Some items we have a chance to photograph have a life of their own.  The stories of those who once owned them are forever imprinted in their fabric, and if you listen closely you can learn a little of the person and the times they came from.  In today’s post we are continuing a new photoblog series recently started we call “The Cowichan Valley Museum” where we are hoping to share some photos of exhibits on display at the museum, and discuss what is known of their history.

Antique Baby Carriage & Doll - Cowichan Valley Museum, Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Baby Carriage & Doll – Cowichan Valley Museum, Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

We don’t know her name, or much about her history, but it’s safe to say that this delicate face resting in one of the most amazing antique baby carriages I have ever seen instantly spoke to my heart.  Kathryn Gagnon, the Curator/Manager at the Cowichan Valley Museum & Archives, shared some wonderful details of the carriage and doll, and this helped to paint a scattered mosaic in my mind’s eye that left more questions unanswered than answered.  This turned the session into a time of discovery for me, one that left me yearning to learn more, and to surmise and seek beyond the evident through the lens.

Antique Baby Carriage & Doll - Cowichan Valley Museum, Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Baby Carriage & Doll – Cowichan Valley Museum, Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

We understand that this antique baby carriage and doll were acquired by the McPherson family on Vancouver Island sometime around 1889-1890.  I believe this may be the same family that introduced such great facilities to Victoria as the McPherson Playhouse and the McPherson Library at the University of Victoria, but at the time of this writing I am unable to verify that with certainty.  Regardless of its history, the carriage is a delightful piece in wonderful condition considering its advanced age.

Antique Baby Carriage & Doll - Cowichan Valley Museum, Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Baby Carriage & Doll – Cowichan Valley Museum, Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

Antique Baby Carriage & Doll - Cowichan Valley Museum, Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

Antique Baby Carriage & Doll – Cowichan Valley Museum, Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, Canada –

I’ve seen toys 6 months old that aren’t in as good condition as this carriage and doll.  When you consider that this is around 125 years old now, you really begin to appreciate the care that went into the design and manufacture of it, as well as the loving care the little girl who once played with it took to ensure it lasted.

Museums are a great way to feed the inquisitive nature of those who seek to learn about the past.  In many cases it’s what we don’t know that fills the experience with wonder, leaving us to explore beyond the artifact and the man-made walls of the museum in an effort to learn more about those who came before us, and the indelible imprint they have left behind on our communities.  We hope to return regularly to the “The Cowichan Valley Museum” to continue to learn about our local history, and to bring you more photographs and stories of items and artifacts that meant so much to those who once owned them.

Thank you for your kind visit to The Hollow today, we truly appreciate it.  We hope you’ve enjoyed this story, and we encourage you to leave us any comments you may have below as we love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. avatar Bev Oliver says:

    STUNNING!!! GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS!! The baby and carriage shots typify your unmistakable interior work, Toad. Too lovely! A watercolour in the waiting!

    • Thank you Bev, I am grinning from proverbial ear to ear here this morning with your wonderful comments!!! You and Jim are some of the very best friends a pair of lucky Toads could ever have!

  2. avatar Lois Bryan says:

    beautifully captured images!!!! they all tell a story!!

  3. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Really outstanding photos, as always! For items as old as they are, their overall condition is stunning. You have captured them perfectly, Toad.

  4. avatar LensScaper says:

    Superb documentary photography as always, Toad

  5. avatar Edith Levy says:

    I love this place Toad. Your images are exquisite and I particularly like the detailed shots.

  6. avatar Lisa Gordon says:

    Oh my goodness, what a find!
    I am sure I could photograph this for hours, and yes, it is always wonderful to think about the history, and who owned it.

    These photographs are really beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing, and have a wonderful weekend!

  7. You fond the coolest old places and really make them come to life in the photographs, well done! Thanks for sharing

    • Thank YOU Mike, you’re a true scholar and a gentleman my friend!!

      • avatar Don Barton says:

        Love the story, Scott.

        Even more, I appreciate your skill at being able to capture the detail. So often as photographers we are consumed with getting the “grand shot”. You do that well too, but what really makes your photo-stories stand up and walk is your attention to the details.

        Thanks for this, my friend.

        • You, sir, are a true scholar and a gentleman Don, thank you. I really, really appreciate your comments and the time you spend supporting and encouraging us along, it’s what makes this place so special indeed. Best wishes, Don!

  8. avatar Rick Louie says:

    You really captured some nice details of this antique. So well crafted and you presented it so nicely!