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753-771 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, Ontario

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives187789
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
Don Cosens Collection
Description Level
Item
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
1989
Accession Number
2018-58
Storage Location
M5 S1 Sh3 B1 F7 6
  1 image     1 website  
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
Don Cosens Collection
Description Level
Item
Accession Number
2018-58
Storage Room
Archives 4th Floor Storage Room
Storage Location
M5 S1 Sh3 B1 F7 6
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
1989
Series
Don Cosens Collection- Photographs series
Physical Description
1 photograph : col ; 10 x 15 cm
Scope and Content
A photograph showing storefronts located at 745-771 Talbot Street in St. Thomas, Ontario, including Hammerly's Fish Market (771 Talbot Street), Colonel Glass and Mirror (765-767 Talbot Street), Mom's Subs and Such (763 Talbot Street) and Talbot's Study (753 Talbot Street). Down the Street to Yesterday Zone 34 (Horton to Manitoba).
URL Notes
link shows a more contemporary view provided by Google Maps street view. Accessed September 28, 2020.
Images
Websites / Street View

Street Reconstruction and Improvement Projects, St. Thomas - Free Pancake Breakfast

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives118591
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
St. Thomas Times-Journal fonds
Description Level
Item
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
1976
Accession Number
2008-01
Storage Location
C1 Sh2 B1 F28 68
  1 image     1 website  
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
St. Thomas Times-Journal fonds
Creator
St. Thomas Times-Journal
Description Level
Item
Accession Number
2008-01
Storage Room
Archives Storage Rm. 105
Storage Location
C1 Sh2 B1 F28 68
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
1976
Series
St. Thomas Times-Journal fonds - Street Reconstruction and Improvement Projects, St. Thomas file
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w ; 16.5 x 20.5 cm
Scope and Content
Black and white photograph used in St. Thomas Times-Journal article published May 27, 1976 with caption:" To celebrate the renovated downtown area west of the CNR tracks (Colonel Talbot Centre), the merchants and city officials closed Talbot Street this morning in front of City Hall and served breakfast free. Mayor Wayne Neal, assisted by Elgin MPP Ron McNeil, later cut the ribbon to officially open the centre. The festivities continue Friday and Saturday." View is looking west along Talbot Street from White Street. St. Joseph's High School and Holy Angels Church are visible.
Down the Street to Yesterday Zone 11 (Southwick to White)
Name Access
St. Thomas (Ont.)
St. Thomas Times-Journal
Subject Access
Newspapers
Streets
Public Works
Roads and Highways
URL Notes
For contemporary view see Google Street View, accessed August 21, 2014.
Images
Websites / Street View

Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives187810
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 14
  2 images     1 website  
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Room
Archives Storage Rm. 107
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 14
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Series
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds- Photographs series
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w negatives ; 3.5 x 2.5 cm (4 copies)
1 photograph : b&w prints ; 3.5 x 2.5 cm (4 copies)
History / Biographical
This piece of furniture was profiled on this webpage on October 17, 2019 (link in the URL field below): https://www.rogueshollowantiques.com/2019/10/17/celebrating-a-19th-century-secretary-from-elgin-county-ontario/
Celebrating a 19th Century Secretary from Elgin County, Ontario Some countries are well known for their styles of furniture: French Empire, English Chippendale, American Federal are just some well known periods that spring to mind. Canada, by comparison, is a relatively young country with disparate styles of furniture reflective of its diverse population and immigrant settlement areas. Although most pre-Confederation furniture was simple and sturdy, the country was beginning to develop its own trade of cabinet makers influenced primarily by some of the European styles mentioned above. While some cabinet makers were true to their European heritage, others mixed traditional influences with new styles. These were adapted to a new country, readily available materials, and to the needs of the early settlers at the time. The secretary featured in this post is a case in point. Upper Canada in Elgin County Talbot Secretary Elgin County Secretary, Circa 1850 This secretary is a rare survivor from Upper Canada which can be traced back to its original owner, William Sells, who lived in Elgin County from 1830-1863. The estate was known as Seldon, located at Payne’s Mills, about three miles west of St. Thomas. The town of St. Thomas was named after Thomas Talbot, who emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1791, where he became personal secretary to John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governer of Upper Canada. In 1803 Talbot built a log cabin at a place now known as Port Talbot and created a settlement for immigrants, doling out strips of land. One of those early settlers was William Sells. According to a provincial assembly in 1836, Talbot settled a total of 519,805 acres in the area (excluding his personal holdings) on 3,008 lots. Country Formal Style The secretary is designed in a country formal style. Philip Shackleton’s book, The Furniture of Old Ontario, points out: General practice up to about 1850 was for clients to order furniture directly from cabinet-makers and not, as later, from merchants. Very few pieces of Ontario-made furniture were marked or branded in any way by their producers. Finely arched mouldings on the top half of the cabinet show influences of Sheraton and are more formal and decorative. The bottom half is utilitarian in style and function, with some carved mouldings between the sets of front drawers. The secretary would have been used to store deeds, documents and valuables. It is a piece reflective of its time and place in early Upper Canadian history, made with expert craftsmanship but with austere lines that do not detract from its primary function. And yet, the secretary, with its clean lines and restrained ornamentation, would easily fit into many modern homes today without looking dated or out of place. Visitors to the area at the time point out the settlers’ preferences for simple, “stoic” furnishings: “Here no fauteuil, spring-cushioned, extended its comfortable arms – no sofa here…Colonel Talbot held all such luxuries in sovereign contempt. In front of a capacious chimney stood a long wooden table, flanked with two wooden chairs, cut from the forest in the midst of which they now stand” Fine Craftsmanship The secretary is constructed in seven pieces which fit together snugly. Some of its distinguishing features are: the outside is almost entirely constructed in black walnut, a hardwood that is only found in North America; secondary woods for the interior drawers are in white wood (possibly basswood); use of nails is very scant – we only found one wrought iron square nail in the back-centre portion of the drawers; the top half has a glazed front with sliding doors and wooden brackets; the top left of the door illustrates fine brass hinges, with brass key holes on some of the drawers; highly skilled dovetail tenons used on all window frames; dovetail joints on all of the drawers; all drawers are graduated including the false front section; all of the pieces are original and there is no sign of previous repairs – highly usual for such an early secretary. Seldon Homestead Seldon was bequeathed to William Sells’ daughter in 1862 and remained in her possession until her death in 1919 when she bequeathed it to Mr. McKay, president of the Elgin Historical Society. In the February 1930 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens, the secretary appears in the original homestead. Interestingly, the current owner of the cabinet found two documents at the back of the side drawers. One of them is of a newspaper from St Thomas called “The Home Journal”, dated July 4, 1861. The other document is a colour illustration from a lithograph for the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), published by The Orcutt Company, Chicago, IL. It’s worth celebrating and appreciating our early history in the few cherished objects we can still find, live with, and use in our own homes. This secretary connects us to our early settlers, to the materials that were salvaged and created from the land, and to those who helped create the country we now know as Canada.
Scope and Content
Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills, ca. 1984. Part of a file of photographs taken by Elizabeth Boston.
Images
Websites / Street View

Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives187811
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 15
  2 images     1 website  
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Room
Archives Storage Rm. 107
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 15
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Series
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds- Photographs series
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w negatives ; 2.5 x 3.5 cm negatives (3 copies)
1 photograph : b&w prints ; 2.5 x 3.5 cm negatives (3 copies)
History / Biographical
This piece of furniture was profiled on this webpage on October 17, 2019 (link in the URL field below): https://www.rogueshollowantiques.com/2019/10/17/celebrating-a-19th-century-secretary-from-elgin-county-ontario/
Celebrating a 19th Century Secretary from Elgin County, Ontario Some countries are well known for their styles of furniture: French Empire, English Chippendale, American Federal are just some well known periods that spring to mind. Canada, by comparison, is a relatively young country with disparate styles of furniture reflective of its diverse population and immigrant settlement areas. Although most pre-Confederation furniture was simple and sturdy, the country was beginning to develop its own trade of cabinet makers influenced primarily by some of the European styles mentioned above. While some cabinet makers were true to their European heritage, others mixed traditional influences with new styles. These were adapted to a new country, readily available materials, and to the needs of the early settlers at the time. The secretary featured in this post is a case in point. Upper Canada in Elgin County Talbot Secretary Elgin County Secretary, Circa 1850 This secretary is a rare survivor from Upper Canada which can be traced back to its original owner, William Sells, who lived in Elgin County from 1830-1863. The estate was known as Seldon, located at Payne’s Mills, about three miles west of St. Thomas. The town of St. Thomas was named after Thomas Talbot, who emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1791, where he became personal secretary to John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governer of Upper Canada. In 1803 Talbot built a log cabin at a place now known as Port Talbot and created a settlement for immigrants, doling out strips of land. One of those early settlers was William Sells. According to a provincial assembly in 1836, Talbot settled a total of 519,805 acres in the area (excluding his personal holdings) on 3,008 lots. Country Formal Style The secretary is designed in a country formal style. Philip Shackleton’s book, The Furniture of Old Ontario, points out: General practice up to about 1850 was for clients to order furniture directly from cabinet-makers and not, as later, from merchants. Very few pieces of Ontario-made furniture were marked or branded in any way by their producers. Finely arched mouldings on the top half of the cabinet show influences of Sheraton and are more formal and decorative. The bottom half is utilitarian in style and function, with some carved mouldings between the sets of front drawers. The secretary would have been used to store deeds, documents and valuables. It is a piece reflective of its time and place in early Upper Canadian history, made with expert craftsmanship but with austere lines that do not detract from its primary function. And yet, the secretary, with its clean lines and restrained ornamentation, would easily fit into many modern homes today without looking dated or out of place. Visitors to the area at the time point out the settlers’ preferences for simple, “stoic” furnishings: “Here no fauteuil, spring-cushioned, extended its comfortable arms – no sofa here…Colonel Talbot held all such luxuries in sovereign contempt. In front of a capacious chimney stood a long wooden table, flanked with two wooden chairs, cut from the forest in the midst of which they now stand” Fine Craftsmanship The secretary is constructed in seven pieces which fit together snugly. Some of its distinguishing features are: the outside is almost entirely constructed in black walnut, a hardwood that is only found in North America; secondary woods for the interior drawers are in white wood (possibly basswood); use of nails is very scant – we only found one wrought iron square nail in the back-centre portion of the drawers; the top half has a glazed front with sliding doors and wooden brackets; the top left of the door illustrates fine brass hinges, with brass key holes on some of the drawers; highly skilled dovetail tenons used on all window frames; dovetail joints on all of the drawers; all drawers are graduated including the false front section; all of the pieces are original and there is no sign of previous repairs – highly usual for such an early secretary. Seldon Homestead Seldon was bequeathed to William Sells’ daughter in 1862 and remained in her possession until her death in 1919 when she bequeathed it to Mr. McKay, president of the Elgin Historical Society. In the February 1930 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens, the secretary appears in the original homestead. Interestingly, the current owner of the cabinet found two documents at the back of the side drawers. One of them is of a newspaper from St Thomas called “The Home Journal”, dated July 4, 1861. The other document is a colour illustration from a lithograph for the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), published by The Orcutt Company, Chicago, IL. It’s worth celebrating and appreciating our early history in the few cherished objects we can still find, live with, and use in our own homes. This secretary connects us to our early settlers, to the materials that were salvaged and created from the land, and to those who helped create the country we now know as Canada.
Scope and Content
Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills, ca. 1984. Part of a file of photographs taken by Elizabeth Boston.
Images
Websites / Street View

Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives187812
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 16
  2 images     1 website  
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Room
Archives Storage Rm. 107
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 16
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Publication
Posted on Facebook: October 14, 2020.
Series
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds- Photographs series
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w negatives ; 2.5 x 3.5 cm (5 copies)
1 photograph : b&w prints ; 2.5 x 3.5 cm (5 copies)
History / Biographical
This piece of furniture was profiled on this webpage on October 17, 2019 (link in the URL field below): https://www.rogueshollowantiques.com/2019/10/17/celebrating-a-19th-century-secretary-from-elgin-county-ontario/
Celebrating a 19th Century Secretary from Elgin County, Ontario Some countries are well known for their styles of furniture: French Empire, English Chippendale, American Federal are just some well known periods that spring to mind. Canada, by comparison, is a relatively young country with disparate styles of furniture reflective of its diverse population and immigrant settlement areas. Although most pre-Confederation furniture was simple and sturdy, the country was beginning to develop its own trade of cabinet makers influenced primarily by some of the European styles mentioned above. While some cabinet makers were true to their European heritage, others mixed traditional influences with new styles. These were adapted to a new country, readily available materials, and to the needs of the early settlers at the time. The secretary featured in this post is a case in point. Upper Canada in Elgin County Talbot Secretary Elgin County Secretary, Circa 1850 This secretary is a rare survivor from Upper Canada which can be traced back to its original owner, William Sells, who lived in Elgin County from 1830-1863. The estate was known as Seldon, located at Payne’s Mills, about three miles west of St. Thomas. The town of St. Thomas was named after Thomas Talbot, who emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1791, where he became personal secretary to John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governer of Upper Canada. In 1803 Talbot built a log cabin at a place now known as Port Talbot and created a settlement for immigrants, doling out strips of land. One of those early settlers was William Sells. According to a provincial assembly in 1836, Talbot settled a total of 519,805 acres in the area (excluding his personal holdings) on 3,008 lots. Country Formal Style The secretary is designed in a country formal style. Philip Shackleton’s book, The Furniture of Old Ontario, points out: General practice up to about 1850 was for clients to order furniture directly from cabinet-makers and not, as later, from merchants. Very few pieces of Ontario-made furniture were marked or branded in any way by their producers. Finely arched mouldings on the top half of the cabinet show influences of Sheraton and are more formal and decorative. The bottom half is utilitarian in style and function, with some carved mouldings between the sets of front drawers. The secretary would have been used to store deeds, documents and valuables. It is a piece reflective of its time and place in early Upper Canadian history, made with expert craftsmanship but with austere lines that do not detract from its primary function. And yet, the secretary, with its clean lines and restrained ornamentation, would easily fit into many modern homes today without looking dated or out of place. Visitors to the area at the time point out the settlers’ preferences for simple, “stoic” furnishings: “Here no fauteuil, spring-cushioned, extended its comfortable arms – no sofa here…Colonel Talbot held all such luxuries in sovereign contempt. In front of a capacious chimney stood a long wooden table, flanked with two wooden chairs, cut from the forest in the midst of which they now stand” Fine Craftsmanship The secretary is constructed in seven pieces which fit together snugly. Some of its distinguishing features are: the outside is almost entirely constructed in black walnut, a hardwood that is only found in North America; secondary woods for the interior drawers are in white wood (possibly basswood); use of nails is very scant – we only found one wrought iron square nail in the back-centre portion of the drawers; the top half has a glazed front with sliding doors and wooden brackets; the top left of the door illustrates fine brass hinges, with brass key holes on some of the drawers; highly skilled dovetail tenons used on all window frames; dovetail joints on all of the drawers; all drawers are graduated including the false front section; all of the pieces are original and there is no sign of previous repairs – highly usual for such an early secretary. Seldon Homestead Seldon was bequeathed to William Sells’ daughter in 1862 and remained in her possession until her death in 1919 when she bequeathed it to Mr. McKay, president of the Elgin Historical Society. In the February 1930 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens, the secretary appears in the original homestead (shown below)(4). Interestingly, the current owner of the cabinet found two documents at the back of the side drawers. One of them is of a newspaper from St Thomas called “The Home Journal”, dated July 4, 1861. The other document is a colour illustration from a lithograph for the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), published by The Orcutt Company, Chicago, IL. It’s worth celebrating and appreciating our early history in the few cherished objects we can still find, live with, and use in our own homes. This secretary connects us to our early settlers, to the materials that were salvaged and created from the land, and to those who helped create the country we now know as Canada.
Scope and Content
Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills, ca. 1984. Part of a file of photographs taken by Elizabeth Boston.
Images
Websites / Street View

Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives187815
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 17
  2 images     1 website  
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Room
Archives Storage Rm. 107
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 17
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Series
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds- Photographs series
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w negative ; 3.5 x 2.5 cm
1 photograph : b&w prints ; 3.5 x 2.5 cm (3 copies)
History / Biographical
This piece of furniture was profiled on this webpage on October 17, 2019 (link in the URL field below): https://www.rogueshollowantiques.com/2019/10/17/celebrating-a-19th-century-secretary-from-elgin-county-ontario/
Celebrating a 19th Century Secretary from Elgin County, Ontario Some countries are well known for their styles of furniture: French Empire, English Chippendale, American Federal are just some well known periods that spring to mind. Canada, by comparison, is a relatively young country with disparate styles of furniture reflective of its diverse population and immigrant settlement areas. Although most pre-Confederation furniture was simple and sturdy, the country was beginning to develop its own trade of cabinet makers influenced primarily by some of the European styles mentioned above. While some cabinet makers were true to their European heritage, others mixed traditional influences with new styles. These were adapted to a new country, readily available materials, and to the needs of the early settlers at the time. The secretary featured in this post is a case in point. Upper Canada in Elgin County Talbot Secretary Elgin County Secretary, Circa 1850 This secretary is a rare survivor from Upper Canada which can be traced back to its original owner, William Sells, who lived in Elgin County from 1830-1863. The estate was known as Seldon, located at Payne’s Mills, about three miles west of St. Thomas. The town of St. Thomas was named after Thomas Talbot, who emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1791, where he became personal secretary to John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governer of Upper Canada. In 1803 Talbot built a log cabin at a place now known as Port Talbot and created a settlement for immigrants, doling out strips of land. One of those early settlers was William Sells. According to a provincial assembly in 1836, Talbot settled a total of 519,805 acres in the area (excluding his personal holdings) on 3,008 lots. Country Formal Style The secretary is designed in a country formal style. Philip Shackleton’s book, The Furniture of Old Ontario, points out: General practice up to about 1850 was for clients to order furniture directly from cabinet-makers and not, as later, from merchants. Very few pieces of Ontario-made furniture were marked or branded in any way by their producers. Finely arched mouldings on the top half of the cabinet show influences of Sheraton and are more formal and decorative. The bottom half is utilitarian in style and function, with some carved mouldings between the sets of front drawers. The secretary would have been used to store deeds, documents and valuables. It is a piece reflective of its time and place in early Upper Canadian history, made with expert craftsmanship but with austere lines that do not detract from its primary function. And yet, the secretary, with its clean lines and restrained ornamentation, would easily fit into many modern homes today without looking dated or out of place. Visitors to the area at the time point out the settlers’ preferences for simple, “stoic” furnishings: “Here no fauteuil, spring-cushioned, extended its comfortable arms – no sofa here…Colonel Talbot held all such luxuries in sovereign contempt. In front of a capacious chimney stood a long wooden table, flanked with two wooden chairs, cut from the forest in the midst of which they now stand” Fine Craftsmanship The secretary is constructed in seven pieces which fit together snugly. Some of its distinguishing features are: the outside is almost entirely constructed in black walnut, a hardwood that is only found in North America; secondary woods for the interior drawers are in white wood (possibly basswood); use of nails is very scant – we only found one wrought iron square nail in the back-centre portion of the drawers; the top half has a glazed front with sliding doors and wooden brackets; the top left of the door illustrates fine brass hinges, with brass key holes on some of the drawers; highly skilled dovetail tenons used on all window frames; dovetail joints on all of the drawers; all drawers are graduated including the false front section; all of the pieces are original and there is no sign of previous repairs – highly usual for such an early secretary. Seldon Homestead Seldon was bequeathed to William Sells’ daughter in 1862 and remained in her possession until her death in 1919 when she bequeathed it to Mr. McKay, president of the Elgin Historical Society. In the February 1930 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens, the secretary appears in the original homestead (shown below)(4). Interestingly, the current owner of the cabinet found two documents at the back of the side drawers. One of them is of a newspaper from St Thomas called “The Home Journal”, dated July 4, 1861. The other document is a colour illustration from a lithograph for the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), published by The Orcutt Company, Chicago, IL. It’s worth celebrating and appreciating our early history in the few cherished objects we can still find, live with, and use in our own homes. This secretary connects us to our early settlers, to the materials that were salvaged and created from the land, and to those who helped create the country we now know as Canada.
Scope and Content
Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills, ca. 1984. Part of a file of photographs taken by Elizabeth Boston.
Images
Websites / Street View

Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives187818
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 18
  1 image     1 website  
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Room
Archives Storage Rm. 107
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 18
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Series
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds- Photographs series
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w print ; 3.5 x 2.5 cm (2 copies)
History / Biographical
This piece of furniture was profiled on this webpage on October 17, 2019 (link in the URL field below): https://www.rogueshollowantiques.com/2019/10/17/celebrating-a-19th-century-secretary-from-elgin-county-ontario/
Celebrating a 19th Century Secretary from Elgin County, Ontario Some countries are well known for their styles of furniture: French Empire, English Chippendale, American Federal are just some well known periods that spring to mind. Canada, by comparison, is a relatively young country with disparate styles of furniture reflective of its diverse population and immigrant settlement areas. Although most pre-Confederation furniture was simple and sturdy, the country was beginning to develop its own trade of cabinet makers influenced primarily by some of the European styles mentioned above. While some cabinet makers were true to their European heritage, others mixed traditional influences with new styles. These were adapted to a new country, readily available materials, and to the needs of the early settlers at the time. The secretary featured in this post is a case in point. Upper Canada in Elgin County Talbot Secretary Elgin County Secretary, Circa 1850 This secretary is a rare survivor from Upper Canada which can be traced back to its original owner, William Sells, who lived in Elgin County from 1830-1863. The estate was known as Seldon, located at Payne’s Mills, about three miles west of St. Thomas. The town of St. Thomas was named after Thomas Talbot, who emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1791, where he became personal secretary to John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governer of Upper Canada. In 1803 Talbot built a log cabin at a place now known as Port Talbot and created a settlement for immigrants, doling out strips of land. One of those early settlers was William Sells. According to a provincial assembly in 1836, Talbot settled a total of 519,805 acres in the area (excluding his personal holdings) on 3,008 lots. Country Formal Style The secretary is designed in a country formal style. Philip Shackleton’s book, The Furniture of Old Ontario, points out: General practice up to about 1850 was for clients to order furniture directly from cabinet-makers and not, as later, from merchants. Very few pieces of Ontario-made furniture were marked or branded in any way by their producers. Finely arched mouldings on the top half of the cabinet show influences of Sheraton and are more formal and decorative. The bottom half is utilitarian in style and function, with some carved mouldings between the sets of front drawers. The secretary would have been used to store deeds, documents and valuables. It is a piece reflective of its time and place in early Upper Canadian history, made with expert craftsmanship but with austere lines that do not detract from its primary function. And yet, the secretary, with its clean lines and restrained ornamentation, would easily fit into many modern homes today without looking dated or out of place. Visitors to the area at the time point out the settlers’ preferences for simple, “stoic” furnishings: “Here no fauteuil, spring-cushioned, extended its comfortable arms – no sofa here…Colonel Talbot held all such luxuries in sovereign contempt. In front of a capacious chimney stood a long wooden table, flanked with two wooden chairs, cut from the forest in the midst of which they now stand” Fine Craftsmanship The secretary is constructed in seven pieces which fit together snugly. Some of its distinguishing features are: the outside is almost entirely constructed in black walnut, a hardwood that is only found in North America; secondary woods for the interior drawers are in white wood (possibly basswood); use of nails is very scant – we only found one wrought iron square nail in the back-centre portion of the drawers; the top half has a glazed front with sliding doors and wooden brackets; the top left of the door illustrates fine brass hinges, with brass key holes on some of the drawers; highly skilled dovetail tenons used on all window frames; dovetail joints on all of the drawers; all drawers are graduated including the false front section; all of the pieces are original and there is no sign of previous repairs – highly usual for such an early secretary. Seldon Homestead Seldon was bequeathed to William Sells’ daughter in 1862 and remained in her possession until her death in 1919 when she bequeathed it to Mr. McKay, president of the Elgin Historical Society. In the February 1930 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens, the secretary appears in the original homestead (shown below)(4). Interestingly, the current owner of the cabinet found two documents at the back of the side drawers. One of them is of a newspaper from St Thomas called “The Home Journal”, dated July 4, 1861. The other document is a colour illustration from a lithograph for the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), published by The Orcutt Company, Chicago, IL. It’s worth celebrating and appreciating our early history in the few cherished objects we can still find, live with, and use in our own homes. This secretary connects us to our early settlers, to the materials that were salvaged and created from the land, and to those who helped create the country we now know as Canada.
Scope and Content
Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills, ca. 1984. Part of a file of photographs taken by Elizabeth Boston.
Images
Websites / Street View

Living room and Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives187820
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 19
  2 images     1 website  
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds
Description Level
Item
Accession Number
2018-56
Storage Room
Archives Storage Rm. 107
Storage Location
C10 Sh3 B2 F6 19
GMD
graphic material
Date Range
ca. 1984
Series
McKay family/ Kenneth Weir McKay fonds- Photographs series
Physical Description
1 photograph : b&w negatives ; 2.5 x 3.5 cm negatives (4 copies)
1 photograph : b&w prints ; 2.5 x 3.5 cm negatives (6 copies)
History / Biographical
This piece of furniture was profiled on this webpage on October 17, 2019 (link in the URL field below): https://www.rogueshollowantiques.com/2019/10/17/celebrating-a-19th-century-secretary-from-elgin-county-ontario/
Celebrating a 19th Century Secretary from Elgin County, Ontario Some countries are well known for their styles of furniture: French Empire, English Chippendale, American Federal are just some well known periods that spring to mind. Canada, by comparison, is a relatively young country with disparate styles of furniture reflective of its diverse population and immigrant settlement areas. Although most pre-Confederation furniture was simple and sturdy, the country was beginning to develop its own trade of cabinet makers influenced primarily by some of the European styles mentioned above. While some cabinet makers were true to their European heritage, others mixed traditional influences with new styles. These were adapted to a new country, readily available materials, and to the needs of the early settlers at the time. The secretary featured in this post is a case in point. Upper Canada in Elgin County Talbot Secretary Elgin County Secretary, Circa 1850 This secretary is a rare survivor from Upper Canada which can be traced back to its original owner, William Sells, who lived in Elgin County from 1830-1863. The estate was known as Seldon, located at Payne’s Mills, about three miles west of St. Thomas. The town of St. Thomas was named after Thomas Talbot, who emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1791, where he became personal secretary to John Graves Simcoe, Lieutenant-Governer of Upper Canada. In 1803 Talbot built a log cabin at a place now known as Port Talbot and created a settlement for immigrants, doling out strips of land. One of those early settlers was William Sells. According to a provincial assembly in 1836, Talbot settled a total of 519,805 acres in the area (excluding his personal holdings) on 3,008 lots. Country Formal Style The secretary is designed in a country formal style. Philip Shackleton’s book, The Furniture of Old Ontario, points out: General practice up to about 1850 was for clients to order furniture directly from cabinet-makers and not, as later, from merchants. Very few pieces of Ontario-made furniture were marked or branded in any way by their producers. Finely arched mouldings on the top half of the cabinet show influences of Sheraton and are more formal and decorative. The bottom half is utilitarian in style and function, with some carved mouldings between the sets of front drawers. The secretary would have been used to store deeds, documents and valuables. It is a piece reflective of its time and place in early Upper Canadian history, made with expert craftsmanship but with austere lines that do not detract from its primary function. And yet, the secretary, with its clean lines and restrained ornamentation, would easily fit into many modern homes today without looking dated or out of place. Visitors to the area at the time point out the settlers’ preferences for simple, “stoic” furnishings: “Here no fauteuil, spring-cushioned, extended its comfortable arms – no sofa here…Colonel Talbot held all such luxuries in sovereign contempt. In front of a capacious chimney stood a long wooden table, flanked with two wooden chairs, cut from the forest in the midst of which they now stand” Fine Craftsmanship The secretary is constructed in seven pieces which fit together snugly. Some of its distinguishing features are: the outside is almost entirely constructed in black walnut, a hardwood that is only found in North America; secondary woods for the interior drawers are in white wood (possibly basswood); use of nails is very scant – we only found one wrought iron square nail in the back-centre portion of the drawers; the top half has a glazed front with sliding doors and wooden brackets; the top left of the door illustrates fine brass hinges, with brass key holes on some of the drawers; highly skilled dovetail tenons used on all window frames; dovetail joints on all of the drawers; all drawers are graduated including the false front section; all of the pieces are original and there is no sign of previous repairs – highly usual for such an early secretary. Seldon Homestead Seldon was bequeathed to William Sells’ daughter in 1862 and remained in her possession until her death in 1919 when she bequeathed it to Mr. McKay, president of the Elgin Historical Society. In the February 1930 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens, the secretary appears in the original homestead (shown below)(4). Interestingly, the current owner of the cabinet found two documents at the back of the side drawers. One of them is of a newspaper from St Thomas called “The Home Journal”, dated July 4, 1861. The other document is a colour illustration from a lithograph for the World’s Columbian Exposition (1893), published by The Orcutt Company, Chicago, IL. It’s worth celebrating and appreciating our early history in the few cherished objects we can still find, live with, and use in our own homes. This secretary connects us to our early settlers, to the materials that were salvaged and created from the land, and to those who helped create the country we now know as Canada.
Scope and Content
Living room and Secretary desk at Selldon House, Paynes Mills, ca. 1984. Part of a file of photographs taken by Elizabeth Boston.
Images
Websites / Street View

Greeting Cards with Sketches by Carolyn Curtis

https://inmagic.elgin.ca/en/permalink/archives192850
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
Don Cosens Collection
Description Level
File
GMD
textual records
Date Range
ca. 1950-1990
Accession Number
2018-58
Storage Location
M5 S1 Sh7 B3 F8
Museum / Archive
Elgin County Archives
Part Of
Don Cosens Collection
Description Level
File
Accession Number
2018-58
Storage Room
Archives 4th Floor Storage Room
Storage Location
M5 S1 Sh7 B3 F8
GMD
textual records
Date Range
ca. 1950-1990
Series
Don Cosens Collection - Carolyn Curtis records series
Physical Description
2 cards
History / Biographical
Caroyln Curtis was a local artist reknowned for her water colour works, and for paintings and etchings of historic buildings in and around St Thomas. She was born in St. Thomas, Ontario in 1903 to James D. Curtis and Dora Ferguson Curtis. She attended Wellington Street Public School and the St. Thomas Collegiate Institute, from which she graduated in 1922. She graduated from Alma College in household science in 1924, and then enrolled at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto, Ontario, graduating in Commercial Art four years later. After graduation, Carolyn taught handicrafts at various organizations including the YWCA, Girl Guide camps, and at Alma College. During the Second World War, she accepted work inscribing honour rolls and lettering for government issued documents. For many years, she also inscribed the names of Alma College graduates in script on their diplomas. She eventually developed an interest in black and white etchings and water colours, and pursued additional training. These styles became her signature work, and her greeting cards featuring her artwork became collectors' items. Curtis died in 1995. Her work can be found in the Canada Council Art Bank in Ottawa, at the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre and in many private homes. Information summarized from the St. Thomas-Elgin Public Art Centre's biography of Curtis.
Scope and Content
File contains greeting cards that feature sketches and drawings by Carolyn Curtis. Includes depictions of the Old St. Thomas Church, G.E. Steele Grocery store on Talbot Street, St. Thomas, Spohn's Flats, the agricultural display building at the Elgin County Pioneer Museum, Colonel Leslie Patterson House, Hepburn Park, The old St. Thomas Post Office, and Trinity Anglican Church. Some are signed and include messages from Carolyn Curtis.
Name Access
Curtis, Carolyn
URL Notes
link directs to the St. Thomas Public Art Centre's website, which includes a biography of Carolyn Curtis.
Websites / Street View

9 records – page 1 of 1.