Attics of My Life

I took liberties, borrowing this title…Grateful Dead’s title for a tune on their album, American Beauty.  My brother was listening to Grateful Dead and Gregg Allman (RIP), when I was listening to Three Dog Night and Gordan Lightfoot.

Over the years, I’ve kept some excessively sentimental journal entries, scattered, some in notebooks and some typed up.  I’ve belonged to Brat Newsgroups and followed writing by other children of military fathers.  An excellent novel is based on a very similar life experience during the Cold War: Anne-Marie Macdonald’s Where the Crow Flies.

In The Way the Crow Flies, Ann-Marie MacDonald takes us back to the early 1960’s, a time of optimism infused with the excitement of the space race and overshadowed by the menace of the Cold War–-a world filtered through the imagination of Madeleine McCarthy, a spirited nine-year-old. Unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in his own web of secrets, she at first welcomes her family’s posting to a sleepy air force base in southern Ontario.

The base, however, is home to some intriguing inhabitants, including the unconventional Froehlich family, and the odd Mr. March, whose power over the children is a secret burden that they carry. Then tragedy strikes, and a local murder intersects with global forces, binding the participants for life. As tension in the McCarthy’s household builds, Jack must decide where his loyalty lies, and Madeleine learns about the ambiguity of human morality–a lesson that will become clear only when the quest for the truth, and the killer, is renewed twenty years later.

As Father’s Day approaches and I’m thinking a lot about Dad and my family, but especially Dad, I’m putting together a bit of a reflection.  I am proud of my Dad.  I’m also pleased, in looking back, that I lived what I imagine is an unusual life, with very unique experiences.  As you dwell a bit on your father, you will think the same.  I’ve snapped some photos of bits and pieces and put them in chronological order here.  The writing is sappy and poorly executed for the most part, but, I’m glad that I’ve documented some things.

Sherbrooke, Quebec and my parents met and fell in love.  My parents knew and loved the Fortier family.  We made trips to visit my Gramma and Grampa once we moved away. I remember my Grandmother’s home and her gardens.

Mom and Dad and cool car from old negative

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Summer 2009 100

My brother, John, was born.

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John, Dad and Winston, the dog.  This is either Sherbrooke or Falconbridge; I’m not certain.

Falconbridge, Ontario (Sudbury)

Summer 2009 110

And a year later, I was born.

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RCAF Falconbridge Circa 50s

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RCAF Falconbridge

Ste. Sylvestre, Quebec…50 miles from Quebec City. Brutal winters with banks of snow up to the tops of our windows.  The birth of my brother, Stuart. Playing in a creek bed some distance from the house. Back yard clotheslines.  Mom, alone, a lot.  I watched my mother sew the dress that she is wearing in the photograph below.  I remember it.

1957 Mom and Dad New Years

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RCAF Ste. Sylvestre

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RCAF Ste. Sylvestre

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Family Car

Ste. Sylvestre with Dad January 1960

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Ste. Margaret’s, New Brunswick...some miles from Chatham.

I guess we didn’t have a camera to snap photographs in Ste. Margaret’s in New Brunswick.  I haven’t any archive for this period, apart from a few bits of ephemera. An old fashioned bell rung outside of the school for my kindergarten and grade one year. I remember my coat hook.  I remember faking that I could play the notes on my recorder.   I remember secretly loving Holmer Berthiaume.  I remember clam digging and clam chowder.  I remember neighbourhood fun.  And, my brother, Cliff, was born.  I broke my collar bone.

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Kath St. Margarets

A neighbour-photographer asked my parents if he could grab some photos of me.  This is one.

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Chatham New Brunswick Rec Center 1967

Recreation Center

Chatham New Brunswick Guard Gate 1966

 

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Battle Creek, Michigan

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This Blog Post was a tribute to a friend, Laurel Barclay, a friend I never forgot.

North Bay, Ontario…three different postings and some very special years.  The dock, Chief Commanda, Expo ’67 and a field trip to Montreal, Winter Carnivals, fishing…

Big Fish

Trout Lake, Cabin stays and learning to play Cribbage, Mr. Carlin and the first inkling that I loved art, hiking through the gully, Gus.

Gus Road Tripping

Gus and the Rambler Station Wagon.

North Bay Couch

My sister, Val, was born.

Mom and Val four months North Bay

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Air Shows 

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My brother, Cliff (Hammer), at one of our annual air shows.

 

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Teen Town

Teen Town RCAF North Bay

 

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I have reconnected with many of the people in this photograph over the years.  Social Media has been a blessing for Military ‘Brats’.IMG_6172

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On I went, during our second posting, to Widdifield High School, grade nine.  My friends were lunch time friends, including Kathleen and Susan.  Debbie Harris took the bus with me to Hornell Heights.  We were walking-to-school friends.  I have since, lost her. Later in life, I painted Miss Mitchell, the librarian, and the Library Club, using a photograph in the 1969 Pendulum as a reference.

Patricia Kirton

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I treasured, most, my time in the art room.  I still have some of my sketches from that time. I reconnected with David Carlin some years ago as he had an exhibit in Callandar when I was on one of my Trans Canada migrations.

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Great Falls, Montana for Grade 10, 11 and 12.  Ramona and I have done well to stay in touch all of these years.

5 of us Great Falls

Livin’ it up on Fox Farm Road!

 

CMR Mona

My best friend, CMR, Ramona

The thing about military people is that they DO have attached to them, many group photographs and records.  I will spare you this collection, but for the sake of my family members, I have photographed Dad’s collection and accessed several that he did not have from on-line research.  If ever you want these, please be in touch.

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Dad, you mean the world to me.  I’m grateful for your love.

Feast: An Edible Roadtrip

Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller are the co-creators of a recent and beautiful collection of insights, recipes and images, Feast: An Edible Roadtrip

I missed Mark’s birthday celebration last evening.  Happy birthday, Mark and I’m sorry I wasn’t there to share the brilliant conversations that are so typical of your backyard gatherings and the culinary treats that always seem to surface.

I registered some time ago for a session at the Alexander Calhoun branch of the Calgary Public Library, a book talk with Julie Van Rosendaal.  I was pretty pumped about the experience.  My friend, Pat, and I were very impressed with the beauty of the blooming Mayday Trees that edged the park-like grounds  of the Alexander Calhoun.  We were greeted at the door…a lovely touch.  Immediately, we were offered our choice of tea or coffee and a selection of cookies…one with its origins in Cape Breton and the other Grandma Woodall’s Oatmeal Marmalade Cookies.

I liked the idea that we were invited to share a memory of ‘Canadian’ food that we enjoyed from our childhood.  This brought to mind a dish prepared by my Great Grandmother (Mamie) in Summerside, PEI.  I decided that I would go on a search for that recipe so that I might prepare it.

Julie Van Rosendaal was not able to present…apologies were given…and very quickly, we were introduced to Julie’s replacement for the evening, Gwendolyn Richards, writer of Pucker: A Cookbook for Citrus Lovers.  She was fantastic…very much fun, spontaneous and capable.  A great presentation, interview and conversation ensued.  I am very excited, as a result, to have a whole list of new resources in my repertoire, as well as an interest in exploring recipes from across the country, beginning with a quest for a recipe for Acadian Rauper (my recollected title for the recipe based on family pronunciations), a comforting potato based treat that attendees, last evening, described as Rappie Pie.  (and based on the image on this particular link…it is obvious there are regional distinctions)  For my reader’s information, my Mamie’s recipe was spelled Rapture and pronounced raw-purr.

More on that later…

I enjoyed the fact that the session included places to purchase ingredients locally…ways to incorporate some of these ingredients…and a bit of the background on the FEAST source book.

Here are a few recommended titles and such…

Vegetarian Cooking for all by Deborah Madison

Spilling The Beans: Cooking And Baking With Beans Everyday by Julie Van Rosendaahl

THE FLAVOR BIBLE:
The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity,
Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs

by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
Photography by Barry Salzman

Looneyspoons :Low-Fat Food Made Fun! & Crazy Plates By Janet & Greta Podleski

Whitewater Cooks

Patent and Pantry, a blog by Gwendolyn Richards

A wonderful evening and another successful program.

What foods and recipes connect you with family memories?

On my paternal side, my Gramma Moors always put a huge Blade Roast in the morning and it cooked on very low all day long.  For a treat at the kitchen table, it was a simple matter of dipping white bread into molasses or sprinkling white sugar onto a slice of buttered bread.

My mother, having come from the Arsenault/Gallant lineage, prepared beautiful boiled dinners…whether that was with fish, corned beef or pork hocks.  She also made the most amazing clam chowder.  My daughter, Cayley, just prepared her first pot of clam chowder the other day. ;0)

This morning, while drinking my morning coffee, I fired off an e mail to my Auntie who lives in Quebec.  She makes large batches of our family dish to this day and responded very quickly with the recipe.  I’m going to try it.  I think it’s an important practice to share our family recipes with our children.  I hope that my kids will make this one with me.

Hi, nice to hear from you… yes I make it on a fairly regular basis for Paul, your lady was somewhat right. Yes it is quite a job, but so worth it for us.  As for recipe, it is kind of this and that.  That saying I do have an official recipe from Canadian Living magazine.   It is not what mom did, at least exactly.   For us and for you it depends on how many people you are feeding.  I made a lot of extra so Paul can take it home, he really loves it.   If you want send me your address and I will copy the official one to you too.

So here it goes.  I peel 30 pounds of potatoes
                              I cook about 3-5 pounds , when cooked I mash them.
                              This  is the long part, grate with a machine the rest of the raw ones.
                              Once done, squeeze as much of the starch juice out with your hands as possible 
                              Put in a container that you can easily mix after. Fairly large
                              For the meat we always use pork, I cut a large roast uncooked into small pieces.
                              Understand that I use a roast pork loin, a large one, can’t tell you the weight
                              Also you must use at least 4 cups of onions chopped in small pieces,  I grind them in my
                              Chopper.
                              Once this is all done, mix all ingredients together,  this is when the special touch comes 
                              into play.  Mix and mix and mix again.  Everything must be mixed evenly. 
                              
                              While you are doing this in the oven should be your pans with pork fat, to coat the pans
                              For the grease  like Pam.  I do this in the beginning of everything,  the oven is at 300° until I 
                              finish mixing. 
                              I put everything in the pans, and cook at 275 the first hour, then raise to 325 for at least 
                              another 2-3 hours.
                              Don’t  forget salt and pepper, more salt than pepper because the pepper taste is strong
                              for some reason
If you remember correctly,  this is a mushy kind of meal somewhat like a casserole.   As many say a little bland. Joan’s husband uses creamed corn, Ray uses ketchup,  but we Thompson eat it just as is.
This seems complicated,  but it just about feelings, I wish I could be there to show you, I love to carry this tradition for mom, 
Call me if you need more explanation…. I would be more than happy to help.
Should this be enough, let me know how it goes. By the way, I peel my potatoes the night before, put in cold water until the next day, also I cut my meat, put fat in one bowl,  and meat in another. This is the fat I use for my pans. I have a large black spotted spaghetti pot I use for my potatoes.  Something like what you would use for a corn roast.
Hope this is enough, thanks for wanting to carry on this tradition,  it’s  a good one.
Pat

Wool

Yes.  Here it is again.  Another post about wool.

It can’t be helped.  Through time and research and memory, the smell of the woolen mill is a forever-sensory-experience.  When I DO get around to writing ‘that novel’, captured between the pages somewhere will be the sound of the machines and the smell of the wool…it can’t be helped.  It is in me to share.

My readers have been patient and tolerated my obsession with this process, texture, landscape…you know it it is the landscape of this woman’s heart.

And so, I will keep words to a minimum and simply share that when my cousin, Laura, made a recent trip west, it was perfect that Laura, her brother Peter and I should drive north east to the Custom Woolen Mills, together.  Cousins, in our family, share a special bond and one can not possibly, in a post such as this, capture or contain the sort of laughter and fun that is shared when we get together, even as adults.  It’s pure joy and ridiculousness.

I am forever-grateful to our grandparents who gave us this bond and this relationship with wool and the manufacture of products from wool.  It is pretty special!

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Peter and Laura Dewar, children of Mary Moors and Peter Dewar

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Cousins, Kathleen Moors, Peter Dewar and Laura Lee Dewar

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Post-Mill and we share wine, laughter and lots of Italian food.  I was so grateful to share time with you, Laura and Peter.

We spent an hour or so together, researching and playing upbeat songs off of our phones…so hilarious.  Here’s one.

 

Moors Family Quilt 1978

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Given that I’m a big family historian, it’s strange that my own name appears nowhere on our family quilt, presented to my grandfather and grandmother Moors in 1978.  But then, I think that my brother, Stuart, is also missing…so, that’s life. ;0)

What I dearly love is that my mother’s embroidery…her handwriting…and her wishes appear here.  It’s as though Mom made me a little visit today as I was documenting the quilt.

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I thought that if I photographed each of the squares, the family, as it was shaped in 1978 (because families change…you know it…for all sorts of different reasons), people might want to save a digital photo for their own history.  I think it’s pretty darned special.

I dug through my own personal photographs, taken with an old film camera and found these two references.  I like that my Auntie Eleanor is present in one and that my Auntie Ruth is in the other.

Grampa Moors receiving quilt Auntie Eleanor on far right

Grampa Moors with family quilt Ruth in background

I think that might be my Auntie Mary in the background here, with Laura Lee on her hip…not certain.

My own family was represented by the following squares, lovingly embroidered by Mom.  Dad’s features a big muskie he once caught…

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I hope that my family, after celebrating such a wonderful party this past weekend in Magrath, will enjoy these posts and perhaps tuck a few squares away in their files!  Play list from 1978…just let this Youtube go…

 

 

From the same reunion, my cousin, Danny…then…

Kath's Canon 1979 Family Reunion 006

…and now!

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Angels…

Kath's Canon 1979 Family Reunion 004Kath's Canon 1979 Family Reunion 009

 

 

Oranges and Sunshine

The lights are dazzling on the Christmas tree this morning.  I sip hot coffee and sort through papers and bric-a-brac on the kitchen floor.  I don’t recommend painting walls right before the season’s celebrations.  It’s taking me an endless amount of time settling back in.  Everything, I’m certain, will feel fresh once I’m settled again.

Mornings like this, though, hold their beauty.  I like the nesting experience and I like the solitary moments, hanging with the border collie.  I can sing and sometimes dance, at will.

I decided to play a CD that was sent to me by my sister-friend, Linda Barns, over in London.  Some time ago, she attended an exhibition on my behalf, On Their Own: British Child Migrants at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London.

Some time before Christmas, I sat and cried through the movie, Oranges and Sunshine, a film about the migration of thousands of children from Britain to Australia.  Because I come from a family rooted in this same history, but as it is related to Canadian child immigrants, I feel a huge connection to the content of the movie.

The music I’m listening to as I write is titled The Ballads of Child Migration, songs for Britain’s Child Migrants.  They are beautiful songs written in recognition of this history.  Canadian descendants of British Home Children are continuing to look for similar accountability at every level and to see the events recognized in history classes throughout the provinces.

I try, as much as I can, to be positive when I write or engage social media.  We need, however, to be honest about our history, in order to avoid making similar mistakes again.  There are many atrocities performed by human beings upon other human beings.  This is one of those atrocities.  I suggest that my readers inform themselves on the subject, not for the purpose of blame, but for the purpose of recognition and reconciliation.

I think the movie is accurate in its portrayal of the events.

The music  that Linda has sent me is beautiful in a haunting way.  I love you, for this beautiful gift, Linda.

Kath's Canon, December 30, 2015 Linda's Gift 007Kath's Canon, December 30, 2015 Linda's Gift 006Kath's Canon, December 30, 2015 Linda's Gift 005Kath's Canon, December 30, 2015 Linda's Gift 004

My Great Aunt, Marion Ada Moors

I continue to piece together the sketchy lives of my ancestors and to get a greater vision of who my family was.  Even if I can explore our most recent generations, I will leave to my children, a sense of the strength and fortitude of our family.

As the oldest girl, I think that Marion Ada likely came to Canada early on, with John, although I haven’t had much luck in substantiating that.  She is late to get married, at the age of thirty, but I am very happy that this English lady found her Irish man and headed north to Muskoka.  Anyway, I will begin the construction of ‘what I know’ here.

John and Grace are living at 29 Hatfield Street when Marion Ada is born and baptized on January 21, 1872 at Christ Church in Southwark, Surrey.  John, at this time, is listed as a sawyer.

Marion Ada Baptism January 21 1872 Christ Church Soutwark SurreyPresent day Google Maps takes me to this pub at that particular location, so I imagine that an upstairs room of this building may have been the wee family’s abode.  I’m supposing this, but have no fact.Hatfields StreetI find her living with the family at 42 Princes Street, now Coin Street on the 1881 census.  Now, John is a grocer and owns a little shop.John and Grace Moors 42 Princess StreetHere lies the mystery…what year did Marion Ada first travel to Canada?

I find an A. Moors listed as a male, traveling on the Nestorian with other child ‘labourers’ who all appear to be male.  Is it possible that she ‘passed’ as male to get passage?  She is on no other immigration documents that I can find.  She is sixteen years of age, three years older than John who arrived at the age of 13.  If anyone has any wisdom about this, I’d appreciate the insight.  As I’m pouring over ancestral documents, I discover a ten year old child, Ada Moore, traveling on a ship with hundreds of other children, as young as one year old.  I pour over the lists of names and feel sick to my stomach at this appalling state of history.  I take pause for a moment. over the injustice. One page of six on the Circassian in 1883.

Ten year old Ada Moore is included on this page of child immigrants.  This may not be my own relation...but it amazes me that she was someone's child, on a ship heading from England to Canada to be an indentured servant.

Ten year old Ada Moore is included on this page of child immigrants. This may not be my own relation…but it amazes me that she was someone’s child, on a ship heading from England to Canada to be an indentured servant.

Marion Ada BHCWhile I may never resolve how and when Marion Ada came to Canada, I CAN assume that she came around the time that her brother, three years younger, came, some time around 1889.  I also have not located any documents from Hamilton, Wentworth, describing her work as a domestic, but this was likely her path.  I find her marrying Charles (Chas) Wood in 1901 in Wentworth and later find her on the 1911 Welland District census with her little family, a daughter also listed as Marion A. and a son also named after his father, Charles.

Marion Ada born 1872 No idea Death

1911 Census Welland District, Ontario  Daughter and Son on following page of census.

1911 Census Welland District, Ontario Daughter and Son on following page of census.

They are living with their teenagers in Crystal Beach, Muskoka in 1921.

Marion Ada and Charles Wood Census 1921 Crystal BeachI have no death records for Marion Ada, but the search continues.  Charles Wood Junior is found on various voting records and listed as an assistant in water works and as late as the 1940s, a Superintendent.  it seems that the family settled over the long haul in the resort type location.  On my next drive east, I’m going to stop in and see what I can learn about the Wood family of Crystal Beach.

Crystal Beach 1910s1910 Crystal Beach Post Card

Flossie Macfarland (wife of Joe Haddow) and Marion Ada Moors Wood at Crystal Beach circa 1921.

Flossie Macfarland (wife of Joe Haddow) and Marion Ada Moors Wood at Crystal Beach circa 1921.

Prayer Perfect

I know that in my head at night, I paint pictures.  Sometimes these pictures keep me awake.  My father, given that he has been blessed with the gift of music, recites hymns to himself as a matter of prayer.  Whatever the gift, I believe that it is intended that creative expression be offered back to our Creator.

Dad sang Prayer Perfect in the Moose Jaw Christian music festival a ‘few’ years back. (smiling, as I type this) and now he is thinking about singing it again, at the age of 82, likely in a different key.  I wish I could be sitting in a pew on the day that this might happen!

Robert Pounder would have been the accompanist for Dad in Moose Jaw.

Robert Pounder would have been the accompanist for Dad in Moose Jaw.

Parting Gift Presentation with Mrs. A. Weir, Choral Director

Parting Gift Presentation with Mrs. A. Weir, Choral Director

 

I have archived most of Dad’s sheet music. It only took a minute to locate the piece and  I’ve enjoyed, the past few minutes, learning about the history of the piece.  A poem by James Whitcomb Riley, the piece was later put to music by Ervine J. Stenson, and published by SAM FOX.  Dad’s copy of the score has a copyright date of 1930.  It cost 60 cents at the time.

When James Whitcomb Riley died,  Woodrow Wilson called him “a man who imparted joyful pleasure and a thoughtful view of many things that other men would have missed”.

Title
  • The Prayer Perfect song /​ poem by James Whitcomb Riley ; music by Ervine J. Stenson.
Creator
  • Stenson, Ervine J.
Other Creators
  • Riley, James Whitcomb, 1849-1916.
Published
  • Sydney : Sam Fox, c1916.
Physical Description
  • 1 score ([2] p.) ; 28 cm.
Subjects
Notes
  • For low medium voice.
Language
  • English

While there are other versions, this is The Prayer Perfect written by James Whitcomb Riley and musical arrangement by Ervine J Stenson.

P1150429 P1150430 P1150434 P1150435 P1150437A quick narrative…a memory.  My Dad kept his music in a beautiful old leather satchel and most times, it was kept in the linen cupboard.  When I was a little girl, I remembered one time when Mom’s back was turned, taking out some of my father’s music and colouring pictures on it.  For a very long time, I felt very scared that I had ruined something very special and did not ever make confession of my actions.  Just today, as I went through the music, I found such drawings and they made me smile.

Where are you, Eleanor Witbeck?

Somewhere in our interview, Auntie Eleanor told me that she received names from both of her Grandmothers…Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors and Mable Burrows Elliott. Eleanor Mable, of anyone, brings to mind my own Gramma Moors.  While our time was so short, I have to say that I absolutely loved having Auntie Eleanor all to myself.  It seems that when families get together, they are all about LOUD and CRAZY…so much food…so much laughter and fun.  On Tuesday morning I reveled in having quiet conversation with this dear dear soul.

For a zillion years, Auntie Eleanor and her beloved husband, Uncle Ted, hosted our family reunions.  There was always a campground bustling with fun of every sort, a family program in the afternoon to show off just what an insanely talented family we have, big meals and candy toss.  So many golden memories come from our family reunions.  In the days of being a wee little thing, my most precious recollection is of our Grampa Moors sitting on a chair all by himself…his huge family sitting perfectly quiet in front of him on the grass.  His eyes watered with his smile…he tapped his toe…held both hands on his knees…his racing cap on…looking out upon his family…and sang Froggie Went a Courtin’.  He knew all of the words.

John Moors Hanging With a few of His Crazy Grandkids

John Moors Hanging With a few of His Crazy Grand Children

Auntie Eleanor told me that she didn’t remember much of anything.  Hmmm…funny…as we connected with one another she spilled out all sorts of little narratives.  It was pure magic.  That evening, I slept out at the farm…all alone with Max.  It was funny, but at the same time frightening because it was dark and perfectly silent.  I wanted to go out and buy myself a snack, but I was afraid to leave.  As I write, this sounds ridiculous.  My second cousins, Kecia & Mack and their beautiful baby, Maverick, delivered chips, dip and a can of pop and just hung with me for a while…that was awesome!

When they left, I took photos of the photos on the walls.  I felt surrounded by the spirits of my ancestors…very powerful experience indeed!  Thank you, Auntie Eleanor.  I love you.

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George Elliott and Mabel Burrows Elliott

George Elliott and Mabel Burrows Elliott

My Great Grandfather, John Moors

My Great Grandfather, John Moors

My Great Grandmother, Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors

My Great Grandmother, Mary Eleanor Haddow Moors

This…from my beautiful cousin, Margy…daughter to Auntie Eleanor…a treasure to me in my deepest soul…this free write is something that she wrote ages ago.  I cried when I first read it, but it sort of captures what happens when our family gathers.  While the shape of our family changes over the years as we lose precious members and gain so many new babes, the love remains the same, forever.

Tents, trailers, cars and campers, sleepless nights, babies screaming, pancakes in the morning, soothing. eggs, bacon and parade, duck pond, and the creek, stinky suckers float on by, laura screams, we’re all insane.

Family in one space, generations multiplied by genes of persons past, I don’t wonder anymore, your ears, your lips, your skin.  Aunt Ruth,  always here, feelings, love, connections, Our family made from all that’s good and all that made us strong. move over now, get me cake, this program will be long.

God has made us one, you have my eyes, energies, blood that pulses through our veins, we are the same, different, strong, loving arms embrace, come and sit, you are so beautiful, sit down, spend some time.

pains, children, love, divorce, disease, wisdom, who is who? great aunts and uncles, getting old, sadness seems to flee away by memories of love, hope, hearts and blood flows through our veins, with all the world we stand apart, brought together by our hearts.

how is it that we fit so well? friends are in, so are we, they feel right, everyone will it better, united, open, fresh and new, old ones, young ones, blessing on the food,

dig in, bottomless pots of heaven sent. salads, salads, feed my sheep, in a line we go to graze on carrot cake, barbeque beef, Mom exhausted, wouldn’t have it any different. chinese salad, pasta too. Baked beans, grandpa, chocolate cake, belly ache, fruits and greens, bowls of color, left over food, feast continues far past noon.

Kids with tap shoes, clogs and strings, made up songs they will sing and family grins, French, english, hip hop dance, pride, laughter, sweet, kind, upside down on the table, puppets talking, let’s go on, parts and pieces glued together, flexibition, poetry, babies sit on grandma’s knee, Aunt Jackie holding two or three, there’s jamming in the kitchen

Here’s the show, the drums, the sticks, music played, with energy, and laughter fills sacred air and hence the divine, togetherness, thrill of thrills, here we go, old times, gay little eskimo, a froggy went a courting go. sit still, quiet say the mothers. tradition has it place.

rodeo and competition, candy throw, run and play, peanuts for our uncle bob, coffee on, he drinks the pot. cousins, sisters, aunts and uncles, grammas, grandpas, brothers, hope you make it, distance time, life beginning, life change and happens, who is sick? and who is able? what age are you now,? heart to heart, eye to eye who’s your Father? never mind, I see it in your smile.

Now stand quiet, hold it still, seems the same, just new faces, children, family, other races, permeates, with resounding pleasure. Cecil’s boat, and strong wind, take it home, no fun again. disappointed children.

freedom to be who you are, who’s your partner? who’s the star?, who affords such a car? circles, squares and dirty looks, just be forward, don’t be shy, get another plate, here we feast together, have a smoke behind the barn. I’m sure you’ll find another.

fishing like they have been given, grandpa moors, river banks, lakes and roadside fishin. breeze, smells, don’t stay long, mosquitos, flies and black eyed suzannes, come back just in time for seconds. adults sit in shelter, wait, guarding home, home, always there’s forever.

genes, talents, eyes, hair, lips and disguise, I fit in, so do you. come back and stay awhile, you are a puzzle piece, without you there, I wonder why.  I have your butt and you have mine, Moors they say, what about this nose I carry, it’s a guess, it’s from genetics, blood and cells, make impressions, we are tied with heart of hearts, we are strong, weak and needy, we have life, we have freedom.  Life is good, we’ll meet again if God is willing

John and Florence Moors

John and Florence Moors

Finding Agnes South

It was time to head back to Belleville, Ontario.  I had enjoyed Mr. Carlin’s art exhibit in Callander and a short, but magical visit in North Bay with my sister.

It was interesting that the Alex Dufresne Gallery is housed in the Callander Bay Heritage Museum.  What a fantastic space.  I remembered from my years living in North Bay, what an attaction the idea of the Dionne quintuplets was for the locals.  To see so many of the archives of the dear girls’ childhood on display in the museum felt a little other-worldly.

P1110667 P1110668 P1110669 P1110670Even as a twelve year old, I felt sad for the spectacle of all of this.  Today, multiple births do not demand as much attention as was endured by the Dionne quintuplets.

I decided to stop off in Powassan as I headed south on HW 11, at least long enough to visit and say my prayers over the resting place of Agnes Haddow (my great aunt) and her husband, Elkanah South.

The young woman, Agnes, is pictured here with her family.  My great grandmother, Mary Eleanor Haddow, later married John Moors.  Agnes was her sister.  My grandfather, John Moors, made trips up from Hamilton, along with other family members, to visit Agnes and her family in Powassan.

The Haddow Family Portrait

The Haddow Family Portrait

Young Agnes

Young Agnes

I know that I have distant cousins who still live in the Powassan area because they have made inquiries about my research. I would dearly love to meet them one day when they are ready.  On this particular day, the sky was foreboding and I wondered if it might rain when I pulled up to a tiny gas station to ask directions to old Union Cemetery.  It was a weekend and the town seemed sleepy.  I knew that I wouldn’t find any help at a cemetery office on a Sunday, but got myself turned in the right direction without any hassles.

Union Cemetery in Powassan

Agnes South Union CemeteryWhat had brought Agnes and Elkanah to settle in the area?

The Powassan Story

(The following article was written by L. F. Robertson, a pioneer resident of Powassan and reprinted from the Golden Anniversary Programme)

One of the most valued treasures of the people of any community is their history. From early days men preserved history so that posterity might have a record of their times. The study of history is like looking back along the highway of time and the men and events mentioned therein are as landmarks placed here and there upon that great highway. Unfortunately, however, some of those landmarks were not preserved and a more particular and definite history could have been recorded if the second and third generations had acquired more knowledge from the first generations. However, we, of this generation, have obtained by research certain interesting facts regarding the settlement and development of our Town of Powassan.

Powassan is an Indian name which means a “bend”. The original settlement was at a bend of the South River. Therefore the name is an appropriate one. This location is known today as the Powassan Chute and is the location of the present hydro plant. Here the Village of Powassan began about the year 1880. A sawmill was built and a grist mill followed. Mill employees erected their dwellings in that section.

Town Expanded

In 1886 the railroad was in operation between Gravenhurst and Nipissing Junction. A second settlement was born in the neighborhood of the railroad station. The railroad was first known as the Northern and Pacific Junction Railway. It was later purchased by the Grand Trunk system and afterwards by the Canadian National Railway, which serves Powassan today. The nucleus of the town site comprised lots 15 and 16 in the 12th concession of the Township of Himsworth. Lot 15 was originally taken up as a grant from the crown by Christopher Armstrong. Lot 16 was a grant to William Faulkner Clark. The 15th side road of the Township of Himsworth was the road allowance reserve between the two lots. This road allowance is the King Street of today, which is Powassan’s main thoroughfare. Christopher Armstrong laid out the town lots in sections of a fifth of an acre each. His plan registered as No. 44. William Faulkner Clark planned the lots in his subdivision into lots of one quarter of an acre each. His plans are registered as numbers 43 and 57.

History

Community Spirit

The story of William Faulkner Clark depicts the wonderful community and neighborly spirit of Powassan’s early days. His home was known to everyone for miles and was a happy stopping off place for early settlers who came to Powassan to transact business. Unable to return home the same day, they stayed at Mr. Clark’s home which still stands today adjacent to the fair grounds. Before erecting this building, Mr. Clark occupied a log house opposite the fair grounds at the corner of Clark Street and the road to the chute.

Mr. Clark donated the sites for the school and three churches. The site of the first Presbyterian church was at the corner of the fair grounds where the road curves opposite the Holtforster farm. Later this church was moved to the corner of Clark and Edward streets and is now the Masonic Temple. The Anglican Church was on the site of the present dwelling of Mr. M. Putnam. This church was destroyed by fire in 1936. The Catholic Church was built on the property where the present church stands.

The first school in Powassan was S.S. No. 1, known as Maple Hill School. In 1891 the Powassan school, or S.S. No. 8, was built. This was a one-room building. In 1893 it was converted into a two-room school and in 1901, two more rooms were added. Later there were six rooms, four for public and two for continuation students. In 1929 the new continuation school was built and the original two-room frame part of the public school was abandoned. In 1953 the new addition to the public school was completed, thus providing students with modern-day facilities.

While initially I would assume that Elkanah, and other family members, worked in the lumber and milling industries, I learned that he was a Moulder.  What I’ve learned about my family is that none of them were slouches…on either side…and so, I’m certain that this was hard work.

John Moors and SiblingsAgnes Haddow SouthP1110691 P1110692 P1110693 P1110694Of Agnes, Dick Chandler records…

Agnes Haddow was born on 9th August 1877 at Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, England, the first daughter of John Haddow and Mary High.

At seventeen, she married 34 year old Elkanah South (a Moulder) on 21st of August, 1894.  (A Moulder made molds, used for casting iron, brass etc, also in potteries and probably other industries.)  Elkanah, also known as Alfred, was born on 28th of February 1860 in Maldon, Essex and migrated to Canada in 1874.  He was a Baptist and she a Presbyterian.  They lived in Powassan, Parry Sound, Ontario and had seven children.  I located several of these and said prayers for them in the Union Cemetery as well, but that’s another story.

A niece of Agnes, Edith Emily Haddow McKeown, remembers that Agnes was said to have had Dropsy and that periodically, she had to have fluid removed.  In years gone by, a person might have been said to have dropsy. Today one would be more descriptive and specify the cause. Thus, the person might have edema due to congestive heart failure.

Edema is often more prominent in the lower legs and feet toward the end of the day as a result of pooling of fluid from the upright position usually maintained during the day. Upon awakening from sleeping, people can have swelling around the eyes referred to as periorbital edema.

The Middle English dropesie came through the Old French hydropsie from the Greek hydrops which in turn came from the Greek hydor meaning water.

Other memories of Edith include that Agnes and two of her daughters (probably the oldest two) visited Mary Eleanor in Hamilton.  She remembered that the girls wore long black stockings, perhaps having something to do with their religion.

Powassan StreetThese post card images of Powassan were captured many years ago. Above, King Street (now Main Street) looking southward in the early 1930s. Below, looking northward, some time befor 1914 and the days of the automobile.

The gas station that I visited was on the left about a third of the way up on this photograph.

Return to Hamilton: Paying Respects to my Elliott/Burrows Family

Besides exploring the beautiful architecture and getting a sense for ‘place’ while in Hamilton, I also said my prayers over many of my paternal ancestors.  My Grandmother Florence Elliott’s parents (my great grandparents) have their resting place in the Woodland Cemetery in Hamilton, along with their son John Staunton Elliott and wife.  Caroline May Elliott has her resting place in Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery.  Thanks to my wonderful second cousin, Mike, I was able to share this experience with family.  Related also, but living in St. Catherines, is my second cousin, Barry.

Through the connection with Mike, I have been able to see that we have a shared interest in birding and photography and family history.  Roots are wonderful things!

On the schematic below, my paternal grandmother is marked with the little house symbol.  My great grandparents were Mabel Burrows and George Elliott.  If you see yourself or your relations somewhere on this tree, please be in touch.

Mabel Burrows

My paternal great grandparents: Mabel Burrows and George Elliott

My paternal great grandparents: Mabel Burrows and George Elliott

May our relations rest in peace.

May our relations rest in peace.

John Stanton Elliott resting alongside Francis Edith Ward

John Stanton Elliott resting alongside Francis Edith Ward

John Stanton Elliott and Francis Edith Ward

Great Uncle John Stanton Elliott and second wife, Francis Edith Ward

Great Auntie Caroline May Elliott resting along side her husband, Stanley Gamelin

Great Auntie Caroline May Elliott resting along side her husband, Stanley Gamelin

Caroline May Elliott

Caroline May Elliott

47715-26 Stanley James GAMELIN, 22, truck driver, Canada, Hamilton, s/o James GAMELIN, b. Hamilton & Emma BARRETT, married Caroline May ELLIOTT, 23, machine operator, Canada, Hamilton, d/o George ELLIOTT, b. Hamilton & Mabel BURRIS (should be Burrows), witn: Edward GAMELIN of 120 Kensington Ave & Emily MOREAU of 15 Keith St., 27 July 1926 at Hamilton

Mabel Elliott OntarioCanadaMarriages1801-1928ForStanleyJamesGamelin