As fall approaches, the volunteers at Archives Lanark look back on a successful summer helping people find their family roots in Lanark County and providing records to those preparing books and displays for the upcoming celebrations of the Perth Military Settlement next year and the 150th Anniversary of Confederation in 2017. When people from a distance remark on what a varied collection of records we have and how helpful our volunteers are, they note the difference when they visit a government archives and are pretty much on their own.
Donations of family histories covering the Amell, Lyon, Arthur, Earnshaw, John Wesley, and Thomas Ferguson families add to our large genealogy collection. A historical novel “Cry to the Moment”by Ella Hopper Ross covers in great detail the emigration of a family from the Hebrides to Pakenham Township complete with maps and references to the mills and people in the Rosebank area. She really takes one back to the perils experienced in those times.
Another unusual booklet came from a donor in Australia. It covers “The Use of Communion Tokens in the Pioneer Churches of Lanark County”and gives details about a custom long gone so now these items are quite collectable and some very valuable.
Mississippi Mills donated the photos and notes from a project in 1984 when the older buildings in Almonte and Ramsay were inventoried as a student project using guidelines from the Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings, complete with maps.Some of these buildings no longer exist so it is a useful resource.
The major achievement this year has been publishing the Rural Schools of Drummond, Pakenham and the reprinting of Ramsay. They have been selling well and will be on sale at the Seniors Expo in Almonte on Sept.10. There are still some Lanark & North Elmsley books available too but the other three townships are sold out. Five remain to be completed so volunteers to help would be most welcome. It involves hundreds of hours but is most gratifying to finally publish your effort.
Laurie Dougherty ,Archivist of the Arnprior/McNab/Braeside Archives provided great guidance in the fourteen weeks she contracted with Archives Lanark. She worked with George Stewart and Wendy Roberts to upgrade the data base and offered valuable advice on organizing the book shelves.
We are continuing to work with Lanark County Council to create an archives as a lasting legacy that the people of Lanark County can be proud of. This week we welcome Klaas Van Der Meer as a new director on our Board of Directors,representing Lanark County Council, and we look forward to his contribution to our deliberations.
For information on winter hours after Thanksgiving, check our website http://www.archiveslanark.ca.