Student Museum ‘Musings’ – Victoria

Henry House, Oshawa
Henry House, Oshawa

Hello to all, my name is Victoria Nelimarkka; I’m a first year student at Durham College in the Library and Information Technician Program. This is my first job shadow; I have chosen to shadow Jennifer here at the museum.  I hope to learn about the history of Oshawa, archival methods working with databases and how to answer research questions, as I imagine the research method is a little different then what I’m use to at the public libraries. My goals at the end of this Field Experience program are to have a greater understanding of archives, how they work, and how they receive some of their materials. This is a good fit for me as I would enjoy working in museum or an archive when I have completed my course. (I’m little bit of a history nut) They have been really welcoming here at the museum, and have shown me all kinds of cool things. My favourite so far is the Henry House; it looks like they just left.   I’m looking forward to using the data base to add and create records for pictures and archives.  If you see me here say hi and tell me your story. Happy Halloween to all.  All of these pictures I have use are from the collection.

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Student Museum ‘Musings’ – Kelley

My name is Kelley and I am a co-op student at the Oshawa Community Museum. Basically what I do as a co-op student is research a lot. I research about the Museums, about Ontario’s past, and recently historic fun facts about Christmas. I also help out with social media. I schedule blog posts for Victorianadvent.wordpress.com and take my researched information and turn them into twitter and facebook posts. Another thing I do as a co-op student is give tours of the Robinson and Henry house with Lisa or Jen there to help if I get stuck with certain information.

Inside Henry House - photo by Kelley
Inside Henry House – photo by Kelley

 

I have most definitely learned a lot by doing co-op at the Oshawa Community Museum. I’ve gotten better with remembering dates and getting a better idea for time periods, I’ve got a chance to learn about how the newspapers dating back to 1864 were written and I got a better idea of how to use programs and make media lists. It’s cool being able to use machinery such as a Microfilm Scanner and look at all the old papers. I really like being able to learn new things and then having the freedom to take that knowledge and write however I want with it. I’m really interested in film and design, so seeing all the old cameras and footage was amazing. I was really excited when I was able to take the old footage and make a practice promotional video with it. It’s really fun doing co-op at the Oshawa Museum because not only do I learn new things and get to use social media, but because everyone working here is really nice and are always there to help.

The Life of David Annis

By Shawn Perron, Visitor Host

It may be the case that discrepancies exist in every area of historical research. Events, dates, and even the images of some Oshawa Victorians can cause some confusion. The latter is the situation I have stumbled upon while reading into the life of David Annis.

There are two main sources which discuss the life of David: the Annis Annals and Upper Canada Sketches. They tell us that he was born in 1786 to quite a wealthy, large family, having eight siblings. His father, Charles, was one of the first owners of the 200 acres which made up the broken front concession (today’s Lake View Park in Oshawa). Raised in Oshawa David lacked the education of his brothers and never learned to write or sign his name. However, he quickly developed a strong relationship with the Conant family, and specifically Daniel Conant. Amongst several business enterprises the two opened a Saw Mill together and when David inherited the entirety of the broken front concession from his family he subsequently passed it on to Daniel. It is possible that David was somewhat of a father figure for Daniel being his elder, especially after Daniel’s father was assassinated in 1838. David worked with Daniel through the rest of life, fathering no children of his own and today the two are buried under the same marker in Union Cemetery.

However, while these two accounts agree on the above, they are divided in regard to David’s physical appearance. The Annis Annals – a genealogy of the Annis family from 1638 to 1931 – pictures David in a family photograph. Here David is quite distinct from his brothers, sitting on the far right he has dark hair and a short beard, wearing a rather severe expression.

The Annis Family
The Annis Family

This does not match David’s picture featured in Thomas Conant’s Upper Canada Sketches – an account of the author’s life in, and stories from, Upper Canada. This actually appears to be a cropped section of Levi Annis, David’s older brother, from the same family portrait.

David Annis
David Annis

One might logically deduct that Upper Canada Sketches provides a more accurate source because Thomas was the son of Daniel and possibly encountered David on a regular basis. However, there is always room for error. Indeed, to add another layer of confusion, the Sketches portrait inaccurately refers to David as Thomas’s uncle. While this does not hold true for David, Levi could be considered Thomas’ great-uncle, having married his grandfather’s sister, Rhoda Conant. But for now, the true appearance of David Annis shall remain a mystery and one has the freedom to imagine him either as a stern-looking dark-haired man, or a jolly Santa Claus-like fellow.

The Month That Was – October 1956

Monday October 1, 1956

Theatre Guide

Plaza – “Edge of Hell” 1:05, 3:42, 6:19, and 9:01

“Day of Fury” 2:20, 4:57, 7:34 and 10:16.

Last complete show 9pm

Regent – “Great Day in the Morning” in Superscope and colour 3:15, 6:30 and 9:55

“Flying Leathernecks” 1:30, 4:50 and 8:15.

Last complete show at 8:05

Biltmore – “The Trouble with Harry” in VistaVision and colour 12:30, 3:45, 7:00, and 10:20

“View from Pompey’s Head” in CinemaScope and Colour 2:10, 5:25, 8:45

Last complete show at 8:45

Marks – “Bread, Love, and Dreams” 1:15, 4:10, 7:00 and 9:55

“Out of this World” 2:45, 5:40, and 8:40

Last complete show at 8:40

Drive –In – “Phantom from 10,000 Leagues” 7:30 and 10:35

“Day the World Ended” 9:00

Last complete show at 9:00pm

 

Tuesday October 2, 1956

Baby Lion Gets Mother

A dog named Fuzzy joined the circus Monday with the job of nursing a baby lion.

Fuzzy was grieving over the loss of a puppy, and the cub was trying to escape being killed by its mother when Huntington police got the two together. They hit it off fine.

The cub’s mother belongs to a travelling animal show. She killed cubs she had once before, owner Eddie Kuhn said.

Lion cubs will not feed on a bottle, and their mothers rarely raise their young in a circus because of the nearby humans, Kuhn said. SO Fuzzy will travel with the troupe, nursing the cub about 30 days before returning to her owner here.

 

Tuesday October 2, 1956

10-Year-Old Girl Steals Boy Baby

Four month old Danny Shaw and his carriage disappeared Monday.

Police, aided by taxi drivers and motorists, found the boy an hour later.

The “kidnapper?”  a 10 year old girl. She told the police she was lonesome and wanted a little brother. Police turned her over to juvenile and family court authorities.

 

Thursday October 11, 1956

Blind Mother Cares For Babe

Before her baby was born, Mrs. Joseph Kezac had many telephone calls- come callers saying she shouldn’t be having the baby at all, and others offering to adopt it.

The callers knew that pretty, blonde Mrs. Kezac was blind, but they needn’t worried. She took lessons on baby care from a member of the Victorian Order of Nurses, using a doll as a model, and her husband read books on baby care to her. Now she is successfully looking after her seven-weeks-old daughter, besides doing the housework.

Mrs. Kezac, 26 became blind from a head injury five years ago, before she was married.

 

Thursday October 11, 1956

Australian Swimmer, 17-Year-Old Boy, Sets New 400-Metre Mark

Murray Rose 17-year-old Sydney swimmer, was clocked in four minutes 29.2 seconds Tuesday in an unpaced 400-metre training swim on the long course at Brisbane pool.

This is the first time 4 ½ minutes has been bettered for the 400 metres over the long course.

 

Monday October 15, 1956

Lucky Find

A 20-year-old girl who had been engaged just three days lost her diamond ring in a busy London shopping centre. She found it an hour later where it had fallen on the sidewalk, unnoticed by thousands of shoppers.

 

Monday October 15, 1956

Monster Lobster

An 11-pound, 10 ounce lobster was caught on a rod and line by a fisherman here. The Brighton aquarium asked if they could exhibit the lobster, measuring four feet, four inches, but it had already been cooked and eaten.

 

Thursday October 23, 1956

Editorial Notes

One of the easiest ways to deflate the ego of parents is to ask them to help with the children’s homework – or even try it.

 

Thursday October 23, 1956

British Church has Ghost For Organist

TORQUAY, England – The vicar says that when Henry plays the organ in vine – covered St. John’s Church the music is something, but you can’t help noticing you can see right through him.

The vicar, Rev. Anthony Rouse, reported the matter last night to the Church of England’s fellowship for Psychical Study.

The ghost is supposed to be Henry Ditton Newman, a former church organist who died as a young man in 1883.

“I myself have heard the organ play twice at night. I can’t tell you the music. It is sweet, but sort of heavy.”

A former vicar, Rev. Sir Patrick Ferguson-Davie, thinks Henry will always be around.

“Unusual ghost in a way,” Sir Patrick said. “He is very happy. He doesn’t want to go away.”

The Tackabury Map

By Lisa Terech, Youth Engagement / Programs

In an earlier post, I discussed a few of the wall hangings inside the Henry House Study.  Today, I’d like to share about the largest hanging we have in the study, and my favourite artifact on tour of the museum, our Tackabury Map.

 

992.2.1 - 1862 Tackabury Map
992.2.1 – 1862 Tackabury Map

With the frame measuring at 6×7’ (or, 182.5 x 217cm), this hanging dominates the north wall of the Study.  It fit with the interpretation of the room because Thomas was a travelling minister for the Christian Church, who would have utilized a map when planning his travels.  It also fits with the interpretation time period as it dates from 1862.

 

Detail of the Tackabury Map - Can you see Port Oshawa?
Detail of the Tackabury Map – Can you see Port Oshawa?

The map is of Canada West, featuring an overall map of the province, and surrounding this, there are inset maps of the major cities, including Toronto, Kingston, Ottawa, and Hamilton.  There is also an inset map of North America, and several drawn images from around Canada West (Toronto, Niagara Falls, University of Toronto, etc).  It is a detailed map of Canada West (Ontario), showing major roads, railroad and proposed railroad lines, concessions and lots, and county, township and town boundaries. Place names, post offices and telegraph stations are also identified. Census figures for 1861 and a mileage table are also shown.  Port Oshawa can be seen on the map on the very eastern edge of the County of Ontario.  Many visitors will often look for Oshawa within the boundaries of Durham County, as we are now in the Region of Durham, however, boundaries changed in the 1970s; before then, we were geographically in the County of Ontario, which stretched from Pickering in the west, to East Whitby and Oshawa in the east, and as far north as the Township of Rama, where Orillia and Casino Rama are.

 

Detail showing the Time Table
Detail showing the Time Table

One of my favourite features, and my favourite thing to talk about, is the ‘Time Table.’  Because there was no ‘standard time’ in 1862, it showed what time is would be across the province (Ottawa = 12pm; Whitby = 11:47; Toronto = 11:43, 8s).  Today, if it is 12 o’clock noon, that would be time across the province and the time zone, however, in 1862, 12 o’clock noon was set by the sun.  This fascinating vestige from days past always gets an interesting reaction from visitors.