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March 02, 2007

Local History and Heritage Sources


I have been asked on numerous occasions where information can be found on North Bay and area history.  To write my columns I have tapped into most of them.  To write a column on a specific narrow topic I look in books in libraries or my own expanding library.  The internet is a goldmine of information.  In many cases direct contact with special interest groups like train buffs, genealogists, or various hobbyists and specialists can help.  Obviously your local museum, if you have one, is an excellent source.  Most museums are closed in the winter but most have websites and can be found simply by typing in the name of the museum online. 

One site I recommend is an interesting North Bay website www.northbayhistory.homestead.com.  It is run by the North Bay Bandit who told me who he was when I asked him.  It has some excellent links that make it easy to contact other sources.  I was pleased to see a Heritage Perspectives link where all of my past articles are readily available by clicking on the link. 

The website also has links with the North Bay Museum (Discovery North Bay) which has an excellent collection of material.  Another link is with ICSOH – The Institute of Oral History and Community Studies at Nipissing University where they have archival material available.  The North Bay Bandit also has a general North Bay Website North Bay Heartbeat which provides a wide variety of North Bay information and has a link to his history site. 

Post Cards and Photos from the Past 

I have written about post cards, post card photos and the importance of post cards in our early days.  Beaver Magazine, Canada’s History Magazine has a popular feature on their back page where they show a photo each month and tell about it.  I notice the Nugget prints photos of old historical buildings on occasion.  I will put some interesting photos from some of the sources mentioned above and others I have access to in this column beginning today. 

If anyone has a fascinating photo and (hopefully) knows some of its history please mail or email it to me and give me permission to use it and you may see you photo in print.  I will start with a couple of photos in my postcard collection.  Neither are local photos but both were sent to Callander over 100 years ago to the Darling family on Wisa Wasa on the south shore of Lake Nipissing at the mouth of the Wasi River. 

Bryson Quebec – notice 07 on the centre of the card.  The card was dated February 12, 1907

Bryson Quebec 

I have visited Bryson and it is near the sawmill that has a good business of sawing old logs rescued from the bottom of the Ottawa River.  The photo is to Florence Darling at Wisa Wasa and is dated February 12, 1907 making it just over 100 years old. 

The three horse wagon on parade – location unknown.

The Carriage Photo 

This fascinating photo was also sent to Florence Darling with a footnote on the address that said Wasa lily – the Darling houseboat usually docked at Darling Island at the time.  The card tells Florence that the gentleman at the rear with the straw hat is Jas. Murray and that Gracie is sitting beside the driver with her two children. “Mother is sitting just behind Gracie.” 

Both post cards were given to me by the late Pat Wilkinson who was a daughter of Mill Manager Tom Darling’s son Adam (know as Amo) – a saw filer for the Gordon Lumber Co. at Cache Bay for years.  You can see my postcard column and a profile of the Darlings in Heritage Perspective columns on October 19, 2001 and December 1, 2000 respectively.   

Heritage Perspective Home Page

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