Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Gertrude Mary Bushby (1896 - 1929)

The youngest surviving child of Patience Wooler and James William Bushby was born Gertrude Mary in New Milton on the southern coast of England on November 4, 1896.  The 1911 England census describes her as an apprentice dressmaker as is her sister Myra, also known as "Queenie".  The emigration of brothers Walter and Arthur in 1906 and death of her mother in 1908 would have been deciding factors in her next chapter.  At the age of 16 in 1913, Gertie left for Canada with her older sister Elsie (Randy's Grandma) and their father James.  Elsie married Thomas Boulton the next year in May and began her life as a farm wife and mother.
The Canadian census in 1916 shows Gertie was living with her brother Arthur and his wife Lou in Reston and working as a typesetter.  Recent research in the Reston Recorder newspaper archives confirm that she worked there for four and a half years according to an excerpt from the paper below. 
Gertie's letters sent to Elsie from Yorkton have recently been rediscovered and she writes about going to church and being asked to sing in the choir, going to dances with men from the forces, and the flu epidemic in October of 1918.  She writes that she hopes to visit her sister Queenie in Seattle in March because she is "just dying for a glimpse of the sea". Her single life must be such a contrast to her sister Elsie as she writes to her "Why on earth don't you go into town more?  You are a mutt."  Gertie talks about her wonderful Christmas supper of fried oysters and sliced tomatoes at the Rose Cafe with a Mr. Miller, "a fellow that I have been chumming up for the past six weeks."
A letter from December of 1925 indicates her address is 317 St Julien in Vancouver.  She writes on American Mining & Milling Company letterhead from that city recommending the Boultons purchase stock in the company after a large find of ore.  
On September 21, 1926 a marriage is recorded for Gertrude and Charles McIntyre (1879-1946) in Vancouver.  He is a widower with a 12 year old son William.  The next year they leave for Mission Beach California and an undated letter says One thing I don't like about California is the bareness, no trees except where they are planted.  That's what I always liked abut Vancouver, the beautiful trees."
A daughter, June Eleanor, is born in La Jolla, California on January 21, 1929 but tragically, Gertie died a few short days later in February.  According to family correspondence, Elsie offered to take June to raise with her children but Charles kept her and sent Christmas greetings to the Boultons over the years.  Letters with pictures of June and details of her growing up show he wanted the Bushby sisters to remain a part of her life.  

Daughter June continued the tradition of sending cards at Christmas to her Aunt Elsie after her marriage in 1952 to architect William Lort.   I don't suppose they ever met, but were family just the same.  I'm sure Gertie was pleased.
Any further information or pictures of this connection is welcome at 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Sawfish on the Prairies? "Queenie" Bushby (1887-1968)

When we would look at old photos, Randy would pass me some and point to something on the wall behind the person and say - "Look the sawfish!"

I thought he was teasing - how would a sawfish show up on a homesteader's house in rural Manitoba? Russ and Rick remember it came from their  Grandma Elsie's sister "Queenie".  It's still in the house somewhere they say!

Myra Elfrida Bushby (aka Queenie) was fifth child of James William Bushby and Patience Emily Wooler.  She was born almost exactly three years after Elsie in Milton, Hampshire, England. In 1923, Queenie left England for Vancouver where her younger sister Gertrude lived with husband Charles McIntyre.  Queenie was a buyer for the dry goods company Fraser-Paterson.  Shortly after, she filed this Declaration of Intention.

This Naturalization Document below is dated nine years later and even includes a grainy picture of Myra.  She never married and was always known as "Aunt Queenie" to the family. 

She was noted to be a buyer for a dry goods company on the 1930 Census when she lived as a lodger at 235 Boylston Avenue in Seattle, Washington.

In 1940, a business can be found at 1206 4th Ave in Seattle called Bushby Apparel Shop with Myra and one employee, Mrs. Lucille Frantz,  doing alterations.  She died (just months before her sister Elsie Boulton) in Seattle on the 12th of January in 1968 and is buried there in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

As for the Sawfish, Google found many listings of similar items of antique sawfish bills (also known as carpenter sharks) and are of a family of rays characterized by their long, narrow, flattened nose.  That's so ironic being that the Bushbys were a family of carpenters!

Table Pitchers

Cream Pitchers are not typical tableware today but at one time, they were essential to serve the fresh milk or cream in coffee, tea, on fruit or porridge.  A few that were found at the Boulton house have interesting stories.  They may have belonged to Ann, Elsie or Merle
 The cow's head pitcher below was made in Occupied Japan as the stamp on the bottom indicates.  This makes it easy to date the piece from 1945 - 1952.  As if to prove there is a collector of everything, I found a website Craig's Cow Creamers and entire page of different head models!

Our family used the English pressed glass pitcher above this past Christmas to hold rum sauce for the plum pudding.  There are so many patterns of pressed glass, I was unable to find another just like it but many similar.  

Sandland Ware from Lancaster Ltd in Hanley, England were the makers of this jug with the pattern called Crinoline Lady in an Old World Garden. The company operated from 1944 to 1968 and EBay has plenty of varieties for sale in the pattern.  

None of the jug are particularly valuable but I'm glad to have them for their family connection and they make great dust collectors!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Merle's Quilt

Inside a box of Randy's Mom's things, we found  a wonderful old quilt top, likely made in the mid- fifties.  She attended a local sewing course in 1955 as this blog post told about and her neighbour and friend Jennetta Curtis likely helped put it together as well.

My talented cousin Marilee was able to put a blue border and a lighter blue backing on it and the Reston United Church quilting group put it on the racks on February 13, 2017 to begin hand quilting it. They worked on it as a group on Mondays for just about a month.

One spot online called this pattern Radiant Star but Eight Pointed Star but it also is like the Bethlehem Star pattern too. It certainly would have been a huge job to cut and piece it together before the days of rotary cutters and mats!

Merle's sisters tell me that their Aunt Pearl (Cassell) Gerow was the quilter in their family and she sent many of the pieces that were used to make quilts in their family.  Aunt Allie remembers the quilting frames set up in their house in Elkhorn from time to time.

The blue thread in a combination of hearts and stars sets it off beautifully.  It is a work of art and we are so grateful to the community ladies for completing it.  We think she would be very proud indeed!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Two More Old Books

This blog post tells the story of two more old books from the Boulton house.  These came from Randy's cousin Faye who was given them when she left home.

The first belonged to Faye's grandmother, Elsie Bushby Boulton and the label inside the front cover indicates it was given to her when she was fifteen years old from her Sunday School in Milton, England.  American author Louisa M. Alcott is famous for her Little Women book but she wrote about 270 others as well.
  Originally published in 1880, this copy was printed in London by Gilbert and Rivington but no year is indicated in the book. GoodReads gives a summary of the book as follows: 
When best friends, Jack and Jill, tumble off their sled, their injuries cause them to be bedridden for many months. Their parents fill their days with the joys of Christmas preparations, a theatrical production and many other imaginative events.

The old blue hard cover book surprised me when I realized it was close to 180 years old!   This edition of The Everyday Book and Table Book Volume III by William Hone (1780-1842) was published in 1838.  Its subtitle is:
Everlasting Calendar of Popular Amusements, Sports, Pastimes, Ceremonies, Manners, Customs, and Events, Vol. 2 of 3: Incident to Each of the Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Days, in Past and Present Times, Forming a Complete History of the Year, Months, and Seasons, and a Perpetual Key to the Almanac
It is collection of the writings of William Hone, For Daily Use and Diversion.  
Inside the front cover, a name seems to show the book first belonged to someone named Ed Hagley.  On the next page there is a stamp with the name of Randy's great grandfather, James William Bushby.

A note written by Elsie had been taped into the back of the book below a stamp indicating it belonged to her father, J.W. Bushby, Carpenter & Undertaker, New Milton, Hant (refers to Hampshire). Perhaps future generations may find they will bring in some money, as a similar one in better condition is offered for sale on Abebooks for about $50 and the Jack and Jill could be worth about half of that to the right person.
Regardless of their value, it is great to be able to find out about their history.  Thank you, Faye. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Household Items

Today's post is a collection of 3 household items from the Boulton house in the 1950's and 60's.  

The first is the Five Year Guarantee and receipt for a Philips Chatelaine Vacuum Cleaner, purchased in June of 1964 for $79.  Edwin must have done some negotiation to trade an old one worth $14 to bring the total to $65.  There are lots of examples of vintage Electrolux, Kirby, Hoover and even Filter Queen vacuums online but not many Philips but maybe it looked like the one below.

The Simpson-Sears Home Pasteurizer operating instruction sheet likely dates from the 50's and the picture of the one below that was found on Etsy is likely similar to what it looked like.  The seller of this one includes this description:
In the fall & winter of 1951-1952 the Sears catalog warned customers of the dangers of raw milk and explained how the pasteurizer works. The milk is placed in the one gallon capacity removable bucket made of aluminum construction light to handle and easy to clean. After plugging it I and setting the timer the milk is heated by A 300 watt ring-type element

The receipt for the Marconi TV and antenna in 1957 shows Uncle Frank spent $288 to have the newest fad in the Boulton home.  Using the Cost of Inflation calculator, in today's money that would be over $2400.00!  

Friday, 3 February 2017

Ads From 105 Years Ago

Some of the old advertisements that survived over 100 years in the Boulton house are fascinating and give another view of life on an early Manitoba farm home.

The Case Gasoline Engine Tender advertised above held 16 barrels of gasoline at a price of $120.00 plus delivery and they promoted a 6% discount for cash.  An online source says this ad may be from 1912.

On April 12 of 1912, the Boultons received this advertisement for the International Harvester Kerosene-Gasoline tractors that ranged from 12 to 45 horsepower.
A  I H C tractor never tires - pulls as steadily at 6 o'clock at night as it did at sun up; never needs to be unharnessed, rested or fed.  It will work through the noon hour, supper hour, and all night, twenty-four hours a day, and if necessary, every day in the week.  

You often hear farmers say that the most serious thing to contend with is a short season.  Seasons are never too short when you have a tractor.  Poor crops usually result from late planting- - which gives the frost a chance to get in its destructive work.  You plant late because you could not get into the fields to plow them at the proper time.
We have in mind conditions last year, where frosts soon after harvest did not give farmers a chance to plow.  When spring opens up it will be necessary to do in a very few days the plowing that should have been done last fall.  How are you going to do it with horses?  How are you going to seed at the proper time?  The farmer who relies on horses will get his crop in late or have a short acreage.  

Francis Cook Caldwell M.D. representing the Blair Remedy Co. from Chicago sent this letter in November of 1912 "to the one addressed"...
I am informed that you have been suffering from the effects of Uric Acid poisoning, frequently manifested by Rheumatism, Kidney, Bladder, Stomach or Skin trouble or Catarrh and as a test, am willing to send you free to try, a full size $1.00 box of my KO-TI-OSH.
In case you are wondering what it was, the letter goes on to state:

IN A THOUSAND BOXES THERE IS NOT ONE GRAIN OF MORPHINE OR ANY DERIVATIVE OF OPIUM, no Codeine, no Cocaine, no Acetanilid, no Iodine of Potash, NOR ANY OTHER ELEMENT which depresses the action of the HEART, upsets the Stomach, or causes dizziness or faintness.  
On the second page the letter says:

Feeling sure that you will want to try my remedy, I am enclosing an application form showing you are entitled to the free trial, also my return envelope, and it requires only a two cent stamp for mailing.  State your conditions fully, enclose mailing expenses and let me know how you are afflicted, so I can give you valuable suggestions, simple home rules, etc., and help you get well quickly.  I will be glad to answer your questions without any charge.
The application form is not with the letter so maybe one of the Boultons tried the cure!

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Bushby Relative or Frame Model?

After recently removing a Boulton family picture from its frame, I found the one of the elegant lady above hiding behind it.  Under the photo, hand written in pencil it says " 115 Gower Street W.  Brenda Johnson " The sticker on the back of the frame indicates it was made by Herbert Yates, a frame maker and gilder from 11 Petersham Road in Richmond and at Twickenham. Google Maps tells me this is in the southwest part of London a block from the Thames River and the current location of a Fish & Chips place.    

Elsie Bushby Boulton left her home in Milton, England in September of 1913 and I can only assume that she brought the frame with her.  The question I had was whether Brenda was a friend or relative or if she was a model whose picture came with the frame?  Was there even such a thing back then?

Today, 115 Gower Street is a University College of London student residence called Arthur Tattersall House.  This site gives some early history of the street and its buildings but no mention of its use in the 20th century.  

The 1901 Census of England has a 26 year old Brenda B. A. Johnson living at 108 Elgin Crescent, Kensington in London.  Her occupation is listed as a photographer.  Ten years later douments show Brenda still a photographer and not married, was living with her retired doctor father, at nearby 10 Chepstow Place, Bayswater, Notting Hill.    Her trail seems to run cold after that in London but perhaps she is the same Brenda Johnson who is noted on a ship passenger list heading to Victoria, B.C. on October 19, 1912.

Brenda Johnson was about 10 years older than Elsie and although both lived in England, I have not found any other connection between the women.  Being a photographer, perhaps she was recruited by Herbert Yates to be a picture frame model to help sell his wares?  If you know more about this mystery or have another guess, I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Early Boulton Winters

This cold and snowy Manitoba winter makes me wonder how the early prairie pioneers managed when they were faced with the same conditions.  Ann and Benjamin Boulton moved west in 1892 from near Brockville, Ontario.  Their climate would have been much more temperate there being on the Great Lakes than in the southwest corner of Manitoba.   

Six years after they arrived in Manitoba, Thomas Boulton purchased a second hand sleigh for $15 made by the Frost & Wood Company from Smith Falls, Ontario.  This company manufactured a large line of agricultural products including sleighs and this one was sold by a short-lived Winnipeg business, The Fairchild Company Limited.  

The 1903 account statement above was with David Percy, Livery in Reston.  Driving a lady out to the farm on February 11th was charged back to Thomas for $2. Perhaps it was one of his sisters- Louisa or Susie. This could have been a pleasant ride over a crisp snow or an ordeal in a snowstorm for the fare.

Writing on the picture above  indicates it was taken in 1915 and what a desolate picture it makes.  The farmyard now has plenty of trees and bush to block the north and east winds but in those days, there were none.  

This amazing picture from the mid twenties is of Randy's dad Edwin standing in front of the massive wood pile on the west side of the house. Can you imagine how many days of work it would have been to split and stack that much wood and I wonder how far they would have had to go to get it? 

These two pictures of Uncle Frank seem to be taken the same day in the 1930's and show the fun side of winter. On the left, he is with his younger sister Jean and is posing with Vi on his block fort on the right.  In the background of the first picture you can see the family's sleigh ready and waiting to be hooked up to the horses for the trip to town or elsewhere.

This picture says on the back that it is a snowmobile built by Hazen Bigney, Susie's husband, for Sherman Dayton in 1936.  The buildings in the background remind me of the former Lockhart Garage on First Avenue in Reston and I believe Hazen had a workshop in that area at one time.  This machine looks like the snowplanes on this blog. Lorch snowplanes  were first made at Spy Hill, Saskatchewan about 1929 to cope with impassible winter roads and remained in use until plows made winter road travel more reliable in the 50's.

This photo of the house from the west and was likely taken in the 40's. Drifts of snow covered the woodpiles and the smoke from the two chimneys shows there were 2 fires to keep going to heat the living areas and to cook their meals.  Bringing in wood and taking our ashes would be never ending jobs.

The promise of the coming spring brought an annual event to Reston and Uncle Frank saved his ticket and name tag to the Reston Bonspiel and Banquet in 1950.  I'm glad that besides the hardships and extra work, winter had its fun too!