The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the June 22, 2005 issue. Reprinted with permission.
Newest volume boasts movers, shahers, gourmets
"What do an album, a diary, a door, a photogaph, a light fixture, a piece of sheet music, a file folder contaning club records, and some ruins have in common?"
This is the question by which Kirk's Ferry resident and editor Carol Martin kicks off the just-published Up the Gatineau! Vol. 31. The answer, Martin said, is that each object sparked an investigation into local history. "It was unusual this year," explained Martin, who has now edited l5 volumes of the Gatineau Valley Historical Society's annual journal. "There were so many different stimuli that got people going... and they all have a story behind them."
Those stories include Martin's own jowney though time as seen through Aunt Maud's postcard album, a look at the vanished homesteads along Kennedy Rd. by Allen Richens and a portait of the now defunct Gatineau Valley Gourmet Club written by first-time contibutor and mystery writer Liz Palmer.
Also featured in the new volume is an article on Meech Lake inventor Thomas "Carbide" Wilson, who developed acetylene gas, and the early use of acetylene lamps in area cottages. That and another aticle, titled "Movers and Shakers Visit Thirty-One Mile Lake", were both written by Archie Pennie, a Lake Pemichangan cottager who also happens to be the winner of the GVHS's Archie Davison Prize for the best article (on old mills in the Hills) in last year's Up the Gatineau!
"He's our most prolific writer," Martin said of Pennie. "He loves to do research. Typically he'll call me and say 'I'm hot on another story'."
Other contibutions include Preston Wilsan's portait of 20th century life in Meech Creek as seen through the diary of the late Gladys Cross Payne.
For Martin, the key to the success of the volunteer journal is keeping the stories local and the contributions grassroots. "It's not by academics, it's by the people that live here. People need to have a venue to tell their stories"
Some 1,000 copies of Up the Gatineau! Vol. 31 have been printed and are available acreoos the lower Gatineau.
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