Monday, January 11, 2010

A Sled Ride

Despite the fact that I should probably be thinking about going to bed, here I am sitting at the computer. I am sitting here because this was the day of our monthly Annapolis Heritage Society board meeting and it usually takes me a while to disengage my brain after one of these sessions. Since I am normally geared to be as alert as possible (some of you may debate how possible this is) during these meetings, it often takes me a while to put my thoughts aside so I can rest. As I sat here mulling things over, I figured that thinking about nice pastoral archival image may be just the thing to get my head out of the daily operations on a busy heritage society.

What could be nicer on a sunny winter day than hauling out the old sled and heading for the nearest snow covered hill? Since the military moved out in 1854, in Annapolis Royal that hill has usually been one of the earthenwork ramparts at Fort Anne. The feel of the wind in your face and the sound of the snow as it passes under your sled as you race down the hill are two of the most evocative sensations of childhood I can imagine. There is a wonderful feeling which you can achieve on a sled which lies somewhere between total control and wiping snow off of your face. While I sadly did not get the chance to test the limits of the hills at Fort Anne as a child, my five year old has since made sure that I have gained the experience. At this point in my life, my sledding is far closer to the total control end of the spectrum.

Today's image comes from the Samuel Newton Weare collection which we have recently been digitizing at the O'Dell House Museum. Our young tobogganer looks like he is posing in front of the Hillsdale House in Annapolis Royal. For those of you who do not know the property, the Hillsdale House is one of the grand Victorian inns on Upper St. George Street. While there is a slight slope on the front of this property it would not make for a particularly thrilling sled ride. The photograph was taken some time around 1900.

All for now,
RGS

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