We invite you to share your photographs and memories

The Franklins' catch of fish

I think you will agree that this is one impressive catch of fish! This vintage Queensborough family photo is one of several that were kindly shared with me by Shirley Huntington, whose paternal family, the Franklins, lived in our village. She told me that the family liked to go fishing at Lingham Lake (a large and relatively remote lake north of here, in rugged and forbidding Grimsthorpe Township). Evidently they had a lot of success when they did – and it was worth celebrating with a cigar!

One of the wondrous things that happens as a result of me writing Meanwhile, at the Manse is that I end up getting to meet – sometimes in person, sometimes via email or phone – people who have a connection with Queensborough. And a benefit that sometimes arises from this is that people share with me photos and documents that shed light on Queensborough’s history – the families who lived here; the buildings that once stood; how the buildings that still stand looked many decades, or even a century, ago; the businesses and industries that once operated here; and so on. (Click here for a post that I was thrilled to be able to write thanks to one such vintage photo – shedding new light on our old Manse.)

To give just one very recent example: the other day I received several historic photos from Shirley Huntington, whom I met a while back when she paid a visit to our village. Shirley’s grandparents, Ralph and Catherine Franklin (whom I remember from my childhood here) lived in Queensborough, and her father, Bill Franklin, grew up here. Shirley sent some family photos from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s that are great not only because they show people who lived here, but also because of what they tell us about what Queensborough looked like in those days. I have to say I particularly liked the one that’s at the top of this post, because that is just one remarkable catch of fish. But this one is also very interesting:

Clemens Mothers and Daughters 1938

This photo from 1938 shows the women in the Clemens family, who lived in what later became the Feeney home near the corner of what are now called Queensborough and Bosley Roads – just north of the Manse, actually. Catherine Clemens Franklin is second from left, with her daughter, Betty Franklin, in her lap. I think it’s a great summertime photo (complete with vintage car and girls wearing bobbysox!), and also find it very interesting to see what the 19th-century buildings in the background, which are still in use today, looked like back then. It’s also nice to see all the trees. (Photo courtesy of Catherine Clemens Franklin’s granddaughter, Shirley Franklin Huntington)

Shirley’s photos will be included in the display of historic material that you’ll find at the Queensborough Community Centre this coming Sunday, Sept. 7, when our hamlet celebrates Historic Queensborough Day. In yesterday’s post I told you all about the event and issued a warm invitation to all readers – with or without Queensborough connections – to join us for it. Tonight I’d like to repeat that invitation, but add another one:

If you too have photos and documents that you think people with an interest in Queensborough and its history would like to see, please consider sharing them! The more material we can collect and put on display, the more people will enjoy and learn from Historic Queensborough Day. And, you know, every photo, every document, even though it might not seem like much in isolation, helps build and add to the collective story of this little community. Such documents and photos are precious!

If you have digitized versions of any such artifacts, please feel free to send them to me (sedgwick.katherine@gmail.com) or Elaine Kapusta (elainekapusta@hotmail.com). If you don’t have electronic versions, you are welcome to bring original documents to Sunday’s event, and you can be sure they will be treated carefully and safely returned to you. However, if you have a way of getting them to us prior to the event (ideally by this coming Friday), it will make it much easier to get the displays organized.

I have to say that, given how much pleasure I got out of studying Shirley’s photos of the Franklin and Clemens families – how delightful it was to see a piece of Queensborough’s past brought back to life like that – I am very excited indeed about seeing everything that will be on display on Sunday. I hope you are too!

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