Selkirk vs Winnipeg

I live in the city of Winnipeg and Shirley lives in Selkirk.  Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba and is MUCH bigger than Selkirk.  But, it could have been much different if it weren’t for some enterprising business men and politicians.

You see, the Winnipeg area is known to flood on a fairly regular basis so engineers looking to build a railway bridge across the Red River thought Selkirk would be a better spot.  When Winnipeg was under water, Selkirk was high and dry.  Also, Winnipeg had a second river, the Assiniboine, that was advantageous when furs and goods were being transported by canoe, but was another hurdle (bridge) to get over with a train.

There was much humming and hawing and debating over the matter.  The condensed version of the story is that some Winnipeg business men donated $300,000 (which was no small potatoes in the late 1870s) to build the bridge if the rail would come through Winnipeg.  This would save the Canadian  government some money.  Also, a representative from the Hudson’s Bay Company came to say that the Red River was behaving well the last few years so it would be safe to build a rail there.  HBC owned 1,750 acres of land in the city so its advice was likely not too generous of spirit.  (There has been major flooding in the years 1826, 1897, 1950, 1997, 2009 and 2011 and several significant episodes in between.  Because of the flooding, a flood protection project was started in 1962 to protect the city.)

The government seems to have felt that not having to pay for the bridge over the river out weighed paying for a bridge in a safer location.  Meanwhile, the planned railway route, which would have come through Selkirk was changed.  The CPR was convinced to run the line further south as there was more virgin acres to be had that could be sold to potential settlers.  The folks in Selkirk were told that the rail would still go through their town if they came up with $125,000 for a bridge.  If they could not, they would straighten out the route and by-pass Selkirk.  They could not come up with the money.

Seems appropriate that some 140 years later, a Winnipeg girl and a Selkirk girl, rode on a train together in Victorian garb.  Almost, poetic.SAM_1770


Today’s cabinet card is definitely a reprint!


The style of hair is 1850s so I’m guessing that the original was taken then.  The lower seam on the shoulder helps to back up my theory.  It was reprinted, possibly in an effort to save the picture before the original completely faded away.

This card is useful to show the hair style which is not a flattering style if you do not have a dainty doll-like face.  The swoops of hair draw the eye to the center of her face which is not this lady’s best feature.

This style does nothing for me either!

Dawn 21 - Copy It makes the top of my head look narrower (as it does to the lady above) and the middle of my face look wider.  Not a look I’m going for.  When you add the very high neck line that frames my double chin you have a recipe for “Doomed to Remain Unmarried Ugly” or if you prefer “Guaranteed to be Cheated on Homely”.  The only thing that saved my look was wearing my bonnet with the tie under my chin.  It acted like a corset for my extra chin.

I wonder how many women fell into the trap of wearing a style that makes them look homely because it was in style.


Awhile back, I was given some wool and decided to use it up on my double knitting loom.  It would serve three purposes: use up the wool, remind me how to use my knitter, and be a charitable donation.SAM_0172I finished the scarf this past weekend and it will go on the mitten tree at work.SAM_0179But, I didn’t finish all the wool, which was one of my goals.  As is always the case, there was not enough left to make another scarf so I found a ball of white wool and will make a striped scarf with the two balls.  What am I going to do with the left over white wool?

And the world keeps turning.

In spite of my depression over the madness in the world, it kept turning and I had to keep going.  Mr Rogers (the main character in a kid’s TV show here in North America) asked his mom what to do when you hear horrible news.  She told him to look for the helpers.  It helps you remember that not everyone is evil and not everything is bad.  I think that is good advice.  I don’t know what hands on actions are being done for all the survivors, but I’m sure it is there.  We can be helpers too, with our prayers and thoughts.  And if we become helpers right in our own circle of influence, we lighten up the whole world. Perhaps my New Years resolution will be to do one good deed a day.

Anyway, the world kept turning and I had to go out yesterday and finish my Christmas shopping.  If you are looking for the helpers of the world, shopping at Wal-Mart before Christmas is not the place to go.  Just masses of people, in a hurry, stuck in a crowd!  I had to pick up  a few stocking stuffers there and a new camera card…SAM_0175

because someone who shall remain nameless…


got a hold of my card and played with it.


I didn’t try it, but I feel confident it wouldn’t have worked any more.  Now my shopping is done and I just have to wrap the stuff, which in between loads of laundry is my goal for the day.  A little Christmas music or a good movie and a supply of motivation should do the trick.


Look for the helpers and be one of them.

I just don’t get it.

I’m in bad frame of mind.  The world is crazy.  I can sort of follow the train of thought that your parent could make you so angry you’d shoot her (there are bad/evil parents out in the world).  We have all had moments where we were in a rage but a sane person knows that murder or violence wont solve anything and we don’t act on that feeling. But, I can’t follow or imagine the train of thought that convinces someone that going to her place of work and shooting innocent children makes sense or fixes or revenges any real or perceived wrongs.  There truly is evil in the world.

I’d like to play the idea that the Victorian era was better but, I fear it was not.  They had slavery, wars and child labor.  And the good Lord knows how many evil acts were committed under the cover of not airing dirty laundry.  I’m guessing there were nut bars then too.  The lack of easily available and instant transmission of news meant that not everyone was privy to every horror story in the news of the day.  Sometimes ignorance gives the illusion of bliss.  I wish I had the illusion of bliss.

First Aid a la 1866

A few weeks ago, I had to take a first aid course for work.  One of the things we had to learn was how to deal with puncture wounds until a doctor could take over.

I thought it would be fun to read what Gunn’s home medical book had to say.

Punctured Wounds, which are made with a pointed instrument; as a needle, a nail, or a bayonet.  Sometimes a wound is both punctured and incised, as when made with a dirk which both punctures and cuts.

When you consider this was written for people to deal with illness and injuries at home, it is a bit freaky to consider that bayonet injuries would be a concern.  But, this was written just post civil war so may be they were dealing with such things.  I am fairly sure I shan’t have to worry about bayonet wounds in my lifetime…at least I hope not.

Puncture wounds, if very deep, should not be allowed to heal at the surface very speedily, and consequently should not be closed up with Adhesive Plaster.  They are very apt to become inflamed and suppurate (give off pus), and may lead to very serious consequences, if allowed to heal by the first intention (initially) at the surface. 

I think this is fairly common practice today with deep wounds being packed with gauze to encourage the wound to heal first at the deep end and not allowing the skin edge to close over until that healing is complete.

If you have reason to believe that tendons are injured by the wound, treat it as directed under the head of “Lock-jaw.” 

I looked up Lockjaw in the book and this is what it said.

Causes-It is almost invariably caused by wound or injuries of the tendonous portions of the body, though sometimes it will arise from any wound, especially in warm climates, and occasionally from other cause.

There was no mention of the germs that we now know cause tetanus but there was some understanding that infection was bad.  It seems to me the cause, for mid-Victorian era folks, was the severity of the wound and not on the germs that may have been introduced to the system.

Back to the puncture wound and its treatment.

If the wound is of a serious nature and there is threatened inflammation, active Hydragogue Purgatives (a laxative that works by drawing water from the system-Victorians and their bowel obsessions!) will be necessary, as the Anti-bilious Physic and Cream of Tartar, and the patient may also take a dose of Laudanum or Opium occasionally.

I get how a bit of pain-killer might be helpful (so long as the patient didn’t end up an addict) but I’m at a loss to know how a good bowel movement would be of use.

Mrs Joney

Today’s cabinet card is of an older woman with snow-white hair.

(I hope my hair goes white like that when I'm old).

(I hope my hair goes white like that when I’m old).

Besides her hair, I was impressed with the fullness of the blouse part of the bodice.  I love the white lace collar and I like the trim on lapel of the bodice.  The darker trim around the blouse looks to be a velvet does it not?

The photographer is Beals, Douglas Ave, Elgin Ills.  I thought it was possible the logo in the center has a pale toned “F” in the middle of the “B”.  When I googled that name, I found another cabinet card on eBay with the same name and address and the logo clearly says “FB”.  (The other card says 23 Douglas and I believed mine said 25 Douglas. For reasons you will see further down, I believe my card has faded to the point that the 3 merely looked like a 5)

I also found a write-up for photographers in Evansville Wisconsin that say a Ferris Beal was taking photographs there until 1889 when he moved to Elgin.  Scroll down this page about half way.  There is two photographs with women as subjects.  The description of Beal is just above them.

Then I hit a gold mine!  If you scroll down to the dates 1890-91 you see Beals at the 23 Douglas address.  He remains at that same address until 1908.  This is why I believe my card does in fact say 23 and not 25 as I originally thought.  This tells us the card is from 1890-1908.  This certainly fits with the huge sleeves of her dress.

Our lady seems to have a name though I have some doubts about how much of the name is hers and how much was spelled correctly.

Georgie Mrs. Joney

Georgie Mrs. Joney

The “Mrs. Joney” seems to be written in child like scrawl.  The Georgie was written by an adult hand.  Was this an older person completing the name?  Was Georgie the name of the child that did the other writing?  Did the child spell the last name correctly?