The Story of Orlando S. Strange and the City of Kingston

Orlando Sampson Strange was born in Kingston, Ontario on June 13th, 1826, before the founding of Kingston’s most famous institutions, such as Queen’s University, Kingston General Hospital, and even before the construction of City Hall.

Orlando S. Strange.
Photo courtesy of Queen’s University Archives

Throughout his lifetime, however, Kingston began to fill itself in, becoming closer to the city we know today, and Strange was an active participant in its life and growth. He trained for two years at Queen’s College (now known as Queen’s University), studied medicine with Dr. James Sampson, and then earned his M.D. at New York University in 1849 before returning home to Kingston to open up what would become a well-respected practice. He was known as a leading physician and surgeon of the city.⁠

Orlando Strange’s Pocket Watch – Museum of Health Care 992029001
Orlando Strange’s Pocket Watch- Museum of Health Care 992029001

Beyond his affiliation with Queen’s University, Strange seemed to have a connection to almost every part of the city, serving as surgeon to Kingston General Hospital in 1854 and 1860 (along with being one of its governors), alderman from 1852-1854, chair of the school board, surgeon to A Battery between 1871 and 1874 (he had to vacate this position because of his politics), and a member of the medical council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario from 1872-1875. ⁠Strange was even Kingston’s mayor in 1859 and 1860!

A Conservative in politics and Presbyterian in religion, Strange’s brother, Maxwell W. Strange, was a Conservative member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1867 to 1871, representing Kingston. Orlando Strange was married on his birthday in 1849 to Ann Emily Maclean, and together they had eight children. He passed away on the 2nd of January, 1906. Today, many of his documents are housed at the Queen’s University Archives, and the Museum of Health Care is home to his silver pocket watch!⁠

To learn about these artifacts and more, visit our online collection catalogue by clicking the button below.

Shaelyn Ryan <br>(Collections Technician/Assistant 2022)
Shaelyn Ryan
(Collections Technician/Assistant 2022)

Shaelyn Ryan is a recent graduate of Queen’s University, having completed her Bachelor’s degree in History in 2021, and is returning to Queen’s in the fall to pursue a Master’s degree in History. Either as a Summer Student or Work-Study Student through Queen’s University, Shaelyn has helped catalogue and research many of the museum’s collection of artefacts as a Collections Technician (since 2018). 

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