Monday, December 01, 2014

This Month at Canada's History

Mallendaine photobombs, 1885
The December-January Canada's History, now reaching subscribers, has an icon on the cover for Nelle Oosterom's story on "railroad stories."  Plus Yves Pelletier's exploration of how the fiftieth anniversary of the death of John A. Macdonald was commemorated in 1941, Allen Levine on the flag debate of the 1960s, and much else.

Meanwhile, editor Mark Reid is pleased about how the Canada's History publication Canada's Great War Album has been doing:

My column this issue is on furniture, though it's more about Donald Creighton, by way of the writing desk that he used at the writing hut beside his Muskoka cottage, on which he wrote most of his histories. The cottage and hut are gone, but the Creighton family gave the desk to Donald Wright at University of New Brunswick, who is at work on Donald Creighton: A Life in History, to be published next year. It is a nice little entry into Creighton and his enduring reputation.
It was the mover who insisted that “provenance” had to be established for this precious artifact. There by the shore of Lake Muskoka, they flipped the table over. Philip Creighton signed and dated a declaration that this was indeed the writing desk of Donald Creighton. And then the table set off along the great river to its new home.
Update, December 2:  Historian Chris Raible of Creemore, Ont, tells me the desk of William Lyon Mackenzie from the 1820s (provenance a little less secure, maybe) is held by the City of Toronto, Museum Services. But since we don't have a Museum of Toronto, it's in storage and probably will be forever.

And historian Bob Beal of Derwent, Alberta, comments:
You say there is no museum of Toronto, but there is Mackenzie House at 82 Bond St. I recall seeing the desk many years ago, perhaps at the Mackenzie House.
True, but much as I love the various preserved homes around the city, I think we could be a little more ambitious about a serious museum of Toronto.

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