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.
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.
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.
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.