Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Three Old Books

Three old book were recently rediscovered in the Boulton house and each has an interesting history.  

This copy of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is from 1897 and was presented to Randy's grandmother the next year from Milton Sunday School when she was 14 years old.  It must have been a valued possession as it crossed the Atlantic with Elsie Bushby in 1913.  The book was first published in in England in 1865.  Wikipedia says it has never been out of print since and has been translated into at least 174 languages and subject of many adaptations in theatre and film.  This one (in much better condition) is offered for sale on Abe Books for over $400.00!


The oldest of the three is the book pictured below simply called Church Services on the spine.  It has metal frames around the front and back covers and seems to have closed with a metal clasp that is missing.  The Anglican Book of Common Prayer has been published in many forms since 1549 according to Wikipedia.  

I needed some help to read the Roman Numerals on the date at the bottom of the title page - M.DCCC.LVII  both because of the teeny font size and because I could hardly believe it was from 1857!

The inscription below confirms the age since the book was presented to Anthony Boulton from his mother's sister his Aunt Abigail Boulton later Kendrick (1842-1930). Of course I don't know for sure but I imagine her giving it to her twelve year old nephew as he and his family left Ontario for the wilds of Manitoba as a way to keep their religion in the absence of churches and clergy. 

The third book has a colourful cardboard cover and the inscription tells us Uncle Frank received it for Christmas when he was 14.  I had to look up the word "Prefect" and found in the Cambridge dictionary that it is "(in some countries) a very important official in the government or the police" 

Goodreads has an online review of the book from 1923 but the surprising thing I found there was about the author, Winnifred Darch.  She was born in 1884 in Brighton, England - the same year and area as Frank's mother Elsie.  Winnifred was a teacher and wrote many children's novels.  She has a plaque in her memory in Loughton that you can see here.  I imagine that she was an acquaintance, if not a friend to Elsie so the book was special to her.  

These books were each kept for a reason and I enjoyed finding out the stories behind the books!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Nothing Is Certain - Except Death and Taxes

Many tax notices are among the papers saved for in the case of the one above, 121 years.  The taxes assessed to James Herbert Boulton by the Municipality of Arthur for $8.20 for the year 1896 is amazing!  The local history book called Reflections of Time says Range 28 was originally part of the R.M. of Inchiquin in 1883.  By 1890, it became part of the R.M. of Arthur.  

The 1901 receipt indicates $48.65 includes arrears so it is impossible to tell from this how much they increased.  The secretary-treasurer, Walter Thomas, is the same as 5 years earlier. 

1905 brought change with the land becoming part of the new R.M. of Albert. The first council meeting took place on January 2, 1906 in Huston School.   
By 1910, the Boultons were paying taxes on seven quarter sections of land and the grand total was $103.48. The treasurer was William J.  Kilkenny who also ran the store at Broomhill with his brother Joe from 1908 onward.  He had previously served as a councillor  for the R.M. of Arthur from 1998-1901 and 1903-1905. According to the history book, Kilkenny was paid $400 a year and he had to supply his own office, fuel and light. 

The next year the total is $131.99 but there is a column that indicates rebates were given on the taxes levied.  Perhaps this was for road work done by the Boultons but it would be interesting to know.

Eight quarter sections are covered by the receipts totaling $359.40 above from 1928.  R.W. "Dick" James was the Secretary Treasurer from 1919 to 1938.

As we would expect, taxes steadily rose over the years until they stood at about $100/quarter in 1956.  Mabel Forsyth was the secretary treasurer from 1941 to 1970.  It is interesting to note the 13 schools within the municipality at the time. 

Eight years later in 1964, the taxes have gone up again and the schools requiring special levies have decreased.  

Boundaries have changed again and as of January 1, 2015, this land is in the Municipality of Two Borders .  The tax receipts offer a look at how times have changed over the years.  Taxes have certainly risen but at the same time, the services and issues that our local municipalities cover would astound the earlier generations I'm sure! Lagoons, garbage dumps, recycling, water... 

Friday, 3 June 2016

100 Years Ago Today - Boulton Twins

One hundred years ago today - June 3, 1916 - must have been a very exciting day in the Boulton household.  Elsie and Thomas were already parents to 16 month old Edna Kathleen and on this day they increased their family with the birth of twin girls - Emily Patience and Ann Henrietta!  Their names were chose to honour their own mothers - Elsie's mother was Patience Emily Wooler Bushby and Thomas' mother was Ann Henrietta Boulton
I have to wonder if Elsie had any idea that she was carrying twins and how they ever managed. She has been described to me as a very hardy and tough woman and events like this no doubt helped cement that reputation. 

Emily Boulton with her twins - 1916

Boulton sisters about 1917 - left to right Emily, Edna, Annie
Sadly, life would take a tragic turn with the death of Emily on February 5th in 1918.  The dainty little card below recently found in the Boulton house, speaks to the sadness and loss.  The front cover is a textured paper, almost like paper mache and would have been used to convey the news with family and friends near and far. 

No matter how much their hearts were breaking, life would go on and 3 months later another daughter Violet Lillian was born to the Boultons among the busy spring on the farm.
Elsie and Edna standing and Annie below- early 30's
The surviving twin, Annie, grew up on the farm and attended Kinloss School.  She later moved east to seek her fortune and unfortunately died in Toronto in 1942 at the age of 26.  Her daughter Faye and her husband Murray visited Annie's resting place in Prospect Cemetery in Toronto and had a grave marker put up in her memory. 

It is incredible to think how much the world has changed since these girls were born 100 years ago... and how much has stayed the same.