This blog series comes from our dedicated and awesome Visitor Host staff, and topics range from favourite artefacts, thoughts on our latest exhibits, and anything else in between!
Kathryn’s Favourite: Granny Cock Portrait
Harriet, you often catch me of guard when I am in front of you in Guy House in the board room; your piercing eyes are always calling my attention.
Your eyes speak volumes to me; Harriet your story is one of being so brave, and determined. Yet the deeper I consider your eyes you are trying to tell me something different aside from facts.
The facts are impressive though; you a widow at age 59 travels in 1846 by boat from England to Canada and let me say you were an old woman by that year’s standards. Please excuse me Harriet! You travelled with your daughter and son-in- law and yes, the voyage was exceptional long and miserable and yes, many people died from either small pox, dysentery or measles.
Then once you got here there were no fine shops to buy another pretty delicate lace bonnet that you cherished or even the fine slippers that you are wearing right now. That wool shawl would have been perfect here, warm and practical.
Harriet Cock, I know you were scared as your eyes really tell me so; however, who would not be afraid travelling in 1846 to a new world! You took the risk; you came here as a pioneer and believed in this country. Our country, Canada
Granny Cock, thank you.
You are my treasured artefact and champion here at The Oshawa Museum.
Caitlan’s Favourite: The Music Box
There are many very interesting artefacts throughout the houses at the Oshawa Museum. It is a treat to see them, especially when you know that they still work. On a rare occasion one of our music boxes plays. It has not seized up, nor is it broken. Many items over time would have been damaged in one way or another preventing them for further use or are to delicate to risk trying to play. This item is an exception. Done with care a few times a year this music box fills Henry House with sound. This sets it apart from many other items in the houses.
By playing the music box you can be given a small taste of what life would have sounded like at the time. Just the practice of winding it and knowing how much sound it would produce and for how long creates a greater depth of understanding of people’s lives. It is a favorite artifact of mine for this reason. It provides an understanding that cannot be presented simply in writing thereby creating a fuller understanding of the lives people lived.
Listen to one of the Music Box’s as the background music in this video!
Carrie’s Favourite: Thomas and Lurenda Letters
My favorite artefacts would have to be two letters, one from Thomas and the other from Lurenda. I love them so much because of the content of them, that being the marriage proposal and acceptance. It’s strange to think, at least now, that you would be able to propose to someone in this way, and with barely knowing the other person as well. Two letters led to one big family, which led to even more interesting letters between Thomas and his children. Seeing the start of the family in black and white makes you realize how much has changed between then and now.
Read about Karen’s Favourite Artefact HERE
Be sure to visit our 2017 Feature Exhibit Celebrating 60: Sixty Years of Collecting and discover your favourite artefact!