19th Century and Onwards, Books, Places

Connected.

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Memorial plaques for three of the family members of Plum Johnson, author of the memoir They Left us Everything (check it out at amazon.ca or amazon.com), which I mentioned in my last entry.

I would hesitate to call this “history,” but seeing these plaques (I had forgotten they were there, so they took me by surprise) brought up the same feelings that visiting actual historical sites or artifacts gives me. That sense that you can be so easily connected to history, despite the years (sometimes centuries) that divide you and the nearly unimaginable events in between.

19th Century and Onwards, Books, Places

More Oakville homes, and They Left Us Everything

I love how many of Old Oakville’s historic homes are a reminder of the town’s historical connection to the lake.

Edward Anderson, Mariner, 1835

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Edward Anderson, Mariner, 1835
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Thomas and John Sweeney, Ship Carpenters, 1834
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Capt. Samuel McGiffin, Master Mariner, 1859
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Duncan Chisholm, Shipbuilder, 1852

Duncan Chisholm built homes for his workers, which still stand at 18-26 Thomas Street (though he and his own family never lived there). There is an interesting article about one of those houses here at the Globe & Mail.

I’m also reading a quite good memoir at the moment, They Left Us Everything, by Plum Johnson (check it out at amazon.ca or amazon.com). It’s partly the story of her trying to sort out the family home after the death of her parents. Said home is in Old Oakville, so there are some great little nuggets for people who enjoy the area like I do, such as this story about a fake plaque she and her siblings put up, designed to look like the real ones given out by the Oakville Historical Society:

Our neighbours have a real one – WILLIAM BOND, MARINER, CIRCA 1874 – but ours alleges that the owner was a SLAVE DRIVER, CIRCA 1953. It’s signed by THE OAKVILLE HYSTERICAL SOCIETY.

Here’s a blog post with some photos of the home’s renovation, and an updated post.

(On a similar note, there is a plaque on a house in that neighbourhood now that has the owner’s name, and “Blogger” underneath. I can’t help but smile whenever I pass that house.)