Postcards from the past #1

Last weekend I found myself in an antique store in Summerside, PEI. 

I commented to my friends that it was a very good thing that I had to fly home, so that I could not buy all the lovely things there. I did pick up some old postcards, including a couple that depicted places that I had recently visited. 

The first card I chose was an old black and white picture from Port Dalhousie, Ontario. It clearly depicts the part of the beach where Sean and I sat and ate our picnic dinner a couple of weeks ago, and the carousel which we rode. 
   
I was so excited to find this lovely memento from the history of a place that I so enjoyed. 

There is no date on the card, and the postmark is incomplete, so at first I thought there was no way to know when it was written. 

 
Then I had a thought: the stamp! Surely that would give me a time frame, at the very least.

   

This is a George V Scroll stamp issued between October 1928 and April 1930. This places my Port Dalhousie beach card as most likely dating from somewhere between those dates. 

Of course, it’s possible that someone might have posted it with an older stamp, but given that these were the years of the Great Depression, it does not seem likely that one would spend money on a stamp that was not going to be used right away. The handwriting certainly does not suggest someone with an expensive education, given that penmanship was still highly valued back then. 

It may just be an old postcard to most other people, but for me this is part of the real history of a beautiful place, and it’s very exciting to have it among my souvenirs. 

Carousel.

Yesterday Sean and I returned to Port Dalhousie to see the carousel. It was built in 1903 and was restored painstakingly in the 1980s.

The carousel has over 60 hand carved animals and some benches that look like sleighs. A calliope organ plays songs from the early 1900s that make a ride on the carousel a trip into history. 

   
   
A ride still costs only 5 cents. 

 
Whaaaaat? In Australia, someone would be charging $5 and blaming it on the price of insurance.

We had a lovely ride that lasted over 5 minutes.  It was simply delightful. 

  

Port Dalhousie

Port Dalhousie sits on Lake Ontario near St Catherine’s, Ontario. It’s a gorgeous place with a beautiful beach, marina and waterfront area that boasts not one, but two, lighthouses. It also has a carousel with a calliope!

  

We visited fairly late in the afternoon, so the carousel was closed, but we walked along the pier in golden autumn sunshine and watched the sailboats, fishermen in small boats, and windsurfers enjoying the beautiful weather. 

   
 
My first impression walking along the pier was that the waterway and marina reminded me a lot of Port Fairy in Victoria, Australia, not far from Warrnambool, where I work. It’s another very pretty spot with a marina on the moth of the Moyne River that I have blogged about before

After walking along the pier, we sat on the beach and had the most Canadian of sandwiches: crusty white bread, old cheddar and Montreal smoked beef with mustard. Those sandwiches were incredibly good.

 
Our picnic was also attended by a lone seagull and a very attentive wasp. Thankfully, we did not provide any food for either one of them. 

Having just finished winter in south-eastern Australia, this was my first opportunity to enjoy time on a beach. It felt so good to get my bare feet in the warm sand and squidge it between my toes.  That’s one of the things I love about summer afternoons, even though I don’t really like hot weather. Yesterday’s 23C was just perfect for a beach picnic. 

Driving out, we passed some lovely pubs and shops that I would love to go and visit sometime. A very old brick building serves as a coffee house that looked incredibly inviting. 

I am already thinking that I’m going to have to make another trip to Canada. 

Damn. That’s just heartbreaking.