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chin curtain

Chin Curtain

A “chin curtain” is a beard that grows along the jaw line, and does not include neck hair, cheek hair or a mustache. One famous wearer of the Chin Curtain was American President Abraham Lincoln. It was fashionable in Europe and North America from the late-1700s into the mid to late-1800s, its popularity eventually made its way to Russia and Japan.

Benjamin Van Norman – 1850 (Dereham Township)

Born ca. 1800 in New Jersey United States, Benjamin Van Norman arrived in Upper Canada in 1822. He was an operator of the Normandale Iron Foundry in Norfolk County with his father Joseph, father-in-law George Tillson and Hiram Capron. In 1825, Van Norman and Tillson moved to Dereham Township where they built a sawmill and foundry. He served as Dereham Township Clerk in 1840 and sat on the District of Brock Council beginning in 1842. He became the first Warden of Oxford County in 1850. He died on August 21, 1869 and is buried in the Tillsonburg Pioneer Cemetery.

goatee chin strap

Goatee and Chin Strap Combo

Warden Adam Oliver is wearing an interesting combination of facial hair that includes both a goatee with an incorporated chin strap running along his jaw line. It seems that this Warden may have been ahead of his time.

Adam Oliver – 1862 (Ingersoll)

Born in Queens County, New Brunswick on December 11, 1823, Adam Oliver arrived in London, Upper Canada in 1836, where he became a carpenter. He moved to Ingersoll in 1850 and established a construction business and later a lumber yard. He was elected to the first village school board in 1852, and served on the Village Council starting in 1855. He would serve as reeve from 1859 to 1862, and would be elected Warden in 1862. He would serve as the first mayor of Ingersoll from 1865 to 1866. While reeve and later mayor, he also served Ingersoll as magistrate. Mr. Barwick was at one time, captain of the volunteer Ingersoll Infantry Company and a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He was elected to represent Oxford South in the Ontario Legislature, as a Liberal, from 1867 to 1876 and would pass away on October 9, 1882.

verdi beard

The Verdi

The Verdi is a short beard with the mustache disconnected from the rest of the beard. It is named after Giuseppe Verdi, a 19th century Italian opera composer. Warden Goodwin’s beard is shaved lower on the cheeks and chin than was typical for the style, he clearly had his own sense of style for his facial hair.

Gervase Goodwin – 1869 (South Norwich Township)

Born ca. 1837 in England, Gervase Goodwin lived at Concession 10, Lot 15 South Norwich Township. He was first elected to Oxford County Council in 1865, as Deputy Reeve and would serve as Reeve from 1866 to 1870. Mr. Goodwin would be elected as Warden in 1869.


Classic Goatee

The goatee is one of the oldest facial hair styles historically. The style dates to Ancient Greece. In Ancient Greek mythology the god Pan was depicted with goat-like features and donned a goatee. So some Greeks wore partial beards in this style to emanate the god. However, the style did not take off in popularity until the mid-1800s into the early 1900s in Europe and North America, but one again lost popularity. The Western world saw a resurgence of the goatee in the rebellious 1990s but in a somewhat different style with a mustache connected, which some call a “circle beard”.

John Baxter – 1902 (Dereham Township, Town of Tillsonburg)

John Baxter served on County Council from 1899 to 1902 as Councillor for County Council Division No. 4 (Dereham and Tillsonburg). He would be elected Warden in 1902.