The following article first appeared in The Echo of Cantley Volume 23 no 7, February 2012. This article is made available for the enjoyment of others with the express permission of the Echo of Cantley.
A social gathering in Cantley, a ride on the ferry, toiling on the farm, home , work and school... A new exhibit at the Cantley Town Hall has photos of all them, but the photos are 100 years old when 'creating a group' was about going to church and the 'favourite apps' were the plough, the pick and the peavey.
The volunteers of Cantley 1889 have mounted an exhibit of historical photographs that is like the Facebook of yesteryear, capturing those important moments and portraying day-to-day life.
There are all the kids and teachers of the Protestant school in 1930; and the end-of-school shot outside St. Elizabeth's school in 1941. Many of the names in those photos live on in today's older generation and their descendants, or in the names of Cantley's most historic street names and places.
There's the fine figure of Mabel Gow as she swooshes in her long dress down the lane with her milk pails, sometime in the early 1900s. A photo firom 1900 shows the Blackburn family posing outside their ancestral home. And there are the farms that were later flooded when the Farmer's Rapids dam was built on the Gatineau River in 1926.
The farm tools, the horse pulling logs across snow, haying time, and the proud owners of the horse and buggy at the Gow farm give a glimpse of the farming life of our community.
Our roots in logging and lumber are portrayed in the tugboats plying the river and the saw mill. The mining of mica recalls another early industry. The General Store around 1900 was the source of provisions for the community up and down the Cantley Road where cows wandered along on the major artery that looks much more tranquil than today's Highway 307.
The photos were gathered by Cantley 1889, an association established in 2010 to discover, catalogue, protect and promote Cantley's heritage. The group's first public event was to hold a Scan Day, when people were invited to bring in their old pictures and documents to be scanned and preserved for future generations.
This photo exhibit is a compilation of scanned photos that will hang in the Town Hall to greet visitors and remind us all of our proud past. The exhibit will be launched at a 'vernissage' on Thursday Feb. 23 at 7:30 pm - and everyone is welcome. There will be explanations, a little history, the chance to ask questions, nice things to nibble and sip, and of course the photos that capture the life of Cantley's pioneers. Like? (See poster).