Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A Star Among Us!

Barbara Rielly is a heritage researcher and volunteer at Goulbourn Museum. While recording the materials and makers of our artefacts she has discovered a host of hidden treasures in our collection. This is her account of one such find.

By Barbara Rielly

It isn’t often that we museum types get to meet genuine, bona fide stars. But those of us lucky enough to have spent much time with this fine lady know that we have indeed had our brush with fame. Star of stage and screen, the inspiration and subject of more than 40 books our fair lady has thrilled generations. At its height, her fame and power was such that companies went into legal battle over her, she was the spokesperson for activists and provided the pattern which many a mother followed. Her beauty is such that she needs no further introduction, ladies and gentleman I present to you RAGGEDY ANN! 

Raggedy Ann has been the beloved friend to little girls since her creation in 1915.  A series of books featuring Ann and her brother Raggedy Andy soon followed and continued to be produced right up until 1977. With over 40 titles in print, these books are still available today. Raggedy Ann dolls are still in production though the manufacturers have changed over the years. There were a number of patterns out there that mothers and their daughters could use to make Ann themselves and it is one of these dolls that we have here at Goulbourn Museum.  Our Raggedy Ann has outrageously long carrot coloured hair and her matching orange outfit has a floral decorative band that is hand drawn as are her features.   It is likely that our Ann was made in the 1970s or 1980s when Raggedy Ann had her triumphant comeback tour complete with her own comic book, a Broadway musical, and two television specials. Raggedy Ann had her own museum for many years and was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2002. Click HERE to learn more about Raggedy Ann and her exploits.

I have to admit it has been fun checking out the doll collection at Goulbourn Museum in no small part because it brings back memories. Play is one of the great things about being a kid and dolls were something with which most children would have played. It’s only in recent years that kids have multiple dolls to play with so we can be sure that Ann would for most of her life have been the beloved ‘only doll’ in a child’s life. It is not hard to picture our Ann propped in a chair waiting for her little girl to get home from school.

I remember Raggedy Ann’s massive popularity in the 1970s and had several friends with Anns similar to she who waits at Goulbourn Museum. Given Raggedy Ann has been around for almost a century now, and that there is a new line of plush Raggedy Ann and Andys coming out, we can expect to see her around for a while yet.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Busy Bee Blankets: Fashionable Flannelette for the Little People in your Lives

An established wall and window mural artist, Carol Macpherson has recently switched her canvass to flannel fabric and her brushes for a sewing machine.  “I love the creative process that goes into making rag blankets, “says Carol.

Busy Bee Blankets makes baby sized rag blankets for boys and girls featuring flannelette and cotton fabrics in different styles and patterns. Each blanket is soft, warm and cuddly ensuring baby is comfy and content.

Carol will be selling her bright, beautiful blankets at our Old-Fashioned Christmas - Art & Craft Sale this Sunday. Come find her in the vendor tent from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Wooly Warmth: Handmade Knitted & Crocheted Scarves, Cowls & Hats

Munster resident Julie Kavanagh makes beautiful handmade knitted and crocheted scarves, cowls and hats.

She learned the skill from her mother years ago and enjoys making styles for both adults and wee people – especially hats her sweet little girls can model.

The Goulbourn Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas Art & Craft Sale will be Julie’s first show. Come out on Sunday and show Wooly Warmth some love!

Find out more by looking up Wooly Warmth on Facebook.

Gunner’s Kitchen: Gourmet Dog Treats that are Homemade and 100% Natural

In the midst of recalls, Stephanie began baking for her German Shepherd, Gunner, to provide him with natural and preservative-free treats. It didn't take long for the word to spread, and soon Stephanie and Gunner were taking orders at the dog park.

Gunner’s Kitchen makes all its treats with natural ingredients that are safe for both dogs and their humans to enjoy. Your pup will feel extra special with personalized treats to suit their dietary needs or allergies. Drool-worthy training bites as well as birthday and holiday packages are also available

“All treats are taste-tested – and approved! – by Gunner,” says Stephanie.

If you’re looking for a little something for Fido’s stocking, Gunner’s Kitchen will be at the Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas this Sunday, Dec. 1st from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Visit Gunner’s Kitchen on Facebook to learn more!

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Babies + Hobby = Poppylane Headbands

Chelsea Bloomfield started making headbands after her first daughter, Poppy, was born in 2010. When her second daughter, Pennylane came on the scene in April 2013 she decided to turn her hobby into a business.

“Poppylane Headbands allows me to be creative and do something I enjoy that both my girls can benefit from,” says Chelsea.

It helps that her girls make the perfect (and cutest!) headband testers.

Poppylane makes accessories for babies, children and adults using comfortable soft elastic in many unique and stylish colours.

Chelsea will be selling her line of headbands and hair clips at the Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas this Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4  p.m.

For more information about Poppylane Headbands, check them out on Etsy and Instagram (poppylaneheadbands).

Meet Pencil Artist Sheila Cain-Sample

Sheila Cain-Sample has been drawing for as long as she can remember.

“It's happy time for me, a place to run free and relax.  I'm a pencil artist who loves detail.  It's all about the contrast between dark and light, shapes and lines,” she says.  “Photorealism or hyperrealism is the challenge – to look at an object and see it then have it flow through my hand to paper.”

Sheila works primarily with graphite but loves to change to coloured pencil if the piece dictates it.

You’ll find Sheila in the vendor tent at our Old-Fashioned Christmas this Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. peddling her beautiful hand-drawn art. To learn more about Sheila visit her blog and etsy page or look her up on Facebook.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Local Jewelry Artist makes Statement Pieces from Semi-Precious Stones and Pearls

Barbara Steacy was exposed to jewelry making at a young age.

“My mother was an artist and both my parents were award winning craftsmen who made hand wrought agate jewelry,” she says.  Despite the early exposure, it wasn't until recently that Barbara returned to her roots and started stringing her own stones.

Her fashion jewelry is designed using semi-precious stones, minerals and fresh water pearls. “I also use Swarovski elements, crystals, pewter, silver and gold plate, as well as sterling silver,” says Barbara.

Barbara Steacy will be selling her original creations at the Goulbourn Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas – Art & Craft Sale this Sunday, December 1st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice at Old-Fashioned Christmas - Art & Craft Sale

In addition to fresh baked goodies, there will also be an assortment of sweet and savory treats in the vendor tent at our Old-FashionedChristmas - Art & Craft Sale on December 1st.

Karma Cravings
Karma Cravings will be peddling their locally made, gluten-free dipping sauces, hot sauces, BBQ sauces, mustards, and dry rubs. Fifty percent of their net proceeds are donated to local animal rescue groups.

Mona's Chocolates

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, Mona Carkner’s got you covered. She has been making chocolates for over 10 years and sells everything from chocolate suckers, turtles, almond bark, Christmas chocolates in designer boxes, hockey sets and she even has a line of sugar-free chocolate.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Deck the Halls with Extraordinary Outdoor Christmas Greenery from Brantim

Brian and Joanne Smith have been owner operators of Brantim Country Garden Center – a family run garden center – for 15 years.  They grow the product they sell at their home-based business and take great pride in the quality of the product they provide.

They produce a full line of extraordinary outdoor Christmas greenery - from wreaths, swags, kissing balls and urn inserts, to large containers, hanging baskets and window boxes.

If you want to ‘wow’ the neighbours with your holiday decorating prowess, be sure to find Brantim Farms in the vendor tent at our Old-Fashioned Christmas on Dec. 1st and choose from a wide selection of their beautiful Christmas greenery.

Joanne and Brian are also donating a beautiful Christmas arrangement valued at over $100 which will be raffled off during our event.

Visit Brantim’s website for more information or take a look at Joanne’s recent interviews on CJOH where she demonstrates how to build a Christmas container and wreath.

Hand-painted Textile Art to Dye For!

Gwendolyn Neelin will be bringing her nature-inspired hand-painted textile art to our Old-Fashioned Christmas – Art & Craft Sale on December 1st. The story of how she went from theatre production to the production of household linens is fascinating. Here’s her story, in her own words:

I am a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre Production program, where I took one single Introduction to Dyeing course where we briefly touched on the existence of natural dyes. As a costume major, I was also in the habit of using tea and coffee to tint and age fabric without ever thinking of it as 'dyeing'. In my final year, in a History of Costume course, I decided to do a project on traditional French Canadian 'Habitant' blankets, and how they were created. With extensive research (about 20 pages over the 5 page limit assigned by the professor), I included information on traditional farming, knitting and spinning techniques, and a sample of blanket dyed with Logwood and Madder (for black with red stripes) and hand-knitted by me. This sample was selected for a display at the Textile Museum of Canada, and more importantly, kick-started my fascination with natural dyeing.

I have been experimenting with dyes for more than 2 years now, and have a small craft company called Mouse & Owl where I create usable household art, made, painted, and dyed by me using only natural dyes. Everything I know I have learned from books, the internet, and a whole lot of trial and error. For now I get all of my materials from suppliers, but eventually I would love to get into producing my own natural dyes from local materials (beetroot, onion skin, carrots, berries – things I could grow in my own garden or buy at local farmers' markets). Every dye bath I make is a little bit different, and as such I learn something new from every batch.

I feel very strongly about the preservation of traditional techniques, and think it's extremely important for both cultural and practical reasons that skills like natural dyeing don't fall by the wayside.

To learn more about Mouse and Owl visit their Facebook and Etsy pages. To see the products up-close-and-personal, visit the vendor tent at the Museum between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday, December 1st.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Lampwork Artist Designs One-of-a-Kind Pieces of Jewelry from Murano Glass

Ever since she was a little girl, Miriam has been attracted to things that sparkle – especially glass beads.  She dabbled in jewelry making as a child growing up in Germany but after being introduced to the art of glass bead making she hasn't looked back.

She has been a lampwork artist for over eight years now creating unique pieces of art from Venetian murano glass. Soon after moving to Ottawa she joined forces with another jewelry designer, Sandra, and Azurika was born.

Azurika offers very unique handcrafted jewelry composed of handmade lampwork beads, chainmaille and gemstones. Azurika only uses hand-picked high quality materials such as murano glass, stainless steel, copper and various gemstone beads to create their one-of-a-kind jewelry designs.

Miriam used to showcase her work at the wonderful Christmas markets in Germany so we are delighted to have Azurika at our Old-Fashioned Christmas – Art & Craft Sale on December 1st.

To find out more about Azurika’s shiny things, visit their website and check them out on Facebook, Etsy & Pinterest.

Shine on!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Sandee’s Country Kitchen – Old-Fashioned Comfort Food made from Scratch

All of Sandee Rosien’s favourite childhood memories involve baking. Her mom was famous for a decadent chocolate cake she baked in a frying pan on top of the stove.  “I loved how she would just know it was time to lift the lid and the cake was perfect every time. It never fell,” says Sandee.

Baking made her happy and she would turn to the kitchen to relieve stress. Repeatedly she was told she should bake for a living, but she never gave it much thought. When Sandee developed major allergic reactions to the preservatives and additives in store bought products her journey of creating everything from scratch began – from cookies and bread to hotdog buns and homemade pasta, she made it all.

Her “ah-ha moment” came while she was recuperating at home from foot surgery. Baking and cooking had become a daily obsession and she would send samples with her husband to his office. “Once again I was told I should do this for a living. I decided, why not do what I love?” And Sandee’s Country Kitchen was born.

Sandee makes fresh baked bread, rolls, pies, cookies, sticky buns, muffins, tarts, cakes, jams and jellies and she will have her goodies for sale at our Old-Fashioned Christmas on December 1st from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Here’s to going old-school and living a preservative-free life!

Find out more about Sandee’s Country Kitchen by visiting their website and Facebook page.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Czech Traditions and a Pinch of Whimsy Combine to make Pottery with Personality

Growing up in culturally and artistically rich Prague, Marketa Stastna found creative outlets at an early age. Over the years she tried her hand at various traditional crafts, everything from knitting and crocheting to sewing and jewelry making.  She even tried pottery as a child, making lopsided pieces only a parent could love.  Then, much like those early masterpieces, she shelved the idea of making pottery.

But she just couldn't stay away from the clay. After moving from Calgary to Ottawa, Marketa decided to try her hand at the pottery wheel again. “I began to truly hone my craft and find my style,” she says. “I try to bring a little childlike magic and whimsy to every pottery piece I make.  Whether it’s a miniature fisherman perched atop a bowl or a bird’s nest settled into the crevice of a mug’s handle, I try to intrigue and entertain with my pieces.”

Marketa will be peddling her personality-filled pottery in the vendor tent at our Old-Fashioned Christmas – Art & Craft Sale on December 1st. Who wouldn’t love to find a piece of whimsy under their tree this Christmas?

Find out more about Marketa’s Creations by visiting her Facebook page.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Dragonfly Dreamers – Jewelry that is Absolutely Riveting!

Wendy Southin of Dragonfly Dreamers isn't afraid to experiment when it comes to creating her jewelry. Although she enjoys taking workshops, most of her masterpieces are the result of her own exploration and experimentation.

Dragonfly Dreamers’ jewelry is created using a combination of metal smithing techniques – sawing, stamping, hammering, riveting and patinas may be used on a single creation.  Copper is the central material used along with other metals, upcycled objects, resin and beads.

“As an artist I enjoy the process of learning and creating with various mediums,” says Wendy.  “Jewelry designing fulfills this desire with its wide range of techniques and materials to explore.”

While her main focus is jewelry, Wendy also designs altered art pieces on canvas, mirrors and other unique objects with a vintage, grungy look-and-feel.

Dragonfly Dreamers will be among the roster of talented artisans peddling their wares in the vendor tent at Goulbourn Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas – Art & Craft Sale. Join us on December 1st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and be sure to set aside some time for ogling the funky finds you’ll come across at Wendy’s table.

Delve deeper into Dragonfly Dreamers by discovering their blog, etsy, Facebook and Twitter pages.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Handcrafted Soaps Made From Scratch

A gardener all of her life, learning how to make soap was a natural progression for Anita Masterson – emphasis on the word natural.

Having a daughter with eczema also prompted Anita to marry her knowledge of plants with soap. The result is a line of artisanal, handcrafted natural soaps made from scratch. Her company, Moon Bubbles Natural Soap Co., only uses their own recipes and no premade bases from other suppliers. Their rich creations come in scents such as Lavender Dreams, Raspberry Kisses, and Chai Tea & their tag line is: “conscience clear, natural soaps intent on your well-being, beautifully made.”

Anita will be among the talented artisans in the vendor tent during Goulbourn Museum’s Old-Fashioned Christmas – Art & Craft Sale. Her decadent soaps make great gifts and stocking suffers so be sure to drop by on December 1st between 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and get a head start on your Christmas shopping.

Learn more about Moon Bubbles Natural Soaps by visiting their Facebook page or by checking them out on YouTube.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Custom Woodturning Guaranteed to also Turn Heads at Old-Fashioned Christmas

Claude LeBel has been turning wood for seven years and now his beautiful handcrafted creations are turning heads.

Claude will be among the talented artisans taking part in Goulbourn Museum's Old-Fashioned Christmas - Art & Craft Sale on December 1st. Through his business, Redefined Wood, he makes and sells wooden pens, pencils, bowls, platters, serving boards, spatulas, bottle stoppers, mini styluses, toaster tongs, honey dippers, candle holders, and more.

An active member of the Valley Woodturners in Ottawa, Claude has also acted as an assistant instructor for the beginner's woodturing course offered by the club. He has studied under world-renowned woodturners such as Mike Mahoney and Jimmy Clewes.  Passionate about his hobby, Claude's artistic flare adds to the beauty and uniqueness of his creations.  Form and function are important elements in his designs because he believes his creations should not only be nice to look at but should be used and enjoyed as well.

Look for Claude in the vendor tent during our Old-Fashioned Christmas on Sunday, December 1st from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and get a head start on your Christmas shopping!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Lest We Forget - Wartime Exhibit at Stittsville Public Library

Throughout the month of November, the Goulbourn Museum will have wartime artefacts on display at the Stittsville branch of the Ottawa Public Library. The exhibit contains items from both the First and Second World Wars such as military hats and a civilian gas mask. Visitors will also be able to read a collection of wartime correspondence written by Pte. Sefton Stewart. Although the young soldier’s letters made it home to his family in Richmond, he did not.

The exhibit will be on display at the Stittsville Library until November 30th.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Oodles of Free Family Activities Planned for Old-Fashioned Christmas - Art & Craft Sale

Save the date! On Sunday, December 1st from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Goulbourn Museum will be hosting an Old-Fashioned Christmas - Art & Craft Sale.

Get an old-fashioned photo taken with Santa and a head-start on your Christmas shopping at this holiday celebration featuring local artisans, baked goodies, old world entertainment and festive crafts.

There will be oodles of free fun and activities for all ages. Children can write letters to Santa with expert help from The Calligraphy Society of Ottawa, play with old-fashioned games and wooden toys, and watch rope making demonstrations by Tom Stephenson of The Kettle Boys. Each child will even get a handmade skipping rope to take home!

Families can don period costumes, pose for a photo with Santa in our Village Store, and take home a vintage keepsake of the day. There will be free hot chocolate and hot apple cider for everyone, and Pizza All’Antica will be onsite making authentic Neapolitan wood fired mobile pizza.

Our list of handmade vendors features something for everyone including jewelry, woodwork, pottery, Christmas greenery, stained glass art, hand-painted textile, chocolates, baked goodies, natural soaps, hair accessories, and more!

Sure hope you’ll join us!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Seeking Vendors for Museum's Old-Fashioned Christmas Art & Craft Show


BECOME A VENDOR
Goulbourn Museum is accepting applications to our Old-Fashioned Christmas Art & Craft Sale being held at the Goulbourn Museum, 2064 Huntley Road on Sunday, December 1st from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

In the past we have held an Art & Craft show exclusively. This year we are expanding to include festive Old-Fashioned Christmas fun including a children’s station for writing letters to Santa, old-fashioned photos with Santa, charming old-world entertainment and more.
We are currently seeking talented crafters to fill 14 vendor positions
in a variety of specialties such as clothing & accessories, home décor, Christmas greenery, art, bath & body, toys, textiles and baked goods.
Note: This will be an outdoor event in a heated tent. Vendors must dress appropriately. 

HERE’S HOW TO APPLY:
Send an email to marketing@goulbournmuseum.ca with:
Your name
Your business name
Contact info (web/blog/facebook/etsy)
A description of your handmade goods
A minimum of 3 quality photographs (Jpeg only, please)
Indication of whether you will need a table (at an additional cost)

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
This is a juried event. Vendors will be chosen carefully to ensure a balanced representation of each category.
Applications will be accepted by email only.
Only complete applications will be considered.
Acceptance letters will be emailed by October 15, 2013 and will include a contract for you to sign and return with payment.

CRAFTER FEES:
Space rental is $40 (approx. 6’ x 3’). Please add $10 table rental fee, if required).
Fees must be paid and contract received no later than October 30, 2013, if accepted.
Please do NOT send payment until you have receiv­ed notice of acceptance.
 Please do NOT send payment until you have receiv­ed notice of acceptance.

Friday, 23 August 2013

From the Depth of our Collection

Stephanie Miles has spent the past two months working as a Collections Assistant at Goulbourn Museum. Today marks her last day with us.  During her time here she has spent hours meticulously going through our collection cataloging and photographing artefacts. This is one of her favourite finds:


By Stephanie Miles

While going through a few artefacts I was surprised to uncover a book on the legendary ocean liner the R.M.S Titanic. The book, The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters: Thrilling Stories of Survivors, was donated to the Goulbourn Museum in 2011 by Donna Foster.

Having been published in the year of the historic event, 1912, it is in surprisingly good condition for its age with the exception of its missing spine and the delicate nature of the pages.

This artefact led to many questions in my mind. Why was the artefact donated here to the Goulbourn Museum? Is it possible that a citizen of the former Goulbourn Township was a survivor or a relative of a passenger on the Titanic? If so then what stories might they be able to share about this ill-fated ship?

The Titanic sank approximately 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. Interestingly, 100 years earlier during the War of 1812, many ships carrying Irish soldiers enroute to Canada also sank off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland when their vessels hit rough seas.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Help Bring Clarence Evelyn Rielly's War Medals Home!



It has recently come to the attention of Goulbourn Museum that a collection of war medals, belonging to Richmond's own Clarence Evelyn Rielly have appeared in an auction hosted on EBay. With the community's help we hope to bring Rielly's medals home to preserve this local hero's story for future generations.

Photo Showcased as Part of Auctioned Collection
Clarence Evelyn Rielly served as a Sapper in the First World War with the Canadian Engineers and continued on to serve in the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). When Rielly first enlisted, his attestation papers show he worked as a telegraph operator from Richmond. Rielly was born in 1892 and was 24 years old when he enlisted.

This collection includes Rielly's WWI War Medal and Victory Medal, Second World War Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM) and War Medal, along with his RCAF Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, general service badge and RCAF Reserve service badge. Also included in the collection are two black and white photographs showing Rielly in his RCAF uniform. This auction of Rielly's war medals, pins and photographs will close on August 15, 2013 at 2:56 pm.

The auction was first brought to our attention by Dave Thomson from St. George, Ontario. Thomson's hobby is to find war medals belonging to Canadian veterans and help repatriate them to their family or hometown. The value of this collection to the Museum comes from collection of material as a whole, preserving the story of a war hero from Goulbourn Township. The rarest of the medals in this collection is the RCAF Long Service & Good Conduct Medal. Rielly earned this medal after achieving 18 years of service with the RCAF. These medals were awarded between August 1944 and September 1957. In comparison, there were approximately 1.1 million Canadians who served in the Army, Navy and Air Force during the course of WWII, the majority of whom received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM) and the equivalent Second World War Medal. What makes the RCAF Long Service & Good Conduct Medal so special is there were only 487 of these medals awarded to Canadians.  

In 2014, Canadians will commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War. The Museum will be launching an exhibition in June of 2014, and this collection could be incorporated into the exhibit if we can rally enough support and raise money to secure the winning bid. 

Cash or cheque donations can be made to the Goulbourn Museum. If we can raise sufficient funds to secure the winning bid, we will purchase the grouping and accession the items into our artifact collection. Otherwise donations will be used toward improving our collection and creating programs and exhibitions at the Museum. Goulbourn Museum is a registered charity and can offer tax receipts for all contributions over $10, so please be sure to leave your contact information with a donation.

The Museum is open Wednesday to Sunday from 1-4 p.m. and is located at 2064 Huntley Road, just south of Stittsville.

Help to spread the word and let's bring Clarence Evelyn Rielly's war medals back to Goulbourn Township!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Exceptional Women and the War of 1812 Exhibit on at the Stittsville Library



The Goulbourn Museum’s "Exceptional Women and the War of 1812" exhibit is currently on display at the Stittsville Public Library. Read about the bravery of Laura Secord and Maria Hill and see some artefacts belonging to women of that era.  

One featured artefact is an old-fashioned curling iron.  This item would have been a necessity for upper class women for the purpose of finding a suitable husband and maintaining the appearance of an upper class lifestyle.

Free copies of the Museum’s new booklet "Goulbourn's Top 12 of 1812" are also available at our display.  The booklet tells the story of 12 exceptional individuals from Goulbourn's past and details their achievements. Characters such as Andrew Spearman, Maria Hill and John Crozier are profiled. 

The Exceptional Women and the War of 1812 exhibit will be on display at the Stittsville Public Library until August 31st.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Child's Christmas present from 1925 safely stored in Goulbourn Museum's collection

By Jennifer Adams

This doll was given to a little girl as a Christmas present in 1925. Just over six decades later, in 1991, it was donated to the Goulbourn Museum and has resided in our collection ever since.

Many of you may recognize this doll from our Museum banner at City Hall. It was chosen, along with two other artefacts, to represent our family-friendly site. Even though her paint is peeling and her face is cracked and chipped, this doll’s ability to represent a much loved pastime of many little girls cannot be overlooked.

The mid-1920s in Canada was a time of great prosperity for some, but for others it was a time of poverty. Many families did not have the money to buy their children toys and some children worked so hard in the home and fields that there was not much time for playing. More often than not, if a girl did receive a doll it was on a special occasion like Christmas.  Because a child would usually only receive one doll during her childhood, (if they received one at all), she would take extra special care of it. It not only had to last the rest of her childhood but there was also the hope of passing it down to her future daughter too.

This toy, known as a composition doll, reached the height of its popularity in the 1920s -1940s. The heads, and sometimes the limbs, of composition dolls were molded out of sawdust mixed with glue. Their heads were easier to manufacture and less likely to break when played with compared to porcelain dolls. Naturally, these American-made dolls gained popularity and German porcelain doll making companies lost favour.

The decades have taken their toll on this doll but like many women who can recall having a favourite doll, this one would have been loved and cherished by a little girl beginning on Christmas morning, 1925.

Question: At the height of the composition doll’s popularity, what famous person’s look-a-like doll was the most sought after? 

Answer:  Shirley Temple.

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Early to mid-19th century style cloth dolls on display until the end of August

Two of the cloth dolls on display at the Goulbourn Museum.
By Jennifer Adams

Now on display at Goulbourn Museum until the end of August is a wonderful collection of modern made early to mid-19th century style cloth dolls. These dolls were all handmade by members of the Ottawa-based cloth doll club All Dolled Up.

Each doll takes a lot of work to make, as well as time and patience to get it just right. The fine detailing on the faces requires trial and error until the final product matches the doll maker’s vision for the doll. 

This style of cloth doll is reminiscent of the toys that girls would have had in the early days of Goulbourn Township when the War of 1812 was still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Among the 12 dolls on display at the Museum there is also a horse, two dogs and a duck.  Sitting atop the horse is General Brock wearing his uniform and looking very dignified. Near him are a boy and young man, wearing pioneer clothing accompanied by their dogs and the firewood they have been collecting.  The display case would not be complete without the women that also played a valuable role in our nation’s history. They range from a young girl to older women, some wearing pioneer clothing, others wearing gentry clothing. These dolls are shown knitting, collecting food from the fields and doing laundry.

In addition to the Goulbourn Museum, All Dolled Up has also had their dolls on display at art galleries and local functions.  

Monday, 8 July 2013

Meet Stephanie Miles - Collections Assistant

Stephanie Miles
Goulbourn Museum has been like a second home to me over the past four years.  My initial involvement began as a co-op student during high school and this led to three years of volunteer service.  During those three years I completed the Applied Museum Studies Program at Algonquin College and recently graduated with Honours after completing a four-month internship as Educational Programming Assistant at Goulbourn.

I was extremely pleased to be the successful candidate for the seven-week Collections Assistant position at the Museum which is being offered through the Province of Ontario’s Summer Experience Program.  This position will allow me to put various elements from my last three years of learning into practice while at the same time gaining further experience in the area of Collections Management.

My main objective this summer is to assist with the organization of the Museum's large collection of artefacts.  There are a number of tasks that must be completed in order to meet this objective. These tasks include: recording artefact accession numbers and comparing these to the Museum's collections database, photo documentation of artefacts and recording each artefact’s dimensions and location.

I am excited to be involved with this project and look forward to the upcoming weeks.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Meet Jennifer Adams - Curatorial Assistant

Jennifer Adams
I am very pleased to be working at the Goulbourn Museum for the summer as a Curatorial Assistant.  As a student in the Applied Museums Studies program at Algonquin College, having an opportunity to combine what I am learning in the classroom with hands on working experience before I graduate is very beneficial.

I previously obtained a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Anthropology from Laurentian University and this has proven to compliment my museum interests well.  During my time at university I was able to take part in a six week archaeological field course put on by one of my professors in collaboration with the anthropology department.  I, along with 11 other students, our professor and two graduates of the program excavated a 15th century Huron-Wendat site in Southern Ontario. We set up our tents in the field next to the dig site and spent long hours excavating, sifting dirt through mesh screens, cleaning and cataloguing artefacts and writing detailed accounts of our day.  We found broken pieces of pottery, animal bones and beads and, of course many rocks.  These findings all came from an area in old settlements called “middens” – 15th century garbage dumps.  Archaeologists like to dig in middens because of the large number of artefacts they can find there.

After less than a month I am already feeling at home at the Goulbourn Museum.  I am eager to see what this summer has to offer and look forward to working with the museum’s staff and volunteers these next few months.

Meet Sarah Norton - Community Programmer & Marketing Assistant

Sarah Norton
This is my first summer working at Goulbourn Museum as a summer student. My job includes a wide variety of tasks and each day I get to challenge myself and learn new skills. 

I am entering my fourth year at Trent University in the Anthropology and Cultural Studies programs; I also play volleyball for the Varsity Women’s Volleyball team. After graduating this year I plan to attend Algonquin College and enter the Applied Museum Studies Program. 

Goulbourn Museum has been an amazing opportunity and has allowed me to explore the many facets of the operation and maintenance of a museum. Some similar experiences I have had in the past include Boyd Archaeology Field School and acting as a summer student at the Arnprior Museum.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

War of 1812 Historical Walking Tour at Beechwood Cemetery Sunday, June 9

Costumed actors will bring historical figures from the War of 1812 to life at the 2013 Annual Historical Walking Tour at Beechwood Cemetery this Sunday, June 9 at 2 p.m. 

The tour includes five stops at the gravesites of men and women of note from the war including Sgt. Andrew Hill and his wife Maria Hill who were part of the 100th Regiment of Foot. Following the war, Sgt. Hill received 200 acres of land in Goulbourn Township.  He and Maria opened a tavern named Duke of Richmond Arms and he also worked as a clerk in the commissary offices that supervised the military depot until 1822. 

Don’t miss this stroll through beautiful and historic Beechwood, the National Cemetery of Canada.  Refreshments will be served after the tour. Enter by Beechwood Avenue entrance. Tour and parking are free. Wear good walking shoes.

For more information call 613-741-9530 or visit Beechwood's website for more information.