A Gift From Kansas

When I returned home after time spent with my father, this past summer, I was determined to interview my paternal aunties about my family.  I had never felt such an urgency to record their stories as I did after losing my Mom, her laughter and her memories.  The thing is…once a person collects the archives, the narratives, the recordings and the photographs, it’s important to sort them into some concrete ‘container’.  They need to take a shape.

This morning, my camera battery is plugged into the wall recharging.  My tape recorder is set to pause at minute 22 of an interview with my Auntie Ruth Rollingson…my ancestral record from Dick Chandler (sent to me by my cousin, Anne) is open to L400 William Thomas Haddow and I am so excited and blessed, I am bursting at the seams!  Auntie Ruth speaks about her memories of my Great Grandmother, Mary Eleanor Haddow’s crocheting and her obsession with good manners and courteous behaviour.  Later, I will publish this recording here, as a part of the provenance of today’s MAGIC!  But for now…I have to write about yesterday’s delivery.

Mary Eleanor Haddow, with her family.  She is center back.

The Haddow Family

The Haddow Family

My grand Uncle, William Thomas Haddow (usually called Tom), married Emma Stafford.  (much more to be said about Emma…as well as her brother Charles, who apparently ended up a well known photographer in Calgary and archived by the Glenbow Museum…but that will have to wait).  Tom and Emma had two little girls; Agnes Mary (Mae) and Edith Emily.  When Edith married Robert McKeown, she received as a gift, a crocheted table cloth from my Great Grandmother Mary Eleanor.

Mary Eleanor Haddow on her wedding day to John Moors

Mary Eleanor Haddow on her wedding day to John Moors

Yesterday, I received a box delivered to my door, from my beautiful cousin Anne who lives in Kansas…you guessed it! Wrapped in tissue, lovingly, and with photographs that provide treasured provenance, the table cloth.  I broke out into tears AND hoots of every sort.  My cousin, Margy, joined me at the feast table as I retold the story for her.  I am so blessed beyond belief.  I ran my fingers over the delicate crochet, knowing that this was made lovingly by a woman I treasure simply through the few stories that remain of her.  I am grateful to you, dear Anne.

This photograph shows the table cloth in use sometime in the 1940s and includes young Anne, with her mother, Edith.

Photograph provided by my cousin, Anne.

Photograph provided by my cousin, Anne.

This next photograph shows Edith’s son, Gerry, enjoying a Christmas feast some time in the mid 1950s. An exceptional photograph…with a very special table cloth.

Photograph provided by my dear cousin, Anne.

Photograph provided by my dear cousin, Anne.

And this morning…warmed by Christmas light, the beautiful gift of a table cloth, to be treasured forever as a special remembrance and reminder of the power of family and of Christmas love.  Your generosity amazes me…I cry as I type these words.

P1140479Now, this treasure has been tucked away, to be kept safe for future generations.


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.


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.

John Addow, Hadash, Hadath, Hadda, Haddack, Haddah, Haddalle, Haddater, Haddath, Haddatte, Haddaw, Hadderth, Haddey, Haddock, Haddon, Haddoth, Haddow, Hadeth, Hadnow and Hadwith

The One-Name Study on the Haddow ancestors includes the origin of the name.  Mr. Dick Chandler has been personally very helpful to me as I have searched for my own Haddow relations and while we haven’t been in touch for some time, he DID inspire me to continue.

Origin of the surname

“The first occurrence of the surname has been traced to the part of England now called Cumbria, at the start of the 19th Century. Aided by DNA analysis, a common ancestor has been identified, from whom all living Had(d)aths are believed to be descended. The surname appears to have developed as a variant of Haddow. Research is currently stuck at 1767 when William Haddow of Pennington (one mile west of Ulverston) married Agnes Boulton of Baycliff (on the coast, three miles south of Ulverston) at Aldingham-in-Furness Parish Church (on the coast, one mile south of Baycliff) on 21st February.

The origin of the name is believed to be the Middle English for ‘half’, plus the Gaelic dabhach, which is a measure of land equivalent to four ploughgates (so the name means ‘two ploughgates’). A plough worked by eight oxen was capable of bringing 104 acres into tillage in a year. A ploughgate was therefore the name that was given to 104 acres of arable land, and a ‘half dabhach’ or ‘hadabhach’ (being half of four ploughgates) is therefore 2 x 104 = 208 acres of land – hence the title of the Had(d)ath Family History book.”

It is a wonderful thing to recently have some of the pieces to the ‘Haddow’ puzzle, in Canada and in the United States, begin to come together.

Today, I learned that in 1923, John Haddow  (my great grandfather) visited his son William Thomas Haddow, here in Calgary!  Thank you, Anne.

John Haddow with his son, William Thomas Haddow 1923

I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter. Blaise Pascal