Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Thank goodness, the world is not ending. All has returned to normalcy… at least in the weather world. It’s pleasantly cold and snowy with a couple of centimeters of snow on the ground. I hope the bat that I saw flying around in circles over my driveway last week found a winter home. I think he woke up wondering if it was spring already!

I had a lovely weekend filled with good friends, good art, festivity and a little bit of history.

Jenny and Graeme came down for Roly and Graeme’s art opening. Roly’s painting’s and Graeme’s furniture. It was a breathtaking show and just so nice to see everyone again. After the show we went to Chaucer’s for drinks, which turned into dinner, which turned into dessert and coffee. Couldn’t have asked for a better day or better company. We missed you Wen! Check out the work on The Gibson Gallery site.

So, that takes care of the good friends and good art part of things. Getting our Christmas tree covers festivity. We buy our tree every year from the united church a couple blocks from us. Then we carry it home together. It’s so much easier than trying to tie it to your car and maneuver the crazy traffic. Besides that, the tree is bigger than our car! I love you little Kia Rio, but I do miss the boxy 1986 Toyota Camray workhorse we used to have. That car could carry or tow anything. May you rest in peace oh loyal one…. But anyway, the tree is big and beautiful. I think it’s the nicest one we have ever had.

As for the little bit of history… Jenny told me that the Canadian 1901 census is available online! I could barely contain myself. Fueled by caffeine and sugar I stayed up until past 2am on Saturday looking for my house. You can search for your city, but after that, you have to just keep looking at the handwritten pages until you find your area of town. There are two pages of info. The first one covers particulars about the house: how many rooms, how many buildings on the property, etc. The second page lists personal info about the people living in the house. I already knew it was the widow Ida Wright living in the house at the time. But I didn’t know if she had children and their names and ages. From previous research I knew that Mr. Wright had died the year prior, the same year they moved into the house. I found out that in 1901 Mrs. Wright was a widow at 35, with 2 boys, aged 9 and 2. I didn’t find out much else about the house. It lists 7/1 rooms (does that mean 7 rooms and one bathroom?). Currently we have 8 rooms and 2 bathrooms. It didn’t list any outbuildings or land size. Mrs. Wright was born in Ontario Canada, in a city, could read and write and was a Methodist. It would have been more interesting if Mr. Wright was still alive at the time of the census because they also list employment and financial information. I know he was a Pork Curer (whatever that is!) but it would have been interesting to know how much a Pork curer made. It didn’t list any income or employment for Mrs. Wright, so we can only guess she was living off money she got when her husband died. She only stayed in the house three more years. I wonder if she remarried, or perhaps could no longer afford the house?

Wanting more information I also looked up the information on the houses on either side of me and directly across the street. Those were much more interesting. On the left side of us we had a family with 2 daughters. The father ran his own publishing house in a separate building on the property. Since the house numbers skip one address, I’m guessing that his publishing house had it’s own separate address. Once it was torn down, that address went with it. He made the most money of all of the neighbours I looked up. On the other side of us lived a family with a son and daughter. The man was a cabinet maker and the son (19 years old) was a litho artist. They also had a 74-year-old lodger living with them who was an engineer. Apparently he still worked because they listed his employment and financial info for the current year.

I could go on and on but I won’t bore you! If you are interested in looking at the Canadian1901 census, you can find it here.


At 5:03 p.m., Anonymous ac said...

I love this stuff!!! Poor Mrs. Wright, taking care of that big house with 2 kids on her own! And how cool that the neighbor boy was a litho artist. (Much more interesting than pork curer, whatever that is.)

There is nothing interesting about my house built in July 2005.

At 11:05 a.m., Blogger Noelle said...

I've been freaking out about the warm weather recently, and finally this cold snap helped me calm down. Then, I went and watched "An Inconvenient Truth" last night and now I'm freaking out again.

At 1:05 p.m., Blogger Sadie Says said...

Whoa! I thought I had gone crazy and posted something that I don't remember. Then I realized it wasn't me. It was my new blog find! Thanks for dropping by :-)


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