Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Golden Post

We don't have a TV at our house. Well, let me amend that statement. We do have a functioning TV which is hooked up to both a DVD and a VCR (we're old school). What we do not have is a TV with an outside feed. There is no satellite or cable signal which comes into our house. For that matter, we do not even pick up fuzzy CBC coverage on the rabbit ears. This did not start out as a lifestyle choice. There was no grand back to the earth type decision that was made to ban television signals from our house. In all honesty, it happened almost by accident. When we moved into our current house in October 2007 we were slow getting our system hooked up. After a week turned into a month, and a month turned into a few months, we realized that we really were not missing the TV. From that point on, we have just lived without it.

Most of the time this lack of reception is not a problem. I have had some awkward conversations about the latest program or commercial but, nothing too upsetting. I do get some strange looks when I tell people we do not have a TV but, yet again, I can deal with it. Occasions where I do miss having a TV would be events like the gold medal hockey game which was played earlier today. As I have with many sporting events, I listened to today's game on the radio. It is not quite the same as watching the game but, there was just as much excitement in our house when Sidney Crosby scored his goal in overtime as there was across the rest of Canada. Best of all, I should be able to carve out a few minutes tomorrow at lunch time to see if I can find a computer feed of some of the highlights. Congratulations to all of the athletes who represented Canada during the past two weeks.

It is a good thing that Canada won the game today because I was thinking that we would need to haul out the rough looking group of hockey bruisers in today's picture for a potential rematch. This image of the St Andrews Boys School team was taken in 1902. Before it closed in 1906, the school was located in the William Ritchie House on St George Street in Annapolis Royal. Today this house would be better known as the Queen Anne Inn.

All for now,

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Did Somebody Forget Something?

A couple of days ago I saw something which made me do a double take. As I was driving up St Anthony Street in Annapolis Royal, I saw a large pine box sitting at the gate to St Louis Roman Catholic Cemetery. This pine box looked for all the world like... well, it looked like a pine box that you would expect to find in a cemetery. There were no markings on the box. Nobody was standing around watching over it. It was just sitting there as quiet as the grave. Even for Annapolis Royal standards this seemed a bit odd to me.

In all honesty, I expect that the box belonged to the hardware store across the road. After a day or so the box disappeared and, since I have not seen any digging in the cemetery, I figure that it was probably collected by its owner. It was probably the packing crate for a bathtub or some other large piece of equipment. With the ground still frozen we do not tend to see many burials whether they be bathtubs or more ephemeral material.

All for now,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1759 "Anaplus Rial" Powder Hown - Part 1

This probably is not the big reveal for our new artifact which I had planned but, tonight has been a busy night and I am quickly moving toward sleepy. On top of that, I am trying diligently to pay attention to the score in the Canada vs Russia hockey game on a computer feed so I may be a bit distracted. Despite sleepiness and distraction, I figured that I should probably write a post about the artifact which has caused such great excitement around the O'Dell House Museum.

So, when Nathan and I opened the box from New Hampshire on Monday morning what we unpacked was this beautifully decorated powder horn from 1759. This may have been the first time this horn was seen in Annapolis Royal in 250 years. When I removed the wrapping I slowly turned the horn looking for the text which I knew was written on it. There it was, scratched onto the length of the horn, the words "Anaplus Rial" or Annapolis Royal. The thought that we had returned a unique piece of provincial history to the place of its creation was a very rewarding one. We have seen so much of our material culture sold or taken to different parts of the world that it is nice to reclaim a piece.

The horn was originally the property of a gentleman named Nathaniel Horten. In most references his name is found as Horton but he did write it as Horten on the horn. At this point, we are still trying to trace much of the story of Horten's life. We have discovered that he was born in Eastham, Massachusetts around 1722. We also know that he married a woman named Eunice Snow whose name also appears on the horn. At this point we do not know why Horten was in Annapolis Royal in 1759 although we assume that he was either attached to the military or fishing. The fact that the horn is decorated with images of ships and a halibut may lend credibility to the idea he was fishing. We have also not yet established a firm date of death for Nathaniel Horten but we do know that Eunice remarried in 1771 so he was probably dead by that time. Since we are actively researching this piece, what we know is developing and changing by the day. We have already developed a family connection between Eunice and the migration of New England Planters to Granville in the 1760s. I will make additional posts as we continue to learn about this extraordinary artifact. This will also give me the opportunity to discuss the bizarre way in which we came to purchase the powder horn in the first place.

All for now,

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

1744 Map of Annapolis Royal

After yesterday's post, the proper thing to do would have been to write about the new artifact I am so excited about. I could have gone on about what a wonderful addition we have made to the collection at the O'Dell House Museum. I could have enthused about how nice it feels to bring a piece of provincial heritage back to Nova Scotia after we have watched so many pieces go down the road. Well, I am moving toward discussing that particular artifact but, I am not quite there yet. I may as well try to draw out the suspense just a little bit longer.

What I am writing about today is the second part of the package which we received from New Hampshire yesterday. As part of the deal to secure our mystery artifact, we agreed to purchase this 1744 map of Port Royal / Annapolis Royal. At any other time, this map would be of great interest. At any other time, I would be trumpeting about how nice it is to add an original edition of this map to our collection. Sadly and undeservedly, it has taken a backseat. I figured that I should give it an opportunity to get some much needed attention.

On its own merit, this is a wonderful map. Printed in French on laid linen rag paper, it is in almost perfect condition considering that it is a 266 year old document. With the exception of a few wrinkles it has been very well cared for. One of the features I like about printed maps is that you can often see a border around the paper from where it overlapped the press. When I see these faint borders I always get the image of a busy, ink stained printer hauling his press down by hand to create the impression. I can then see him holding the damp paper in the air by its corners to see what his print looked like. With a smile he would have set this print aside to dry and inked the press for another impression.

I will also mention that this map was printed at a very interesting time. In 1744, this would have been the map of the capital of Nova Scotia. In the 1740s Annapolis Royal still had a small British population surrounded by larger Acadian and Mi'Kmaq populations. After some initial tensions between the groups after the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht which confirmed the British victory in 1710, relations had been relatively peaceful since the 1720s. In the 1740s this period of peace came to an end with an unsuccessful series of combined French, Acadian and Mi'Kmaq sieges on Fort Anne. After these, sieges the British made the decision to move the capital to a more defensible location and Halifax was founded in 1749. I wonder if the French printer of this map was hoping that it could be used in a newly reacquired French colony of Acadie?

The final thing I will point out about this map is where the anchorage is shown. Today we are accustomed to boats making their way up the Annapolis Basin and tying up at the Government Wharf. In the early nineteenth century the community's primary wharf was the alternately named King's / Queen's Wharf on the waterfront by Fort Anne. If you look at the section of the map I have enlarged, you can see the outcropping in the river where Annapolis Royal is located. If you follow the numbers past the location of the current wharf, you will find an anchor shaped icon in the area known as the French Basin. It is in this location where the French had their anchorage. In many ways this is a more sensible anchorage since it is more protected from the winds which blow up the Annapolis Basin.

All for now,

Monday, February 22, 2010

An Artifact Guessing Game

I had a very good day at work today. It was one of those days which starts out in a direction and ends up someplace entirely different. What caused the change in direction was that our new 18th century artifact arrived at the O'Dell House Museum in today's mail. This is the same artifact which I wrote about trying to get freed from Canadian customs last week. I was impressed with how quickly the package arrived once it had indeed cleared customs. With great excitement, Nathan and I opened the package to reveal an artifact which has probably not seen the light of day in Annapolis Royal in 250 years.

When we purchased this artifact we knew that there was a name on it. On closer inspection today (this was the first time I had seen the artifact in person) I realized that there was a second name on the piece. It was with this second name that my day vastly improved. This name allowed me to quickly develop a much broader history of the artifact. In fact, I actually found a secondary connection between this piece and a family who arrived in Granville as Loyalists. For those of us who enjoy researching the history of the Annapolis Royal region, it is very exciting when you can discover new information. It is even more exciting when that information relates to your new 18th century artifact.

Now, if you have not guessed, I am not going to reveal what the artifact is is this post. Rather than give away what the artifact is, I figured that I would hold out the suspense a bit longer. Rest assured, this is the repatriation of an important Nova Scotia artifact. For those of you who are interested in guessing, I have provided some clues in today's photographs. To my mind they are fairly easy clues but, I know the answer. While I know that some of you already know what the artifact is, I would be interested to see if anyone else can guess.

All for now,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Divining Rod - 1766

We have recently been processing some of the archival documents in the Cronin fonds which was given to the Annapolis Heritage Society last spring. For the non-archivists of the world the term fonds essentially refers to a collection of documents from a single donor. Since the more understandable term collection technically means something different in archives speak, I will use the proper term. There are somewhere in the range of 450 individual documents in this fonds with a majority dating between 1780 and 1830. The documents themselves were created by Dennis and Darby Cronin who came to the Granville shore in the wake of the American Revolution. Anyway, we have had some great fun processing these documents. Anytime you have the opportunity to work with previously unseen material from this period you are bound to learn something. It is an interesting feeling when you think that you may be the only living person to have some of this information in your head. Thankfully, the paper copies are in our archives since I am not sure that my head is always the best repository.

In the last few days one document has caught my interest. On one side is written "Glory to god the Father Be 1766" eleven times. This side of the page almost looks like someone was practicing their writing technique. The other option would be paying penance for some long forgotten sin. Flipping the page, there is a list of "scholars at Dennis Cronin's school near Kingsbridge april monday the 7th 1766". Following this is a list of five students and when they entered the school. After some looking, we believe the Kingsbridge which Dennis Cronin is referring to is the one in the Bronx in New York. I am sure that some New York genealogist would be happy to find this information.

My favorite part of the document appears at the bottom of this page. What appears next are the instructions for making a divining rod. "Hazzle rods is to be broke between the finger and Thum, of the right hand, it is to be one year’s Growth, it is to broke to the East, it is to be broke 9 days after the Change or else at the full moon – and break it in the name of the father and of the son, and of the holy Ghost". What intrigues me the most about these instructions is the mixing of pagan and Christian traditions. Perhaps it is the use of the pagan ritual of creating a divining rod that has led Dennis Cronin to writing his contrition on the other side of the page.

All for now,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Trip to Yarmouth

I took a little bit of a trip today. This morning three of us from the museum piled into the car and headed for Yarmouth. The main purpose of this trip was to get some paperwork at the Canadian customs office figured out. The reason for this tiptoe through the paperwork was that the Annapolis Heritage Society has recently purchased a fairly exciting 18th century artifact. This artifact has been detained at the border. Thanks to a couple of customs officers who got quite excited about what we had purchased, we were able to get the package cleared for entry. Sometime within the next week it should arrive at the O'Dell House Museum. You will note that I have not mentioned what the exciting artifact is. This exciting piece of information about a piece of Annapolis Royal heritage coming home will need to wait for another post.

While we were in Yarmouth, we decided to call on our friends at the Yarmouth County Museum. I have always enjoyed this museum. It is probably the largest community museum in the province and there is little doubt in my mind that they have the best collection storage facility of any museum in Nova Scotia. For the museum nerds among us, a nice collections facility is an exciting thing. One of the reasons I enjoy stopping at the Yarmouth County Museum is that there is always something new to see. In addition to their collections storage, I envy the amount of space they have for mounting displays and showing artifacts. Not many other sites have the space to display a stagecoach inside the building. Our final museum related stop was at the house of YCM's Curator Emeritus Eric Ruff. In the world of Nova Scotia heritage, Eric has been one of the forces of good for a long time. I always enjoy sitting down to a cup of tea (it really was tea this time) with Eric to catch up on things. As a curator, I also enjoy listening to his stories of operating a community museum for 31 years.

Toward the end of the day we took some time to wander the streets of Yarmouth and look at the wonderful collection of heritage buildings. If your taste in houses leans toward late Victorian, you really should take a trip to Yarmouth. This community was at its economic peak in the last decades of the twentieth century. With an impressive amount of shipping, fishing and shipbuilding activity, there was money to construct elaborate houses. Luckily, many of these houses still grace the streets. It is fun to wander around and look at the different examples of gingerbread molding, decorative shingles and other Victorian touches.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was while we were on our way home. One of my travelling companions requested a stop at a service station. When we pulled into the parking lot we were greeted by a flock of ducks. While they are pretty to watch, they were so tame that I assume that they have been living off handouts from the fast food restaurant next door.

All for now,

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Heritage Days 2010 - Part 5

Annapolis Royal's Heritage Days 2010 drew to a close this morning with a funding announcement at the O'Dell House Museum. We were pleased to welcome Greg Kerr, MP for West Nova, to the museum for this announcement. Whatever your personal politics, Greg has been a long-time supporter and friend of our organization. Both Greg and his mother, the late Shirley Kerr, have served in the role of President of the Annapolis Heritage Society (or as it was then known the Historic Restoration Society). While Greg is always a welcome visitor, we are especially happy when we are able to invite him for a funding announcement.

Today, Greg was bringing us news of a $19 200.00 grant for the AHS Genealogy Centre through the New Horizons for Seniors program. The goal of this program is to get seniors, as well as other members of the community, more involved in This much appreciated money will be spent in a number of different ways to try to help local seniors become more involved in genealogy. One of our first initiatives are a number of sessions with local community groups to let them know about the resources in the AHS genealogy centre. These will be followed by two workshops to teach some basic research methods as well as showing participants what types of resources are available. Funds from this grant will also allow the AHS Genealogy Centre to purchase some much needed resources and equipment. These enhancements will improve our ability to serve anyone who comes looking for their Annapolis County roots.

All for now,

Monday, February 15, 2010

Heritage Days 2010 - Part 4

Despite the Olympic games which are currently happening on the other side of the country, I do not think that there was a more jubilant person today than Valerie Davies. Today was the long anticipated launch of Valerie's book The Salt of the Earth. This book is a collection of articles which Valerie has published in the Annapolis Spectator in recent years under the title "Our People". The 50 articles feature the stories of local residents. Most of those featured are seniors who tell stories of our community in their youth. Others tell the tales of what brought them to our community. When assembled in this format you quickly see that, for a small town, we live in an interesting and diverse community.

One of the great strengths of this book is that Valerie has often chosen to write about the unsung members of our community. Many articles have been written about the grand individuals whose lives play out in the public eye. This book ignores those grandees. The Salt of the Earth concentrates on those who make significant contributions to the community while not getting the accolades. Those featured in this book are indeed the salt of the earth.

I really was overjoyed to see the size of the crowd at the book launch today. We had an absolutely packed house at the Treasure Company Coffee House. While this is a testament to the stories which Valerie has written, it is also a a response to her tireless work as a community volunteer. With boundless energy, you can alway rely on Valerie to be a willing and good spirited volunteer. If you are interested, the book is available for sale at the O'Dell House Museum in Annapolis Royal. Congratulations Valerie.

All for now,

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heritage Days 2010 - Part 3

Today was probably the day of this year's heritage days I was looking forward to the most. Our presenter today was Dan Conlin, Curator of Marine Heritage for the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and the author of the recently released Pirates of the Atlantic: Robbery Murder and Mayhem off the Canadian East Coast. Now, anyone who has been reading this blog for a while will know that I am smitten with tales of the age of sail in Nova Scotia. I find tales of piracy particularly interesting since they usually run a fine line between fact and folklore. Much of the folklore was even created by the pirates themselves in an attempt to fearsome to potential prey. It was much easier on the pirate crew if they could convince a ship to surrender based on reputation rather than actual bloodshed.

Using his cutlass as a crude pointer, we were given a background the general roots of piracy. From here we moved to stories of specific pirates and their time in Nova Scotia waters. I am sure that the crowd favorite was the story of a female pirate who came to Annapolis Royal. We were even able to examine some of the colourful history of Oak Island and its potential as a location for pirate loot.

I would like to thank our young pirates who came dressed in costume for this presentation. They added a great deal of colour to our proceedings. Perhaps the greatest testament to Dan is that he had five five year olds in the front row and, with the exception of some minor wiggling, we did not hear a peep out of them.

All for now,

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Heritage Days 2010 - Part 2

Ok, I will call it a lesson learned. While I have frequented the skating rink at the Annapolis Royal Farmer's Market, I have not actually played hockey in a number of years. It has been even longer since I have played boot hockey on ice. But, in the spirit of the Annapolis Royal Family Olympics, I decided to play boot hockey earlier today. Now that I have had the chance to come home and have dinner, I am finding that I ache in places that didn't once ache after playing hockey. I think the move that put things over the top was diving at a loose puck to try to knock it in the net. For the record, I scored the goal but I may have lost the war. The hockey pictures in this post were taken after the game had broken up and a few hardy souls kept on playing.

Despite a few aches at the end of the day the Annapolis Family Olympics seem to have gone over very well. Perhaps the most interesting event was the snow soccer at Fort Anne. Apparently soccer in the snow was not enough of a challenge. This game featured three teams, three nets and three balls. While it looked like a lot of fun for those playing, it was a bit difficult to follow as a spectator. I also have a feeling that a couple of the parents playing in this game may be regretting a few sporting decisions tonight as well.

Lovely Parks Canada medals were awarded for distance sliding, snow sculpture, snow soccer and kicksled races. Annapolis Royal's Receration Director Grant Potter even received a suprise award for his work this year building the Farmers Market rink. A representative from Nova Scotia Health Promotion was in town to give Grant the coveted Hoser Award. I kid you not, they call it the Hoser Award. Only in Canada.

All for now,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Heritage Days 2010 - Part 1

Well the first day of Annapolis Royal's Heritage Days 2010 has come and gone. It was quite an interesting day with no less than four people giving presentations on the history of sports and recreation in our community. The festivities began with Peggy Armstrong giving a lunch time presentation on the 85 year history of the Annapolis Royal Golf Club (originally the Hillsdale Golf Club). As always, Peggy's presentation was well researched and full of humour. I quite enjoyed this presentation since there were a number of elements of our local story which I did not previously know. At the end of the presentation we gave out our first set of Annapolis Olympic medals to the winner of the indoor putting competition.

For the evening events at ArtsPlace, we had three individuals presenting different stories about our sporting heritage. With a background of exotic animal masks made by students at the Annapolis Academy, Alan Melanson first presented a short video taken when the Olympic torch passed through Annapolis Royal late in 2009. Grant Potter, Recreation Director for the Town of Annapolis Royal then took the stage to show archival images which he has been gathering over a number of years. Grant is the gentleman shown in the pictures. Finally Ern Dick presented the 1948 NFB documentary "When All the People Play" which was filmed around Annapolis Royal. All in all, this was a fun walk through elements of our community's history which may not be the parts which are commonly discussed.

After a busy opening day, we still have a few days worth of events to come. For the remainder of events and times for heritage day please check the schedule. By the way, the bottom image is of the sunset over the Annapolis Basin tonight. It was too pretty to leave out.

All for now,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rothsay Masonic Temple - Bridgetown

While the Annapolis Royal region is normally the topic of this blog I do like to mix in a bit of the heritage of our neighbours when the opportunity presents itself. I especially like to do this when I see one of our neighbours doing something noteworthy on the heritage front. So, at the end of last week, I grabbed my camera and made a trip to Bridgetown. Ostensibly, this was a research trip for an article I am planning to write but, it was also a good opportunity to investigate a provincially registered heritage property which I had never taken the opportunity to visit.

I am hoping that the building featured today's post, the Rothsay Masonic Temple, is a heritage feel good story in the making. This proud brick structure was originally built as a Presbyterian church in 1871. it served this purpose until 1921 when the the congregation joined with the Methodists and moved to Gordon Providence United Church. In 1925, the building was purchased by the Rothsay order of the Masonic Lodge and converted to use as a Masonic Hall. One of the first things which was done was to divide the interior into two floors using large steel I beams for support. Recently, the Rothsay Lodge has decided to cease operating. I can imagine that this was a very difficult decision for the remaining members. A deal was struck with the Town of Bridgetown that they would take over the building at a minimal cost (I believe an exchange for taxes owed). Since this time, the Town has actively been looking to find a new owner for this attractive building. Admittedly, it does need some structural as well as cosmetic work but I give full credit to the Masonic Lodge and the Town for taking an active roll in trying to preserve a piece of their heritage. If I am lucky, I many even be able to give a few updates as to how restoration work is going once a new owner is found.

The building itself is an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style. Hallmarks of this style would include the sharply pitched gable roof, the large peaked window and the smaller lancet windows. I really enjoy the playful bits of woodwork which greatly add to the character of the building. The paired brackets which support the truncated steeple give a slight nod to the Italianate style which would have also been popular at the time this structure was built. The fascia board also features an interesting repeated design. These wooden elements add some levity to what is otherwise a visually imposing structure. The brick buttresses with stone caps also add a certain flair to the structure. I believe that this building was literally built with Annapolis County soil as the bricks appear to be locally made.

All for now,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Port Royal Habitation in the Snow

I have made my admiration for the Port Royal Habitation well known in the past. Not only does this site deal with a fascinating piece of North American history but they have some of the best historical interpreters I have had the privilege to meet. Believe me, this is not faint praise. Being a museum nerd of the highest order I have met more than my share of interpreters. Also, having spent at least part of my time as a museum interpreter over the past 15 years, I have developed some very definite ideas of what passes for good interpretation. If you have not had the opportunity to visit this site recently, I really would recommend a trip. I would also recommend taking some time to interact with the very knowledgeable staff.

Now, the images in today's post are not how the vast majority of visitors will ever see the Port Royal Habitation. Since this reconstruction of the 1605 settlement of Pierre duGua Sieur de Monts and Samuel Champlain is open to the public in the summer months, I am sure that most visitors leave with an image of perpetual summer in their minds. I figured that I could offer a few images of how this site looks during the coldest part of the off season. Without a doubt it is a little less welcoming at this time of year. While I did not get to chat with any of the friendly interpreters I still enjoy being able to wander the site and bask in the history.

All for now,

Monday, February 8, 2010

Fannie's Recipes - Part 10

I think that this will be a short post tonight. I had a day bookended with meetings and a bunch of tending to details jammed in the middle so I am probably not at my writerly best this evening. The fact that I have been blindly staring at the screen for the last five minutes would seem to confirm this. At least I am not drooling... much.

What I will offer today is another installment from Fannie O'Dell's handwritten recipe book from the 1880s. These are the actual desserts which were prepared when the O'Dell House was home to a growing family. Today's recipe is a fairly simple cake which Fannie has called "Loaf Cake". Like the other recipes in this collection there are no mixing instructions or directions for how long the cake was to be baked. I have discussed what I believe are the reasons for this lack of detail in an earlier posts. As always, if you do try to bake this cake, please let me know how it turns out.

Loaf Cake

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 pint flour
1 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Today's image is a view of what greeted me upon my return home after this evening's meeting. Believe it or not, twenty minutes of shovelling was a positive thing at the end of the day. The fresh air gave me a bit of a chance to clear my head.

All for now,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Open-up and say... Ouch

One of the ways in which I try to get museum visitors to appreciate the context of history is to present stories which allow them to feel some empathy for the historic personalities we are discussing. I find that if you can present history on a human level that your audience is much more likely to take interest in the subject. Whatever the topic, if you can get someone to associate their life and feelings with the story, you have a much better chance of getting your message across.

Now, there are different ways of bringing museum visitors into a story. For that matter, I suppose that there would be similar ways to bring a blog reader into the story. Today's archival image is an excellent example of one particular way of connecting with an audience (albeit not one which I often choose to use). This image shows the office of Dr. McLaughlin, the dentist in Annapolis Royal at the turn of the twentieth century. Even writing the words "dentist at the turn of the twentieth century" make me start to tense up a little bit. This feeling of tension is the secret of this image. For understandable reasons people do not like pain or the memory of pain. Yet feelings of tension and pain are shared by all humans past and present. This knowledge allows you to draw connections of common experience between your audience and the story.

Imagine the ten year old who has had to wake up early and ride into Annapolis Royal on the back of her parents wagon. A tooth has been bothering her for weeks and she feels a sting every time the wagon hits a bump. They tie the horse outside the Union Bank on St George Street (now the Royal Bank) and climb the stairs to the office on the second floor. Each odd creek and groan of the stairs makes the child that much more apprehensive. After waiting in adjoining room for what seems an eternity she is finally called into the room with the dentist. Looking around the room she sees a fairly pleasant looking man with a moustache standing behind a chair. He says something reassuring to her but the beside him there is a tray filled with odd looking tools. Even worse, on the other side is a foot powered dental drill. At this point she would probably be too nervous to notice the wonderful pressed tin ceilings the room. Suppressing an urge to bolt for the door she settles into the chair and hears "Now this won't hurt a bit".

All for now,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Another Pack of Heritage Hounds

We have just finished digitizing another large archival collection at the O'Dell House Museum. Nathan Sarty, who is working on a contract with us, has done some wonderful work by making our archival collections more accessible for researchers and anyone who is interested in photographic history of our community. I must admit that he has also made my life much easier by providing me with the fodder for many future blog posts. It is much easier to fight back potential writers block when you have a deep reservoir of archival images to draw upon.

The photographs in this post were taken by photographer Frederick Harris of Annapolis Royal. Most of his photographs were taken around the turn of the twentieth century. While I was looking through these images I noticed something in common with the Samuel Weare photography collection which we recently finished scanning. Both of these collections have a smattering of dog images. What I find interesting is that these dogs are not just an element in the background. These dogs either feature prominently or are the subject the image. From my experience, this is not common in archival photography. I must admit that I like the look on the face of the dog who is getting his ear scratched. He is obviously enjoying the experience.

All for now,