This one is for Christina

Isabella and Will Holmes, our across-the-street neighbours in Queensborough many, many years ago, on an occasion that I think I am fairly safe in guessing (from the corsage and boutonnière they are wearing) was a wedding anniversary – 50th? (Photo courtesy of Barbara Martin)

Isabella and Will Holmes, our across-the-street neighbours in Queensborough many, many years ago, on an occasion that I think I am fairly safe in guessing (from the corsage and boutonnière they are wearing) was a wedding anniversary – 50th? (Photo courtesy of Barbara Martin)

Christina Sager, an early (and appreciated!) supporter of this blog, grew up in Queensborough like I did – though somewhat later. (When I was in my early teens, before Christina was born, I babysat her older siblings once or twice.) She and her husband also have an Eastern Ontario home-restoration project on the go, and you can learn about it on their blog here. Christina’s great-grandparents, Will and Isabella Holmes, lived in a house right across the way from the Manse; it was Will who warned us “Don’t drink the water!” on the day our young family first arrived at the Manse in July 1964. (And we proceeded to carry drinking water from a communal village pump for all 11 years that we lived there.)

This photo of them – I think chances are good that it was taken at their home (no longer standing), but I am far from sure of that – was given to me by Barbara (Sager) Martin, the younger sister of the late Bobbie (Sager) Ramsay, Queensborough general-store-keeper and pillar-of-the-community extraordinaire. It’s so lovely to have the photo, to see again those kind faces that I remember from my very earliest childhood. Here is another one from the same event:

Will and Isabella flanked by their son, Leslie Holmes, and their daughter, Isabella Sager. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Martin)

Will and Isabella flanked by their son, Leslie Holmes, and their daughter, Isabella Sager. Leslie’s wife, Jean Holmes, was the clerk-treasurer of Elzevir Township (in which Queensborough is located) for many years, and wrote the essential history of the area, Times to Remember in Elzevir Township. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Martin)

And finally, here is a photo, also kindly given to me by Barbara Martin, of the October 1939 wedding of Will and Isabella’s daughter, also named Isabella, to Allan Sager, the brother of Bobbie and Barbara. Allan and Isabella are Christina’s grandparents.

Oct. 18, 1939: Newly married Allan and Isabella Sager with their attendants, Jennie Sager and Earl (or is it Gordon?) Sager. The photo is taken in the front yard of the Manse; you are looking north. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Martin)

Oct. 18, 1939: Newly married Allan and Isabella Sager with their attendants, Jennie Sager and Earl (or is it Gordon?) Sager. The photo is taken in the front yard of the Manse; you are looking north. The house that you can see at far right is still there; the others in the background are all gone. (Photo courtesy of Barbara Martin)

This photo was taken on the front lawn of the Manse; the resident minister, The Rev. Snelgrove, performed the ceremony. Some months ago Christina sent me another photo of the wedding, featuring just Allan and Isabella (you can see it, and read about what it taught me about time passing and landscape changing, here), but this one includes their attendants, Jennie Sager (sister of Allan, Bobbie, Barbara – and Bernice and Eileen) and – here is where my memory fails me and I’m annoyed that I can’t find the notes that I took the day that Barbara gave me the photos – either Earl or Gordon Sager. Christina, or others reading this, can you set me straight? Earl and Gordon were brothers who farmed together and obviously were related to Allan (and Jennie, Bobbie, Bernice, Barbara and Eileen), but I’ve forgotten how. Uncles?

Anyway, this post will be primarily of interest to us Queensborough folks who knew (or are related to) Will and Isabella (mother and daughter) and Leslie and Allan and Jennie and Earl (or is it Gordon?). But I like the photos too for the sense of time and place that they convey. The curtains and the couch upholstery and the carpet in the wedding-anniversary photos, for instance: that just is rural Ontario, mid-1960s.

And the wedding photo? That is just a happy day, a long time ago. At the Manse.

4 thoughts on “This one is for Christina

  1. Thanks for the link to The Stone House, Katherine. Another interesting project! I wish I had the courage and the wherewithal to take on one of these lovely old places, but am content to live vicariously through your blogs.

    • Brenda, I wish that I had the courage and wherewithal to actually start renovation/restoration at our “lovely old place!” So far when it comes to the Manse it’s been a lot of talk and not much action – unlike Christina and her husband. But we’ll get there… I hope.

  2. What a lovely surprise this morning to read this posting! The photo of my grandmother with her brother and parents was actually taken in the home of my grandmother and grandfather. It is still standing and it located just across the road from my parents home on the family farm. It makes me chuckle because my grandmother very much didn’t like change and the couch they are sitting on never moved from that spot until a few years after my grandmother had moved into Madoc! However with the addition of grandchildren the couch was protected with a slip cover.

    Those same curtains are still on the windows and most like that flooring is sitting just below the carpet that is now there. Unfortunately the wall paper was covered with some panelling in the living room however the rest of the house still has the original wall paper.

    I will double check with my dad this weekend however I believe that it was Gordon Sager who was Poppie’s attendant for his wedding. They were cousins and he originally owned property south of our family farm and later lived on Sager’s corners in the red brick home that sits on the corner that is now owned by the Mckinnon family.

    Many thanks for posting this!

    • I’m glad you liked it, Christina! And thanks for the clarification on where the photo was taken, and for checking whether it’s Gordon or Earl of “the Sager Bothers” (I well know the house you mean) in your grandparents’ wedding picture. By the way, we drove by your father’s and grandfather’s farm one nice day last summer and I noticed there’s still a nice old farm sign there with your grandfather’s name on it. I wanted to take a photo but Raymond was driving by too fast! Next time.

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