Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fancy meeting you here!

During our three weeks of August camping along the north shore of that most Superior of lakes, we had one day of drenching rain. Too wet to hike. Too wet to go to the beach. Too wet to kayak (really?). So we went to town. Thunder Bay was thundery and very rainy. For the morning, we settled into the most civilized Seattle Coffee House, fired up the computer, had lots of coffee and a great panini lunch, and sat out the worst of the rain. While LOML did business email, I browsed a number of great architectural walking tour guides. Sure the weather wasn't ideal, the misty foggy air not the least bit conducive to memorable photos, but as the waterstained, crinkly parchment feeling house tour brochures have just been reminding me, it was a grand adventure.

The first spot we visited was Vickers Park....such a large area of deep green conifers and bright Victorian flower beds catches the eye, when the neighbourhood itself is a bit down at the heels. I risked my life to run across a street of aggressive drivers, only to come upon a plaque that explains that the park which caught my attention had Belleville roots!

Vickers Park at the corner of Selkirk and Arthur Streets was created on property donated to the city in 1902 by Catherine Mary Vickers. Catherine was the daughter of author Susanna Moodie, who had escaped from a settler's life in "the bush" near Peterborough to the relative ease and sophistication of Belleville and lived to tell about it in Life in the Clearings, 1853. Daughter Catherine and husband John Joseph Vickers were some of the first settlers in the Fort William area in the late c.19, and became prominent citizens of their town, too.

(I just checked my photo files for an image of Susanna and Dunbar's house in Belleville, but I am remiss. Not a one.)

1 comment:

  1. How serendipitous! Catherine Mary must have learned a thing or two from her mother's earlier life as a pioneer and settler and felt she could manage the same.