Student’s Museum Musings – Emily

By Emily Dafoe, Visitor Host

Over the past few months I was able to spend my time working on the upcoming Guy House book, the next book in the If This House Could Talk collection. Similar to the Henry House and Robinson House books, this upcoming book focuses on the various stages that Guy House has gone through over its lifetime. Through the time I’ve spent designing this book, I have been able to take a look at the history of Guy House as told through photographs held here at the OCM. I have truly enjoyed the experience that working on this book has provided me with. The history of Guy House differs greatly from that of Henry and Robinson House, which can be seen throughout the book.

Some of the most interesting aspects of Guy House’s history that I have discovered while working on this book, are the many different stages that this building has gone through in its time. For instance, during the mid 1900s Guy House was used as a triplex, and contained three separate apartments. While mapping out where the apartments were located can get quite confusing, I find it fascinating that this building was once used in such a way.

Guy House, May 1965
Guy House, May 1965

My favourite photograph that I came across this summer was the one pictured above. I really enjoy this photograph because it paints an atmosphere of Guy House for the audience that is so vastly different from Guy House as I came to know it when I was first introduced to this house. The combination of the house, street sign, and vehicles that are present in the photograph, it is clear that there is such a rich history to, not only Guy House, but the park as well. While this is not the oldest photograph of Guy House being featured in the book, this photograph creates such a different of the park and area than what I grew to know it as today.

By reflecting on my time spent working at the OCM these past two summers, it is clear that the time here has provided me with immeasurable experience within the information field. I have gained so much through my experience at the OCM, whether it be my speaking and interpretation skills that I have gained through the numerous tours I have given, or the software skills I’ve gained through my time spent on the Guy House book and in the database, or even the skills I’ve have gained for the information field in general. These are skills that I will be able to take with me into my future in this field, and the value in that is immeasurable. I never truly understood how important and interesting the concept of local history was prior to my time here, but I can now say that I will take my new-found appreciation for this type of history into my future.


On behalf of the OCM, thank you Emily for your hard work! Best of luck with your new school year!

One thought on “Student’s Museum Musings – Emily”

  1. Emily
    Very interesting stories and I am sure that your research will serve you and the museum well.
    I was the original Director for the Museum when Guy House was opened in the 1980’s. As always the Historical Society was begging for money to renovate the building and to obtain furnishings. We were never able to carry out an authentic restoration primarily because of funding and the fact that the house had been so severely damaged by decades of renters/owners who added their own “interesting touches”to the building. I recall the likes of Earl Hann, David Mill’s Architect, Tom Bouckley, Jim McRae, Eric Glenholmes, etc etc putting a lot of sweat and or lobbying into the restoration. Their goal was to save the building first and then try to restore some of the original features.
    The other aspect or the restoration is that it set the stage for our village development at the lakefront. Gardens and pathways, and a gazebo were introduced over a few years and this formed another part of the integration of the complex.

    One feature we did lose was a cottage that was located just north of Guy House. It really didi not fit within the Statement of Purpose for the Museum but it reflected life from the early 1900’s at the lakefront. It was occupied by Roy and Alice Magee and probably 80 cats. Roy was sort of a caretaker for the museum and he was a character. The cottage was demolished in the late 1980’s and Roy and Alice moved to a home a few kms NW of the park.

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