Queensborough is a beautiful place to be – pot of gold and all

Pot of gold in Queensborough

This confirms what we in Queensborough have known for a long time: the pot of gold is here! A beautiful rainbow over the millpond on the Black River, in “downtown” Queensborough, this past Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Queensborough Beautification)

Have you had occasion to visit Queensborough recently? If you haven’t, and if you are within driving/biking/motorcycling distance (you readers from western Canada and the U.S.A. are off the hook), you really owe it to yourself to come have a look-see, as people used to say. Our little hamlet is looking so nice!

For that we owe an awful lot not only to individual property-owners who are making their gardens, and their properties in general, look anywhere from tidy to downright gorgeous, but especially to the volunteers with the Queensborough Beautification Committee, who’ve been doing an outstanding job of keeping the village’s public spaces looking terrific.

Ah, but photos speak so much better than words. So herewith, a visual tour of our little piece of heaven in this splendid summer of 2015 (with full credit and thanks to the good folks at the Queensborough Beautification Facebook page, the source of several of these pictures):

Painted bridge and flowers

Newly painted “bridge” (over a culvert and tiny stream on the sidewalk leading to St. Andrew’s United Church) decked with lovely flower baskets – both baskets and bridge-painting thanks to the volunteers with the Queensborough Beautification Committee. (Also note the day lilies, which are looking lovely all over Queensborough.)

Jos repairing the north bridge

Jos Pronk of the Beautification Committee repairing another sidewalk bridge, this one at the north end of the village. (Photo courtesy of Queensborough Beautification)

Ruth and Chuck at work on the north bridge

Our neighbours Ruth and Chuck Steele, volunteers with the Queensborough Beautification Committee, hard at work cleaning up and painting the north-end bridge. (Photo courtesy of Queensborough Beautification)

Ruth's garden

Ruth Steele’s own garden, which (fortunately for Raymond and me, because we get to look at it every day) is right across the way from the Manse. Isn’t it beautiful?

Anne's poppies

Anne Barry’s poppies. Gorgeous! (Photo courtesy of Anne Barry)

Queensborough history sign July 2015

Our sign about the history of Queensborough, with flower plantings thanks to a group of volunteers, beside the Black River.

Concrete with rebar

Some unsightly (and potentially dangerous) old broken-up concrete, containing rusty rebar, that had been plunked at a streetcorner. This is what it looked like before the municipal cleanup prompted by local residents…

Topsoil at the corner

And this is the “after” shot, with residents John Barry (who does an enormous amount of beautification work on his own time and dime), Jen Couperus, Ed Couperus and Tom Sims spreading topsoil donated by the Walters family over the spot from which the concrete was removed. (Photo courtesy of Queensborough Beautification)

Pat's lilies

Amazing lilies, clematis and other lovely things in the front garden at Pat Steele’s home.

Windy-road sign uncovered

One of two old road signs discovered when John Barry and Chuck Steele cut back some way-overgrown bush. Winding road, people!

Hidden Entrance sign unhidden

Another uncovered hidden sign, this one, rather amusingly, warning: “Hidden Entrance.”

Johnny's truck

John’s truck loaded up with some of the brush that he and Chuck cut away from the signs. (Photo courtesy of Queensborough Beautification)

Lovely-smelling white flowers

I’m not sure what these pretty white flowers are, but they smell even nicer than they look! On the way up the hill toward St. Andrew’s United Church.

Beautiful flower baskets

The made-in-Queensborough street signs by Jos Pronk and the fantastic flower baskets put up all over town by Queensborough Beautification – and click here and scroll down a bit to the July 5 post to see a fun little video of the man who carefully waters the plants every evening, John Barry, hard at work.

First phlox at the Manse

I’m happy to say that here at the Manse, we’re working to hold up our end on the beautification front. Here are the first of our phlox to have bloomed this season.

Country Roads cover featuring the Thompson House

Hey, it’s not just us who think Queensborough is beautiful! Check out the latest issue of Country Roads magazine, with Queensborough’s Thompson House, home of Elaine and Lud Kapusta, gracing the front cover (and inside a brief text about it by yours truly). How nice is that?

All in all, people – wouldn’t you really rather be in Queensborough?

Welcome to Queensborough sign

31 thoughts on “Queensborough is a beautiful place to be – pot of gold and all

    • It’s nice to hear from you too, Jane! Yes, Queensborough is looking wonderful these days, thanks to property-owners who care and the hard-working volunteers on the beautification committee, who continue to go above and beyond. We are so lucky to live here!

  1. Katherine, what a nice surprise to come down and find a new post from you. So nice to see pictures of all the work and beautiful flowers, makes me a bit homesick when I see and read your comments, but so heartwarming to see all the work being done to keep the Village looking so good.

    • So nice to hear from you, Barb! (Sorry for the slow response to your comment – Raymond and I have been away on vacation.) Yes, it really is heartwarming to see all the hard work being done by volunteers and property-owners to keep our (and your) little village looking good. There’s been a lot more work since I wrote that post – you’ll have to come back and see! (There’s a corn roast at the Queensborough Community Centre this Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. … )

    • Sash, I hadn’t seen that video when you alerted me to it, though Terry and Eileen Pigden of Centre Hastings TV (the video’s makers) sent me notice right after you did. I told Terry I was awfully flattered to get credit as the “director,” but really the credit goes to him for making it and to the Queensborough Beautification Committee for many of the photos in it. Still, it’s a nice showcase for Queensborough, isn’t it?

  2. Hello Katherine – I have just stumbled across your blog about the Manse in Madoc. It is lovely! What a beautiful home. I had been looking for information about my uncle who used to live in Madoc. I see you knew him! My uncle was John Sydney Melbourne, however, he was always known as “Uncle Toddy”. I remember visiting Uncle Toddy and Aunt Evelyn many years when I was a child. They were somewhat eccentric (as was my father), and I loved the house. I remember the massive collections of just about everything….everywhere. He was so handsome with beautiful blue eyes. He was very gentle and charming. Unfortunately, I completely lost touch with them. I am trying to put together some information on the Melbourne family. I know they had a son, but I don’t remember his name (Brian??). Does he still live in the area? I would love any information you might have. I wish I had know about the auction, it would have been wonderful to go and possibly get something family related. I also had an aunt Pearl who lived nearby.
    Cheers……Lynn (Melbourne) Chambers, Almonte, Ontario.

    • Hello, Lynn! So great to hear from you, and to hear your memories of the Melbournes, who really were lovely (if, yes, a little eccentric) people. Do you remember their Siamese cat(s)? I think the reason my dad hit it off so well with your Uncle Toddy was that Dad was a bit on the eccentric side too. I did not know the Melbournes’ son, but his name (according to a notice in the local paper after his death – he died in 2012, I’m sorry to say, and hence the auction at the Melbourne home (formerly the Broad home) that Raymond and I attended) was John Robert “Bob” Melbourne. Was your Aunt Pearl also a Melbourne? Let me know if there’s anything more I can help with in your researches – and if you happen to be in the Queensborough area, stop by and I’ll show you your aunt and uncle’s lovely calling cards from Birks that came with the desk we bought at the auction!

      • Hi Katherine…..thank you for your reply. I’m glad you have nice memories of my aunt and uncle. Unfortunately, I don’t actually remember my cousin. For some reason I thought his name was Brian, but Bob is close. I wonder what happened to him? My aunt Pearl lived close by (I think). She was Uncle Toddy’s sister, and was married to Jack McKinnon. I also had another aunt and uncle, Stanley and Dorothy Melbourne, who lived in Belleville. I think they had a daughter named June. It is so sad to lose touch with family over the years. Unfortunately, my parents and order siblings are also gone, which makes it more difficult.

        If you do learn anything more about the Melbournes from your area, I would love to hear few. You. Best of luck with the Manse!


        Ps…. I do remember the cats, and also two black poodles that were kept un-clipped! So cute!! I remember a lovely lunch in the dining room with old Limoge China. Uncle Toddy also had a number of Coca cola machines out on the verandah. He loved to collect things!

      • Lynn, maybe you even remember the cats threading their way through the precious Limoges china in the open china cabinet? I recall holding my breath, being sure they were going to knock something over – but those cats were very graceful and co-ordinated (as your aunt and uncle surely knew), and there were no china disasters whatsoever. A fun memory! If I learn any more about your family, I will be sure to let you know. You must come for a visit!

    • Hi Katherine, Happy New Year! We “talked” last summer about my aunt and uncle, the Melbourne’s from Madoc. I was just sending your blog link to my cousin Valerie, and in re reading it noticed that you mention a photo album (with unidentified people) at the auction. I don’t know how I missed this earlier. Did you and your husband buy the album? I would love to see it or pictures of it. It may be simply an interesting album that Uncle Toddy picked up (he loved to collect things), however, it could also be a family album. If that is the case, I would love to buy it from you if you would consider selling it, or att the very least, get copies of any family photographs, if I can identify them!!

      I am really getting caught up in this genealogy (a bit of drug!!). I hate to think of all the family letters, pictures etc that were likely lost.

      Cheers…..Lynn (Melbourne) Chambers, Almonte, Ontario.

      • Hi Lynn – great to hear from you! It seems like a lot of people who are researching family history are finding their way to Meanwhile, at the Manse these days, and they all have discovered such interesting stuff. I so wish I had time to do that kind of research, but I fear it will have to wait until retirement. I do love making connections with people like you whose families are, or were, in this area; there is much information to share!

        I had quite forgotten about the photo album Raymond bought at the Melbournes’ sale, but yes, we do have it. Raymond’s looking through it even as I write this. The two first photos in it are identified as Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marriott – does that name mean anything to you? None of the others are identified. It’s a great big heavy thing so would be costly to send your way, but if you have occasion to be in our area, you’d be very welcome indeed to have a look at it. And hey – I am reliably informed that Almonte is a really nice town; perhaps Raymond and I could pack up the album and take a drive out your way come the nice weather!

      • Hi Katherine – believe it or not I have just come across your answer!! I don’t remember it arriving in my inbox at all! I just assumed that maybe you were too busy, and didn’t have time to write. I was so surprised to find this.

        As I thought, that is a family album. Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Marriott were Aunt Evelyn’s parents. Also, I have remembered that their son’s name was John, but always called “Jack”. Oh dear, I would love to see this album. I would love to buy it from you if you and your husband were willing to part with it.

        It would be great to get together with you sometime. It would love to meet you. I so appreciate you taking the time to write to me. I could take a drive there, or, if you are in the mood for a little drive, you are welcome to come here to Almonte. We live in a condo in The Thoburn Mill, an old converted woollen mill in downtown Almonte. It is a very sweet town.

        I’m sure you get a lot of inquiries about families. You have such a neat connection having grown up there too. The Manse sounds amazing. As for doing your own family research, here is the thing….on one hand it is easier when you are a little younger, as there are more relatives around. The internet is amazing. But, it is also a little addictive, and can really take a lot of time!! I have been flirting with this stuff off and on for many years, but only really started to take it seriously last year. It has been time consuming, but so enjoyable. I have met several cousins I never knew. Yesterday I “met” one in the UK where the Melbourne family came from. Yesterday I was also able to get a few wonderful old family photos. Most I didn’t recognize, but this new “cousin” identified photographs of my great grandmother, a great Aunt and her children, as well as my grandfather’s brother Charles!! And today, I came across your letter!!! Yay!! Ok, so that’s the addictive part. You get stuck, and cool it for a while, then something like happens, and off you go…..

        Anyway, let me know what you would like to do. I would love to meet you.

        Thanks again…..Lynn

        ps – Happy spring!

      • Hi Lynn! I’m so happy that my response was such good news for you. I will send you an email directly, but for sure we can and should arrange a visit so you can see the photo album. We have no attachment to it other than it coming from the Melbournes’ place and being an interesting old thing, so would be happy to see it in the hands of family members who will get a lot more out of it. A story with a happy ending!

      • My great-great-great-grandparents bought land and built a house in Thurlow Township. They are buried in Roslin. Their daughter, my great-great-grandmother, died Elzevir Township. I don’t know where she’s buried. Her son, my great-grandfather, was born in Madoc but later emigrated to North Dakota. I have no idea if I have any remaining relatives in the area.

      • Leslie, was Robinson the family name? Also, let me know the name of your great-great grandmother who died in Elzevir Township (and, if possible, when), and I’ll see what I can find re burial/cemetery records.

      • Hi Katherine, the family names were Campbell and Leslie (that’s where my given name comes from). My great-grandfather (born in Madoc) was Alexander Leslie, and his parents were Flora Campbell and William Leslie. Flora was born in Scotland and William in Ireland, but they were married in Hastings County. Flora’s parents, William Campbell and Isabella Campbell, are buried in the cemetery in Roslin (I’ve seen a photo of their gravestone) but I have no idea where William and Flora Leslie are buried. The only information I have is that Flora died in Elzevir Township. Alexander Leslie, their son, is buried in North Dakota. I have visited his grave.

        Cheers! Leslie

      • Thanks, Leslie – when life hands me a little bit of free time I will try to search out some information for you. I imagine that with names as Scottish as Flora Campbell and William Leslie they belonged to the Presbyterian Church, which in Queensborough was the very building where our St. Andrew’s United Church now operates. Unfortunately the church’s burial records from before the late 1950s have gone to the central church archives, but I’ll poke around and see what I can find. Cheers!

      • Sorry, I forgot to give you dates! Flora Leslie died January 12, 1906 and William Leslie’s death date and place of death are unknown. They married October 4, 1845 in Hastings County.

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