A gold mine of vintage photos

A terrific old photo of the two general stores in "downtown" Queensborough that was recently posted on Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region on Facebook.

A terrific old photo of the two general stores in “downtown” Queensborough that was recently posted on Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region on Facebook. While my childhood at the Manse in Queensborough doesn’t quite date back to the time of this photo, I remember those facing-each-other general stores very fondly.

It’s quite possible that many, or even most, of the good people who read this blog are familiar with Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region on Facebook. I personally am next to useless when it comes to Facebook, and only recently discovered this site (or page, or whatever it is one calls things on Facebook), but I am delighted with it and thought I should share.

The Realm Restaurant in Marmora – do you remember that? Am I right in thinking that the long low section to the right was a sometime dance hall? (Photo from Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region)

The Realm Restaurant in Marmora – do you remember that? Am I right in thinking that the long low section to the right was a sometime dance hall? (Photo from Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region)

Basically it’s a feed of vintage photos of Hastings County and the Bay of Quinte region, and these photos are charming, nostalgic and lovely. If you like (that is, tell Facebook that you like) Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region, these photos show up in your news feed – and speaking strictly for me, it tends to make my day when they do. Mostly, of course, they’re about the populated and pretty southern part of the county – Belleville, Trenton and environs; but fairly often there are also photos from the region’s more northerly parts: Madoc, Tweed, and even Queensborough.

Followers (is that what you call people on Facebook? Can you tell I’m way more comfortable with Twitter? I am @ksedgwick there, by the way) are invited to post their own vintage photos, which means there’s great potential for tons of new old stuff to show up and surprise us all.

I may not be Facebook’s biggest fan or best practitioner, but I love those vintage Quinte photos!

24 thoughts on “A gold mine of vintage photos

  1. This is what you would have seen if you had been standing at the present checker board sign and looking up towards the school house. Very nice.

    • It is a nice photo, isn’t it, Anne? One thing that puzzles me about it is that you cannot see the steeple of the Methodist Church (which was behind what we think of as Bobbie’s store, on the right) in the background; I am sure the church would still have been standing when this photo was taken. But your comment also makes me think this: that checkerboard sign is, when one thinks of it, a very important part of the Queensborough landscape, in and of itself! I may have to do a blog post on it one of these times.

      • It’s fun to guess the angel of this photo. But if you study it well enough and the shadow of the buildings you might see that the sun is to the east because the buildings are clear. During the day as the sun moves the Diamond Hotel will shadow the road and block the Store across from it. Which we are told is the original Job Lingham store founder of Queensborough. It was positioned on the NE corner of Queen and Water St. If you look up the road to the west you will see a sharp point hidden behind the trees and the stair steps leading to the old Methodist Church. The reason I say this is because Bobby Ramsey herself among others in the family history have said about this store burning down and they moved what is now the house part of the Sager store from the river side which is known now as the river park to where you see it today. They added the square part of the store later. But when they did this they positioned the house farther back and away from the corner. Where it sits today. Not adjacent to the Diamond Hotel. The foundation and land marks are still there where this picture shows the building. Gardening has proven me so. But if I am wrong I gladly ask someone to explain the location of this photo.. History is not only educational it is amazing what you still can learn.

      • This is a great guide to figuring out that cool old photo, Marykay – thank you! I think it’s terrific that you and Jos have paid such close attention to (and done some gardening/detective work on) the historic configuration of the Queensborough landmark building that is your home and workplace. Good stuff! And I will pull the photo up again on my computer screen and enlarge it to try to find the spire of the Methodist Church, thanks to your assurance that it’s there. Meantime, did you know (you probably did) that when the “house” part of your building was moved from across the street and beside the river, when it was owned by Bobbie’s parents, Bobbie’s mother, Elsie Sager, apparently stayed in it the whole time? Or so I have read. When I look at the riverside land where it once stood, I still find it hard to picture there being enough space there for a fairly sizeable house to sit on. It must have been right on top of the water – which you would think would be dangerous at spring-flooding time! Gotta love interesting facts about Queensborough history, though.

  2. A GOLD MINE indeed!

    Readers may be interested in a project at the Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County housed in the Hastings Heritage Centre in the former Thurlow Town Hall in Cannifton. Almost 20 volunteer “Archive Angels” are working on various topics including the cataloging of some million pictures and negatives relating to the area. If you are interested in helping, contact Archivist Sharon White at 613-962-1110.

    • Gerry and Bev, I’m so glad you have mentioned the archives and the “Archive Angels.” We read about their work in the newsletter of the Hastings County Historical Society, and on one recent visit we stopped in at the archives in Cannifton. What a bustling place! It is thrilling to see all the work that volunteers are doing to preserve the history of Hastings County for future generations.

  3. To finish the comment of the right way the store is sitting Water St or Queen St? I do know the story about Bobbies mom still staying in the house as it was moved. We also heard from locals that it was colder temperatures and while she stayed inside the building she also stoked the woodstove to keep warm.. Now that is a story I am not sure off but it would be a funny site. lol And how the house would have sat on the part of the river people say it did. You are right it doesn’t look like there would have been much room. But we have been told it did over span the water on stilts from the back side of the river with a veranda attached. We also have been told there was more land there but over time the water has eroded away. This is the knowledge we have learned but we do take great interest like you said because we now live in a very interesting and historical building. When we were placing our rail fence we discovered the foundation of Job Lingham’s store. Which burnt down 1914 approximately. Always interesting finds.

    • As well, the Water Street roadway was closer to the sidewalk beside the Diamond Hotel/McMurray’s Store [ie, towards the west] and likely narrower than today

      • “Agreed – the streets are much wider than they once were. Even than they were when we were kids in Queensborough, don’t you think?”

        Hmmmm…I don’t know about that. I remember that, as a child, doorknobs were about head height, streets were very long and wide, cars were huge, trees were very tall, adult humans were giants…

      • Oh yes, all of that, of course, Graham. But for instance, I am struck by how much wider the road in front of the Manse (Bosley Road, though as far as I know no one called it that back in our youth) is than it was then. Our mailbox used to be well set back from the road, and now the road runs right up alongside that same mailbox. Not to mention all the sand from winter road maintenance that ends up on what I once considered the Manse front yard!

    • Wouldn’t it be amazing to be transported back in time – say, to about 1895 or so – just for one hour and be able to walk the streets of Queensborough to see what was there?

      • You CAN do that — just watch how to do so in the movie “Somewhere in Time” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somewhere_in_Time_(film)]

      • Amazing…I found that movie just a short time ago after having watched it ages ago. All that had stuck in my head was a vague memory of the music and a slight recollection of time travel, but I had fixed it in my brain that it was a film of great merit. When I saw it again…hmm…memory obviously faulty. But the fragment of music that had stayed with me was there and I loved it all over again. Still, I’d like to time travel; I’d start with the Georgians in England. Anybody with me?

      • What a great question, Brenda! After giving it some thought, I have to say my choice for a trip back in time would be a tie between:

        Queensborough July 1964 (when my family first arrived at the Manse and I was all of four years old); and

        London in the late 1590s or early 1600s. I’d like to land in the standing-room section of the Globe Theatre when Othello or Hamlet or Lear was premiering. And then join the actors, and most especially the playwright, for drinks and discussion afterward!

      • Okay, I could start at the Globe and hang around for the next several decades. Just name the day and portal!

  4. I love reading the annals of the Queensborough detectives. As my sleuthing takes place slightly farther south, I am wondering. Would it be your opinion that those out of copyright postcard images, once posted on a public FB album, could be used for other (non-commercial) purposes? Say…an old house blog? I admit to being totally confused about copyright, and I’m guessing that you have some background in the area 🙂

    • I would think that it would be all right to use those images as long as one credits the source (the Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte Region Facebook page), Lindi – though in reading the “About” section of that page just now, I notice that they try to credit the individual archive or source for each photo as well. That’s not something I’d noticed on their posts, but if the info were there I would credit that as well if reposting. I have to give a lot of credit to the initiators for what I think is a very good idea – and I like the fact that they are encouraging the public to share photos this way too.

  5. Hi Katherine…I’m writing a blog post today on this photo…the dialogue you’ve created here is just remarkable and motivating. I was wondering if you could tell me how I should cite this picture…I would like to give credit to Vintage Belleville, but if there is another specific archive…(thanks!!!)


    • Hi Sara! The “About” section on Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte’s Facebook page says that they credit the archive that photos come from, but a lot of their photos (including this Queensborough one) don’t have any credit. It looks like a lot of the photos are submitted by individuals in the communities. So when I posted it I simply credited Vintage Belleville, Trenton & Quinte, and I think that’s probably okay to do. I really have to hand it to these folks for starting this wonderful project – I could spend hours looking through the old photos. Today, for instance, there’s a new post there featuring the Tropicana Dining Room in the Hotel Quinte (the great old building that burned down a few months ago) in the 1960s, and what a period piece it is!

      I look forward to reading your blog post!

      • Thank you Katherine! Yes, I am in love with this site and the hard work that the Historical Society is doing. I appreciate the digitization, especially giving writers like us access to our heritage. This site would have been amazing when I was still in University! Most of my work would have been more local in nature, in turn. Cheers!

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