20th Century, Miscellaneous

Thousand Islands Postcard

(my photo)

(my photo)

(my photo)

(my photo)

While away in Stratford last week I picked up this interesting postcard of the Thousand Islands. (I’m always on the hunt for local postcards in antique shops, specifically those that have writing, but postcards are a huge pain to look through. There are usually at least fifty of them and they take forever to go through. If only there was a better way…) It’s a design I’ve never seen before: intended to be romantic, but also a little sinister, if you want to look at it that way. Where is the man rowing so late at night? Why is his back to us? Is he going to knock the woman over the head with the paddle, dump her body in the river, and pretend it was all a horrible accident?! So many possibilities here.

I jest of course, but this postcard is more interesting than most of the ones I’ve seen of the area. The message is interesting too, sent in January 1912 by (presumably) a Queen’s student to his cousin in Cobourg. I’m guessing it’s from a man based on the writing and the tone. It reads:

Dear Coz:-

Well I suppose by this time, at least, Pinser & Ley [?] have skating at the rink, have they? There is good skating here now. The whole bay is frozen over now, but it is too cold to venture out there. We have a Yankee professor lecturer here who is spending his first winter in Canada. He froze his ears yesterday. He was telling me afterwards that they don’t have this sort of weather “way down in Tennessee”. He is from Tenn. Well so long yours truly

R.D. [?]

I love the tiny glimpses into historical people’s lives which postcards sometimes offer. Most of the time they only have very cursory greetings on them, but if the sender went to more effort they can be very fun to read. I remember reading one that instructed the receiver to destroy the card (I can’t remember why), which they obviously didn’t do.

Meanwhile, I wonder if I could find out who this Tennessee lecturer was, or the identity of R.D….

Standard
20th Century, Culture, Surrounding Areas

Two Early Films of Kingston and Area

I was really excited to find two brief, relatively early, locally-shot films while on Youtube the other night. Films of the Kingston area are few and far between, especially from, say, the pre-1950 era, and most that survive are in archives or perhaps in private collections. So it was great to run across these two just sitting there on the internet! I am also happy to say I can tell you a little bit about the background of both of them.

Let’s start with the earlier one: a 1919 travel film about the Thousand Islands, made by the Ford Motor Company. It belongs to the Thousand Islands Museum in Clayton, New York, and was apparently not uploaded by them, although the uploader says it was “provided” by them. The film basically just has the camera on a boat and travels around the islands with a few title-cards interspersed. Therefore, it’s not much you haven’t seen before, just the Thousand Islands in black-and-white. However I still find it interesting to watch, and the Bach soundtrack someone has added makes the whole thing kind of hypnotic and meditative…

Continue reading

Standard
20th Century, Buildings, Businesses

The Failed Chateau Rideau

This never happened.

This never happened.

As I was searching for a new topic to write about, I came across a short article written by Brian S. Osborne on the Kingston Historical Society website. Entitled “Kingston’s Chateau Rideau,” it briefly goes over the short life and death of the hotel pictured above. Yes, only pictured. It was never built.

It reminded me that a few months ago I had found, on Archive.org, the original booklet advertising the potential for such a hotel in Kingston, so that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today! (Research on the internet is shamefully easy…)

You might think that this hotel looks rather large and unwieldy for Kingston, which is probably true. But in the early twentieth century, when the Chateau Rideau was proposed, tourism in the Thousand Islands by prominent Canadians and Americans, as well as by simple pleasure-seekers, was quite high. For Kingston, an “if you build it they will come” approach may have seemed like a good way to capitalize on the traffic coming through the area.

Continue reading

Standard