This has certainly been a tumultuous year. We are not through yet.
The City and ourselves have not yet arrived at an agreement about the building. I meet with a representative next week, so before this is sent out to you I may have some news about the future of the building and the collection. The Board feels we can go it alone without the City and we would not have to answer to the City. We would carry on with our activities, fund-raising to maintain ourselves. The Chamber/MTO would then pay us rent for their space. I on the other hand would like the City to be a fall-back in the event of the Board breaking up. I would like assurance that the collection would remain in the building and the museum would carry on.
We have not had a great deal of organizations or people coming in to rent out the original library space. Perhaps the Christmas season coming up will see some interest in the rooms for corporate or private events.
In August we held a very successful ‘high tea’ selling out 50 tables. Lynn Nichols catered the event and we have been asked when the next ‘tea’ will occur. That will be in early December when we will decorate the rooms for a Victorian Christmas. We are looking to purchase tables as our book sale tables are not really suitable for teas.
Our chairs are not quite suitable, but Settlers Village was switching up their chairs so we were given 50 chairs (all the same) and we will be putting covers over the backs (making them very spiffy), so next will be purchasing tables.
In early August we hosted an art and artisan show on the grounds. This was a fund-raiser for us and there were about 20 vendors outside and inside the building. Perhaps there are so many art shows throughout the summer months and just weeks after the show at Settlers (most of the same artists), we were not overwhelmed with people or buyers. Also, in August we held our usual Antiques and Collectibles show. This was well attended and is the usual best fund- raiser we hold. A few of the vendors thought that this was probably their last show. (We are all getting older). However, we have contacted most of the dealers a couple of months later and some have revised their answer. So, we are planning on holding this event for at least another year. Perhaps a one day, this would be cheaper for the vendors
And Sunday is usually a slow day for the vendors.
A very special art show was in this summer Anne Gordon (b. Bobcaygeon and now living in Texas). Related to the Gordon boat works, Anne is a ceramic artist and she has replicated all of her father and grandfather’s tools used in the manufacture of their famous canoes and boats. These ‘tools’ were so realistic that I was constantly reminding people to ‘not touch’ as they assumed these were the real deal. Anne connected with many ‘old’ Bobcaygeon friends and relations. She also gave a short talk for our August high tea. Anne left her book for us at the museum explaining the show and the history of this local company.
We had two Karl Illini painting donated to us this past summer. Both paintings showed the Boyd house, a favourite of Karl’s, one donated by Mr. and Mrs. Bing Wang and the second painting, again of the Boyd house but with a Rolls Royce parked in the back yard. This was donated by Jack Bingleman.
Mr. & Mrs Wang with Carolyn Jack Bingleman’s donation
We were also given two velvet Victorian chairs which blend nicely with our museum pieces and would have been in either of the Boyd homes. Meta Boyd’s platform rocker was also donated.
Another notable donation was Sheila Boyd’s side saddle. This was sadly neglected for many years. My sister-in-law, an avid horsewoman and saddler for many years happened to be visiting when the saddle was donated. She repaired the interior of the saddle with unbleached cotton and fiberfill, cleaned and nourished the leather and repaired one small tear. She said this was a good saddle and that Sheila rode often. This will be on display next year. We also received an 1887 Singer treadle sewing machine and a 1920 gramophone. Now I have to figure where to put these items and tie them into the existing story.
Along with the saddle we received a number of Sheila’s paintings – all unframed.
Larry received some photo albums along with the paintings that had belonged to Bridgie Boyd McIntosh.
Carolyn has taken advantage of our extra rooms and has set up daily book sales. These daily sales have proven so popular that they have paid our way over the summer. People have now realized that we (the Boyd) are the used book sale people (not the library). The Kawartha Voyageur cruise ship comes to the museum in the evenings when they dock in Bobcaygeon overnight, and they also love to pick up some good books at very reasonable prices. Once the summer visitors have left the sales dropped but still prove worthwhile for the locals. The books will go away while we hold our Gallery of Gifts in November then our Christmas Tea and Victorian Christmas. Carolyn and I are usually in the building until one ish each day and Sue Rasksen is there from 11:30 ish to around 3. So, the book sales are daily from 10 to 3. They are life-savers, this also allows the art room to be open from 10 to 3 and because the library is no longer there, the art room had limited hours. Now it is available almost everyday from 10 to 3.
Sylvia Green organized our Fall Fair booth this year and we did very well. Serving soups and chilli (even though it was 30 degrees on Saturday) the chilli sold out. Popcorn machine ran all day long on Saturday. Lots of water and pop was needed.
So, for fun Wendy Hall, wanted to hold our version of the Haunted Village. This was an Impact 32 idea. All businesses downtown were invited to hold some type of Halloween special. We had pie pumpkins and stickers (no cutting into pumpkins) special displays (scary eh!) and coffee for parents. The front hall was turned into a fortune tellers domain. This was very popular. A line up of kids was a constant for Sue. She even got some of the parents, but didn’t quite know what to do with them!
Are we having fun yet? Soon – will talk to the City Tuesday and then will send out these notes. Fingers crossed!
The GOOD NEWS we are safe – We will carry on as we are with some financial help from the City and if the Foundation ends the CITY will assume ownership of the building and the museum and collection will stay as is. I slept last night.
Till the spring – have a good winter you will see my 20 wedding gowns ready for our Victorian Christmas.
- Barb McFadzen