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Archives volunteer Dyan Bonter has been working for three years on a project to transcribe obituary notices from The Quinte Scanner, the newspaper published in Deseronto between 1968 and 1982. This project is now complete, and all the obituaries are now available on this site.

Obituaries can be useful sources for making family history links, for identifying friend and family connections, or as a way of remembering former residents of the town. We hope that they will prove useful – and thank you, Dyan, for all your hard work!

The past does seem a strange place, sometimes. An item which made its way to the archives this week is a case in point. This object was originally given out as a prize at the Lucky Strikes Lanes, the bowling alley which was where the Deseronto Public Library (and the Archives) is now. It was run by Ernie and Gladys Luck – and Gladys’s apple pie was legendary, it seems.

Green ashtray

Even as recently as the 1960s or 1970s, it was perfectly fine to hand out an ashtray as a prize. It’s hard to imagine this happening today!

We’re not sure who donated this object to the Library – so please let us know if it was yours!

The Archives here in Deseronto has a rather patchy selection of local newspapers for the twentieth century. There’s a good run of The Quinte Scanner from 1968 to 1982 but apart from that we really only have lucky survivals of The Deseronto Post and a few editions of the Daily Intelligencer, Belleville’s newspaper. Finding out what newspaper we have for a particular year or decade involved consulting two different lists, the contents of which are not easy to absorb.

We’ve now combined the information from those lists into a single online resource. It’s a Google Calendar into which each newspaper edition has been entered as an event. If you have a Google account, you can view the newspaper calendar, which we’ve made public. From the calendar page, click on the small Add to Google Calendar symbol at the bottom right. This will add the newspaper calendar to your Google calendar page.

In order to see what we have for a particular year, you need to install the ‘Year View’ feature for your calendar (in Google Calendar, go to the ‘Settings’ page, then ‘Labs’ to do this). Once you have the Year View, you can use it to get to a particular year, then click on any month to see if we hold any local papers for that particular time period. The picture below is of the month of October 1925, where we have two issues of the Deseronto Post and three of the Daily Intelligencer. Click on the image for a closer look.

Newspapers for October 1925

This is just an experiment, really, but it’s already proving useful in making it much quicker to answer questions about whether we have any newspapers for a particular date.

The Westbury Union were a Trenton-based band formed in the late 1960s. Karen Whaley, the daughter of one of the band members has shared a photo album of the band on her blog, Say It With Pie and also on Flickr. The Deseronto connection? The band were booked through the Dobbin Agency, based at 447 Main Street.

Thanks to Karen for permission to share these photos here. We’d be interested to hear from any local residents who remember dancing to The Westbury Union’s music in the late sixties or early seventies, or anyone who has information about the Dobbin Agency.

This watercolour painting was one of several commissioned by Deseronto Public Library in the early 1960s, leading up to the Centennial celebrations of 1967. It shows the corner of the park and the Post Office, with the Town Hall visible on the right of the picture. The artist was Garnet Hazard (1903-1987), who was living in Deseronto at the time.

The public-spirited aim of the Library Board of the day was that:

Every one who steps into the library can gaze at the town as it is seen by the gifted insight of these painters. Their paintings will capture the courage, hopes, disappointments, struggles, and loveliness of the people of this town.

Rev. Douglas Blair
Library Board

This photograph shows the same view as it appeared on April 16, 2008:

I’m hoping these questions will be easy ones for Deseronto folk to answer. This photograph was received at the Archives this week, but without any supporting information to explain who the hockey team were, or when the picture was taken. The firm sponsoring the team, Sam’s Aluminum, was established in Napanee in 1963, so that gives us the earliest possible date for the photo. It became Sam’s Doors and Windows in 1971 (according to the company’s website), which presumably gives us the latest possible date.

So, over to you, citizens of Deseronto and surrounding areas:

  1. What is the name of the hockey team?
  2. What year was the photo taken?
  3. Do you recognise any of the players or the men in the photo?

You can click on the picture to see a bigger version.

No prizes available for correct answers, but any assistance will be gratefully received!