Preserving and Promoting local history for the former Rideau Township
Log Fence

Brian Earl brought a pottery shard that could be ancient or merely old, plucked from the ruins of a Roman city called Baluzium (now Baluza) in the Gaza Strip of Northern Sinai. Earl was there serving as a UN truce supervisor in the Middle-East in 1977.

25 years ago Jeff Cronin's son began – but did not complete – a large model airplane.  A few month ago, Cronin finished putting it together.  The model depicts the SE 5, a one-man WW1 British fighter. Cronin shared some historic photos of the plane found on the Internet.  

Susan McKellar gave Val Lister a near-run for oldest antiquity. Her great-grandfather William Johnson collected many fine remnants of native stone tools. One of the spear points may date back to 2500 B.C.

Owen Cooke won the understatement award, stating “All I brought was a button.” This particular specimen was a Christmas gift from a dedicated button collector and is something of a rarity, coming from the Canadian Air Force.  That branch of service only existed as such from Feb 1920 - March 1924, after which it was the Royal Canadian Air Force

Betty Bartlett most likely took the prize for the last item selected: she found a great photo of early township history at 7:15 pm that evening.  It was taken at a plowing match, probably in 1974. Looking quite a bit younger were: David Bartlett, Richard McDonald, Garnet Donnelly, John Wilson and Bill Tupper.

Brian Killins brought coins collected by his grandparents, Cecil Winston Killins and Gertrude Johnson  Killins, who lived in the Niagara Peninsula. His favourite was a U.S. $5 gold piece minted in 1901.

    The Camerons presenting

Coral Lindsay could have brought any number of collections to share, but this time it was a specialized line of dolls. These simple dolls exemplify a bigger story of innovation in food production, marketing and popular culture.  In 1869 Scotch immigrant Joseph Campbell opened a canning factory in New Jersey which evolved into the red-labeled soup company still famous in our time. The innovative company went on to produce condensed soup, ushering in the era of “just add water”.

One of the first and most successful female cartoonists, Grace Gebbie Wiederseim Drayton, created the Campbell Kids beginning in the early 1900's, during her first marriage to an ad executive. Marketing featuring the Campbell Kids first appeared on streetcar and then in magazines.

Most of the presenters could have easily spent an entire lecture with great details connected to each presentation. Thanks to timekeeper Brian Earl for gentle reminders favouring brevity.  

With business taken care of, it was time for the always-popular Bring & Brag show.

With apologies for errors or omissions, here's how the evening went.

Dennis Osmond brought in a charming writing slate, possibly from his cobbler great-grandfather's cottage, probably dating from the early 1800's.  Such slates would have been found in any school of the time.

Val Lister once again took the “oldest item” prize, with four choice examples of antique lamps dating from 3600BC to the 1880s.

Margaret Cameron, hands down, took the memory and poetry prize with her A-Z recitation and demonstration of charming items associated with Annabelle, a doll from the 1890's.  Well done Margaret!

    Margaret Cameron presenting

RTHS President Mark Jodoin's first book was published last year, “Shadow Soldiers of the American Revolution”. Jodoin proceeded to display some of the 80 historic and original illustrations used in the book, the oldest being a print of Quebec City, circa 1775.   

Ronald and Scott Cameron brought a father-son display of artefacts from the first and second world wars, including a bayonet, helmet and utility belt. 

Marguerite and Stuart Rogers opened a complex family chronology with their iconic Channel Island Cabbage stick (cane).

Joan Emily Evans shared a large and fine picture of a woman dear to her heart, her Grandmother Emily Farrell. Evans recently found a personal journal written by her Grandmother in 1892, at about age 18.  

Larry Ellis reported he has acquired thousands of stamps, “after collecting for thousands of years!”, including a cancelled commemorative envelope and stamp from the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Cam and Sandy Trueman shared a lovely glass vase which had come to Sandy's great-grandparents as a wedding gift around 1900.

Lucy Martin inherited a trio of small, hand-made figures that nicely represent family, immigration and continuity.  Lore holds that her great-great-grandmother, Kirsten Gortz, made the dolls to pass the time while sailing from Denmark to the United States in the late 1880's.   

Jane Anderson shared a quaint metal toast rack.  As a new bride, she bought the rack as a Christmas present for her Scottish husband Ed. The rack symbolizes a profound culinary culture clash: how to serve and enjoy toast.  Hot from the toaster? (North America's choice.)  Or cold on a rack?

The Annual Bring & Brag

Presenters: RTHS Members

Article by Lucy Martin