A great new source of old photos

Madoc's Quiet Charm

The main street of Madoc, featured in a big Toronto newspaper, once upon a time. Charming!(Photo from Madoc and Area Local History)

Sometimes, people, this blog just writes itself. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that sometimes things that happen around me, as I sit here in the general vicinity of the Manse in pretty little Queensborough, make it really, really easy to come up with something that I think will be of interest to you good people. That happened today.

There I was at work at Loyalist College in Belleville this morning, firing up my Mac and opening the usual tabs on it – our journalism program‘s website, QNet News; TweetDeck; Gmail; and of course Facebook – when what should appear on that last one but a post on Vintage Belleville, Quinte & Trenton Region (a great local-history site that I’ve mentioned before) telling the world about a new Facebook arrival: Madoc and Local Area History. It was illustrated by the photo you see at the top of this post; and since regular readers know how much I love local history, and how Madoc is “town” for those of us who live in Queensborough, you can imagine how little time I wasted in clicking on it. And you shouldn’t waste time either! You can go to that page right here.

Madoc and Area Local History was started just a few days ago by a chap named Brock Kerby, who says in its “About” section: “Created this page for the purpose of preserving local history. Great way to connect with each other and share our local history!
Hope you enjoy!” And he goes about his preservation-of-local-history work immediately by sharing some fabulous photos of the area from both the far distant and the more recent (translation: the era of my childhood here in the Madoc area, living at the Manse) past. And it is just wonderful!

You need to go check it out for yourself, and add your own photos and likes and comments to the great stuff Brock has put there. Here are just a few photos that captured my attention and that I hope will serve to whet your appetite for this splendid local project:

Old Madoc

No indication as to when this photo of the main street (Durham Street) in Madoc was taken, but it looks to be a party. And – is that a blimp overhead? (Photo via Madoc and Area Local History)

Stickwood's fire

A report from the no-longer-extant, and much-lamented, Madoc Review (formerly the North Hastings Review) about the fire that destroyed a mainstay of the main street, Stickwood’s dry- goods store, in 2001. (Photo via Madoc and Area Local History)

Madoc OPP station, 1975

The Madoc OPP station in 1975, when it was at practically the easternmost end of St. Lawrence Street East and in much more modest quarters than the current OPP officers (now housed in considerably larger digs on Highway 7 beside Tim Horton’s) enjoy today. (Photo from Madoc and Area Local History)

McCoy's Grocery

McCoy’s Grocery! I wrote about that store here; it was one of several small independent grocery stores that existed in downtown Madoc back at the time when my family moved to this area, in the early 1960s. Nice to see it again! (Photo from Madoc and Area Local History)

And here (in my humble opinion) is the coolest one of all:

Madoc Arena 1975

The Madoc Arena, 1975. Right smack in the middle of town – where the Home Hardware store is now. If you didn’t ever freeze your toes in that place, then you aren’t a true local of the Madoc area! (Photo from Madoc and Area Local History)

People, this site is just splendid, and that’s all I can say. Anyone interested in Madoc history should offer a great big thank-you to Brock Kerby for getting it off the ground. And Brock – please consider this my own thanks!

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