Friday, May 22, 2009

The Tame Moose

Sometimes we will be going through archival material and an image jumps out at me because it is just so odd. Today's image is an excellent example of such an image. This photograph comes from one of Charlotte Perkins scrapbooks which are held by the Annapolis Heritage Society. I have mentioned Charlotte before in this blog. She was a writer and photographer in Annapolis Royal in the early part of the twentieth century. Much of what we know about the town in her era comes from her book "The Romance of Old Annapolis Royal" or from her various photographs.

Charlotte was an excellent photographer. Many of the images in her albums mention prizes that her pictures won. The photograph, taken in 1900, essentially speaks for itself. It is the image of a woman riding a moose. As Charlotte's inscription tells us, it is a "Tame Moose". I have a feeling that this moose is more than tame. I have a feeling that this moose is dead and stuffed. If you look closely at the feet, the grass has grown longer where they were unable to get the mower close enough. This is something I experience frequently as I try to mow around trees at home. There is also something about the posture of the moose. For some reason it seems too rigid to be a living animal.

There is a local story about a stuffed moose who "lived" at the building now known as the Queen Anne Inn in Annapolis Royal. This building was built as a wedding gift for William Ritchie and Fannie Foster. At some point in his youth, their son Norman killed a moose and had it stuffed. Long after the family had sold the house, the stuffed moose remained resident. By 1900, Charlotte Perkins was living at the Hillsdale House which is located almost directly across the road from the Queen Anne Inn. Does this image show her "tame" neighbour?

All for now,
RGS

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