We went through the Portal!

Thursday afternoon was an exciting day for the kids that joined us for a visit to The Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum. While we waited for everyone to show up, Agent G. got us all together for a photo op.

We had no idea what to expect, but how lucky for us!  There was a time portal which allowed us to step through time and visit August 9, 1904!! (We were a little nervous to go through the time portal, but it didn’t hurt a bit!)

Once through…we were shocked to discover Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Smith, who were just as surprised as we were! Mrs. Brown told us all about her privileged lifestyle (she spends the days with her children reading and relaxing) but we all felt for Mrs. Smith who has to work 11 hours days, six days a week to help support her large family. Even the kids work! Wow.  I think some of our own library visitors were a little shocked by that. They asked our kids about their lives in 2012 and couldn’t understand what a TV was (or that mysterious thing called a Wii!)

While I took photos with my camera from 2012, Mrs. Brown explained that the camera her family uses is a little bigger and takes fewer photos.  Plus, the kids learned that no one really smiled in photos back then because it took so long to pose for the photos. (MacLaren explained that his mom is a photographer with a nice Nikon-something-or-other and that she also has another camera which is  smaller.  I think Mrs. Brown was a bit jealous!)

The boys got to pose with Agent G. and a few of the “town boys”. I think Agent G. had more fun getting his photo taken with the lovely women from 1904, however.

There were so many wonderful things to look at in 1904! We saw what the butcher wore, marveled at the strange costume worn by someone about to play tennis, and even found out how people back then mailed letters!  It sure was a complicated process, but Mrs. Brown mailed a letter with the help of one of our library kids. I wonder when it will arrive?

Fishing tackle, some advertisements, an old cash register and the women with their crazy bustles!  It was a strange moment in time, indeed. I wonder how they’d do in 2012?

After coming back through the portal to the present day, the kids headed upstairs and learned about items from the past. Agent G. got right down to business and checked out all that the upstairs had to offer. I think next summer, he’s going to apply for a position with Ally, Lauren and Leah. He’d be a good volunteer, don’t you think?

Jennifer is working SO hard getting the shelves and shelves of items organized. Everything is so neat and clean and tagged. You would be surprised at how many things there are to put on display! This is a part of the museum most people never see.

The kids try to figure out what some of the mysterious objects are!

It was a wonderful day at the museum and we can’t wait to go back next year. Each and every one of the young ladies that works there put so much hard work into making our visit special that we can’t thank them enough! It was fun, interesting and informative and every community would be lucky to have a museum filled with local history that is even half as good as this one. Don’t forget, the Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage museum is located at 267 Edmund Street and is free (although a donation would be much appreciated, I’m sure!).

Wait….is that the mailman??? Look what just arrived at the library!

It’s a letter…..looks pretty old…..

Oh my!  It’s the letter Mrs. Brown mailed….from 1904!!  And look….Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Smith sent us a photograph (printed at Hammond Photography in Carleton Place). How beautiful!

And a wonderful letter.  How mysterious that it traveled through the time portal and right to our door.  If you want to read the letter and see the photograph, you can stop by the library and view it in our display window.  We’re so excited to share it with everyone! It’s not everyday you get a letter straight from 1904!


Museum Day was a grand old time!

We spent part of the afternoon at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum with ten of our fun friends (and three great museum guides!).  Not only did we see lots of interesting things, we had time to do a craft or two, also! Above are some of the fabulous pieces of clothing on display this summer.

We learned that before the post office came to town, people had to travel for one day to get their mail. Finally, mailboxes were installed at the Post Office here in Carleton Place and people could stop by to pick up their mail any time they came to town. The boxes above are some of the actual mailboxes people used back in the day. The photo on the right is a great display of a few different styles of baskets found in the area at the time.

We loved seeing the old pictures from Carleton Place High School and Kelsey was particularly interested in these old step-dancing shoes seen above. Turns out we’ve always had performers in Carleton Place!

The view from the front of the Museum and their new sign which sits out front.  What a lovely place to visit!

The crafts were styled on actual Carleton Place Canoe Club membership cards, and everyone got to make one of their own, along with a crazy fish made out of a paper plate. There were plenty of feathers, markers and these fun sea creature stickers to decorate with!

Allie and Katie were just two of our wonderful guides! (Thanks to Jenna, too!)  They told us about the old toys that kids used to play with and also about the history of the Canoe Club. 

One of the most fascinating things of the afternoon was the old rocking horse. Allie told us that not only was this a toy that MANY children would have loved to own back in the day, but this particular one was an actual deer that someone had shot and made into a rocking “horse”.  Of course, one of the kids wanted to know if those were the deer’s eyes still in its head. (Turns out, they’re only marbles!) I don’t think any of the kids today wanted one of these, but I can see how it would have been marvelous to a child from the past.

Overall, it was a wonderful afternoon that zipped past before we knew it! Thanks to everyone at the museum for always making our visits so much fun….and educational at the same time!  We can’t wait until next year!