Tag Archives: Ontario

Letters to a Home Child.

I attended the Old Book and Paper Show at Wychwood Barns on Sunday after church. I’d seen ads for it previous years and this year I decided to make an effort to attend.

I’m something of a paper hoarder as I like to craft with interesting papers. I’m also always on the lookout for historical info about my family’s past to add to my genealogical writings and research. So I paid my admission ($8) and spent a very happy couple of hours sifting through all kinds of wonderful stuff.

You need a lot of patience at these shows. I wisely brought along a small purse with a shoulder strap so I’d have both hands free. Along with a lot of old books and prints there were boxes of postcards, some organized and some not, magazines, pulp fiction, newspapers, and all kinds of ephemera from old business cards, cigar labels, advertising, year books, and every kind of business paper you can imagine.

I came away with a couple of interesting items, plus a duplicate of something I already had (but in better condition.) In particular, I found one and a half letters from the Canadian branch of Dr. Barnardo’s Homes (the half letter being only the first page.) I will connect with the various organizations dealing with Home Children and supply them with scanned copies of these documents, which I reproduce below:

First page of a letter to Violet Bancroft (nee Turner) from Dr. Barnardo's Homes. 1916
First page of a letter to Violet Bancroft (nee Turner) from Dr. Barnardo’s Homes. 1916
Letter to Violet Bancroft (nee Turner) from Dr. Barnardo’s Homes. 1933

If I understand the letters correctly, it would appear that Violet Turner was herself a home child and, in the first letter, contacted Barnardo’s to enquire about her family history. She is referred to as Violet Bancroft in the first letter (her adopted family’s name? her married name?) and as Mrs. Jones in the second letter (presumably a married name, as she refers to her husband’s lack of employment.

I will do some research to see if I can find out more about this woman.

Vintage Ontario: “Hotel life is all laughs.”

I was searching for articles about Noorduyn airline crashes, virtually flipping through back-issues of the Toronto Daily Star from the 1940s, when I came across this little gem.

Accessed via Toronto Star: Pages of the Past through the Toronto Public Library

Accompanying the article were (unfortunately rather grainy) photos of the manager and a couple of bellhops who “struggle with a suitcase”.

All Girl Hotel photos

I found a vintage photograph of the hotel. It opened in 1940 and “boasted 100 rooms, a dining room, barber shop, smoke shop and newsstand.” (source).

Park Lane Hotel, Kirkland Lake, Ontario

I couldn’t find much else online about this little venture, but I’d be curious about how long it lasted. The building is now known as Park Lane Place and is an apartment complex.

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