Local residents played a key role in saving Collingwood’s first museum collection.
Following the 1963 fire in Collingwood’s Carnegie Library, community volunteers worked to remove frames from the many photographs and documents that decorated the walls of the Huron Institute. Being located in the basement meant that the water used to fight the fire on the library’s main level ran down the walls and over many of the items on display. Because the items were no longer safe in their original location, they were removed for safekeeping.
The same applied for the Institute’s object collection. Some items have been kept so safely by local residents that they continue to be returned to the museum today.
Photographs from the Huron Institute’s collection are relatively easy to identify by the handwritten or printed descriptions that appear in black ink on the fronts of photographs. Often, an identifying number that ranges from one to four digits is also recorded in the same format in an upper corner. If you think you may have a photograph from the Huron Institute in your collection, Collingwood Museum staff would love to hear from you.
This week’s photograph takes the place of a 1913 image of the first steel hull to be built at the Collingwood Shipyards, Hull 1 Huronic. The Collingwood Museum houses numerous photographs of Huronic; however, museum staff has been unable to locate the 1913 photograph assigned the number 81.
The above postcard shows Huronic sailing in front of an unidentified shoreline. Pertinent details about the ship are recorded in ink, including the year 1902 and the ship’s dimensions. Huronic was launched on Sept. 12, 1901, so it’s unclear if the year 1902 references the year of the postcard’s printing, or has been recorded mistakenly as the year of her launch.
The postcard’s reverse documents an interesting note from “Bert” to a Mr. Dan McLeod at the Canadian Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, aboard the steamer Paliki. The note documents an early Collingwood hockey team and its contents have been transcribed below.
Why don’t you write. They have their hockey team picked out. It is as follows. Cook goal Hall point last year with Drumbo Rocker CP last year with Chesley Fryer rover P. Beatty center W Beatty right wing J Byrnes left wing. They are going to play Senior. If you have any cig tickets send me them. We are all well.
Do you know which hockey team this may be? Unfortunately, the date of the postcard is indecipherable, but it seems the postcard was mailed from Collingwood. Also, staff wonders if “cig tickets” may be a reference to war-time rationing.
Remember This is a weekly series of historic photographs submitted by the Collingwood Museum to CollingwoodToday.ca. These photographs were originally collected and documented by the Huron Institute in an historical catalogue entitled Huron Institute Paper and Records: Volume III. Much of Collingwood’s early history has been preserved due to the dedication and foresight of the early museum’s founders, namely its secretary-curator David Williams, upon its establishment in 1904.