The featured Georgeville artifact is an old-fashioned manual bread-maker machine that originally belonged to a much beloved area individual, the late Francis Evans.
Francis, a farm housewife with all the traditional attributes that such a notable career entails, was well know for her cooking talents and her garden-fresh ingredients. The task of feeding the members of her active farm family was perhaps made somewhat easier with the featured bread-maker depicted in the modern day photo displayed above. No doubt, many a loaf of homemade bread graced the kitchen and dining room tables of the old Evans' farmhouse located on the Magoon Point Road south of the village. Francis was known to make bread almost on a daily basis and so it may be assumed, the machine was a valued asset to her inventory of kitchen appliances.
The bread-maker was in essence, a bucket designed for the preparation of bread dough. It was manufactured by the Landers Frary & Clark Company of New Britain, Connecticut. The design was awarded the gold medal at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904, the World's Fair, and was considered a revolutionary household product at the time. The company, which began operations in 1865 and continued in business for 100 years, produced a host of kitchen appliances from coffee percolators to waffle makers. The No. 4 bread-maker was designed to produce dough for four loaves of bread at a time. It attaches to a table or counter and is operated by a handle, which is turned by hand. This particular model enjoys a respectful interest on current online auction sites both as an antique and as a practical device for modern-day use.
When Francis no longer had the strength to use the bread-maker, she sold it to Addie Atkin, a noted local historian and GHS director emeritus, for $5. In turn the machine was passed on to her daughter Maureen, a current GHS director, who used it herself for many years before yielding to a more modern version.
The featured Georgeville artifact is an old, 19th century medicine bottle.The markings identify it as having contained ‘Jacob’s Rheumatic Liquid’.
The Jacob’s product was originally manufactured by one, Charles Jacob (1806-1884), a resident of the township and county of Compton. He is recorded in directory listings initially as being based in the village of Compton, later in the nearby hamlet of Brookville.
Like most medicines marketed during the 1800s, Jacob’s Rheumatic Liquid was touted as a virtual cure-all for any ailment that might afflict an individual, from rheumatism to chilblains. Like its counterparts in the marketplace, the product contained a certain percentage of alcohol, which undoubtedly accounted for its popularity.
Charles Jacob manufactured and distributed the product until the late 1860s at which point the rights were sold to S.J. Foss & Company of Sherbrooke which sold similar items throughout the province and beyond. Newspaper and related publications suggest that Jacob’s Liquid was sold in such diverse localities as Montreal and Quebec City, as well as Brockville, Ontario. There are even unconfirmed reports of sales in Boston, Massachusetts.
The connection to Georgeville came about a decade later, when ads began appearing which identified local physician, William Keyes (1835-1914), as the sole proprietor. The ads appeared concurrently with promotions for Dr. Keyes’ own formulation, ‘Keyes Cough Balsam’, a local favorite by all accounts. What Dr. Keyes paid for the Jacob’s formulae and rights to manufacture it, is unknown. However, one Georgeville byline reported that the good doctor had refused an offer of $50,000 for the Jacob’s patent alone, though this may be deemed a grotesque exaggeration.
For the next quarter of a century, Dr. Keyes continued to manufacture and distribute both the Jacob’s product and his own cough remedy, as well as ‘Colby’s Anticostive Pills’ which was similarly acquired from the Foss Company. The drug business was a sideline for the doctor, in addition to his own busy medical practice and his operation of a summer resort, Lake Hall, in the heart of Georgeville.
Close to the turn of the century, there is evidence to suggest that efforts were undertaken to capitalize on the products offered for sale by the doctor. In 1898, a newspaper report appeared announcing the formation of the ‘Jacob’s Rheumatic Liquid Company’ based in Montreal. With a capital stock of $20,000, the company directors included the doctor from Georgeville, as well as other notables, such as the former Member of Parliament, T.B. Rider of Fitch Bay and the sitting member and local businessman of Magog, Alvin Moore. Given the popularity and brand recognition of the Jacob’s product, the name was adopted as the company’s moniker.
Notwithstanding the efforts to organize the company, there is no indication that it ever came to fruition and the production of the various products associated with it, began to disappear from the market shortly thereafter.
The bottle displayed above has the Jacob’s name on the face, in the indentation near the top. The words ‘rheumatic’ and ‘liquid’ appear on the opposing sides, also in indentations.
The featured Lake Memphremagog artifact is a section of what is believed to be a mooring line of the famous lake steamer ‘Lady of the Lake’ of the late 1800s.
The line was discovered in the dock house of the former Molson’s Landing at Fern Hill, the now dismantled Molson family estate opposite Owl’s Head Mountain.
In the 1990s, John Cowan, owner of the lakeside site, pointed out the mooring line to visiting directors of the Society and promptly donated the historic item to the organization. At the time, it was thought to be associated with the Lady’s sister ship, its smaller and more modern counterpart, the Anthemis.
But more recent scrutiny suggests the line is more appropriate to the Lady of the Lake given its dimensions. The mooring line, now an artifact stored at the GHS loft, was originally in excess of 50 feet in length (its current length is about 40 feet, sections having been lobbed off for tours, parades and exhibits). With a circumference of 10 inches, the woven 3-inch diameter line is indeed likely to have secured the Lady, as even the current shortened length of the line is a struggle for most individuals to manage.
If the mooring line is in fact from the Lady of the Lake, it constitutes one of only a few items from the steamship that have survived over time.
Lady of the Lake
The featured artifact is a metal accounts ledger that is a relic of Bachelder’s garage, which operated in the heart of Georgeville. Located next to the current Studio Georgeville building, the garage serviced the village for many decades during the 1900s.
The garage’s origins date back to 1925 when Howard Bachelder started his business on the Magoon Point Road, in the southern sector of the community. Two years following his marriage to Georgia Packard, Howard rented the former United Church parsonage, known as the ‘Marsh House’. It was here that the enterprise was started.
Shortly thereafter, in 1927, he found a more central and permanent location for his garage when he acquired the Albert Bullock house on what is now Carré Copp. The building was retained as a residence and a garage built in the space between it and the adjoining store. The following spring, gas pumps were added which gave the operation the full appearance of a service station. From the beginning, the garage sported the Shell brand of gasoline and oil related products.
Like the retail operation adjacent and the one further up the street, Howard maintained individual accounts for his customers. And like his fellow business operators, he employed the use of a drop-down, metal ledger to keep track of his clients’ outstanding indebtedness.
A member of the GHS Board of Directors recently discovered the ledger in an antique store in Rock Island. Although there were no individual account records left in the device, it did have an index of well-known Georgevillle names. Recognizing the historical significance of the unit, it was purchased on behalf of the Society. It is now stored in the GHS loft as an artifact from Georgeville’s past.
The ledger’s index documents a variety of Georgeville patrons from different time periods. The entries reflect a constant process of subtraction and addition, as people died or moved away and others moved in to replace them. The disparity between old and new is also indicative of the progression of ownership of the garage over two generations. As Howard grew older and became less able to manage the operation, his son Emerson gradually took over and eventually owned and managed the garage.
Howard died in 1974 and shortly thereafter Emerson faced his own health challenges, forcing the sale of the garage in 1985. Its sale and subsequent closure marked the end of 70 years of service provided by the Bachelder family to the population of Georgeville. The long run of the operation is evidence to the friendly disposition and natural mechanical abilities of both father and son.
Please refer to the Gallery subpage for a photographic essay of the garage.
A Scholarly Souvenir
The featured artifact is a souvenir from the Georgeville Village School for the fall and winter term of 1898-1899. The school in question is the iconic red schoolhouse at the junction of the Channel Hill and Magoon Point Roads. The oft-photographed building still remains though it has since been transformed into a private residence.
Copies of the formal two-piece cardboard memorial were likely handed out to all the students attending the school that session.
The frontispiece identified the school’s teacher as E. Maude Heath, and E.W. Morrill as the chairman of what one might assume, the local educational committee.
The ribbon attached second board lists all the students that attended the school, though in no identifiable order. The surnames that appear represent some of the oldest families associated with the village of Georgeville and the surrounding area, including McGowan, Hand, Davidson, Wilcox, Packard and others.
The school souvenir was a donation to the Society by Brenda Dezan, an avid collector of antiques. She found it among items acquired at an auction sale. Recognizing the historical value of the item, she graciously passed it on to a GHS board member for display in the Society’s loft.