point, Emily now enjoys being a mother.
Emily has always wished she could go back in time to appreciate, first-hand, various decades throughout Sarnia’s history – to experience how day-to-day life was conducted, to see old buildings in their glory, to lounge on the beach in front of the Lake Huron Hotel, and to ride the street railway across the growing city.
As an avid reader and history enthusiast, Emily values the opportunity to be a member of the Sarnia Historical Society and looks forward to continuing to live vicariously through research of Sarnia’s rich history.
Phil Egan
Phil EganChief Editor
Phil Egan is a native Sarnian who spent 40 years in the travel and publishing industries.

His great uncle was George LaForge, a direct descendant of Joseph Laforge, one of the first three settlers at The Rapids, as Sarnia was first know. LaForge operated an orchard on the land currently occupied by the post office and library.

A History minor during his time at the University of Windsor, Phil is today a novelist, historian and freelance writer with two sons. He is currently writing his second novel about the Sullivans of Guelph.

Natalie Cataford
Natalie CatafordBoard Member
Natalie Cataford grew up in Sarnia and works as a Recreation Director at a senior living facility. Natalie attended George Brown College where she graduated with a diploma from the Activation Co-ordinator/ Gerontology program followed by graduation from Laurentian University with a Bachelor of Arts, Honors in Gerontology.
With her specialized knowledge in the field of aging, Natalie has a passion for working with older adults and takes great pleasure in the friendships she builds with the residents at her workplace.

Through the years, one of the greatest joys of her job has been listening to the residents’ stories of Sarnia, the changes that have taken place, and the treasured days of their past. Having learned a great deal of Sarnia’s history from the residents’ perspective, Natalie looks forward to learning even more with the Sarnia Historical Society.

Meghan Reale
Meghan RealeBoard Member
Meghan Realesmith was born and raised in Welland, Ontario before moving to London to earn a Bachelor of Medical Sciences in Biochemistry from the University of Western Ontario (UWO). After completing her doctoral studies in Anatomy and Cell Biology through UWO at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, she relocated to Sarnia to become a professor at St. Clair County Community College and start a family with her husband, Ron Realesmith.

Meghan’s love of history (and reading) started very early in life in great part due to her father reading her Pierre Berton books as bedtime stories and taking weekend trips around the Niagara peninsula exploring historic sites and museums. As an adult, she loves traveling and experiencing the cultures of historic locations. Meghan became a member of the society in large part because she is enjoys discovering ‘new’ histories and is eager to learn about the past that has formed the city she has decided to call home.