Thursday, November 02, 2006


I will begin this week by thanking everyone who came out to the information meeting held at the Arthur Child Museum Monday night. It was very encouraging to meet and greet so many people eager to give their time to help the cause of preserving our history.

After 6 weeks of work, myself and a small band of trusty volunteers and town workmen have made some progress in what’s left of the former display room. You can see in this picture on the above left how things used to be, and in the next one on the right, how things are now. We are not finished by any means, but it’s a good start. Many thanks to the town staff for removing the mysterious boat and storing it off-site.

As we moved through the ancient display cases and clouds of dust, an eclectic mix of history was there to greet us. Artillery shells, powder horns, kitchen items, bayonets, school books from the 1840s, Nazi helmets in near-pristine shape, manufactured products from Gananoque, radios, photographs, WWI flak jackets, and the list just keeps going. Once things get under control, we’ll begin to highlight individual artefacts and give more of an in-depth background to them, but for now a couple pictures will have to suffice.

The WWI Flak Jacket has a name stenciled on it, and one of the volunteers for this project, Eileen Truesdell, did some sleuthing for us. This is what she sent me:

"Roy Stanley Foley was the s/o William H. Foley & Emily Jane Webster
born March 17, 1887, He was 5ft 8 1/2 Inches, Girth 36 ins, Range of expension 4 ins
Medium complexion, Brown eyes and brown hair. Religion Methodist.
Small scar unnder chin, small birthmark right calf, mole waist line back.
Residence 38 Gloucester Toronto, ON. Born Lansdowne, Trade School Teacher, Single
Belongs to a Militia Force Served with C. O. T. C."

Many thanks to Eileen for providing us with this.

I also received a very interesting call from a man in Port Dover who is busy restoring a Link Trainer and is looking for more information. The Link Trainer was manufactured in Binghamton, New York and Gananoque, Ontario, and from there it was sent to the American, Canadian, British and other allied air forces and navies for training. (It is also rumoured that the Japanese Imperial Navy was a major customer in the 1930s, but that is for another time and debate). The Link Trainer is the largest and most conspicuous of the artefacts in the Gananoque Museum Collection, and I was sure I had seen a number of old manuals for the trainer. Sure enough, I was able to find about 5 or 6 catalogues, manuals, and schematics that should prove helpful to the restorer. I’ll try and keep up with that project and report back when I can. Along with the manuals, I found this little patriotic ad. In many ways the Link Trainer used by allied forces everywhere is a testament to Gananoque’s contributions to the war effort and it is fortunate that our trainer is still in good shape.

Finally, rummaging through old things is always fun for me, but being able to undertake the task in my home town is doubly rewarding. Often times the history I am uncovering is easily recognizable, and I cannot resist a tiny bit of nostalgia this week. This is a picture of the citizens band from 1933, celebrating yet another regional championship. I grew up on hearing stories of the band’s success from my Grandfather, Joe Cote, who is pictured here (fourth from right, back row) at the young age of 18. There is a handy list of other names written below the picture. If anyone in the town would like a digital copy of this or any other photograph in the collection, contact me at (This pic is blurry when enlarged due to an old fashioned glossy finish and prevents a clean scan.)

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