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The Boyd Papers - Spring 2023

Hard to believe but it is spring and time for Boyd Papers. You will not believe what has been happening at the Boyd Building. I am sure you would not recognize the old girl (and I don’t mean me!). Carolyn has been beavering away getting the WW1 reference books organized in the front room and I had started cleaning the wooden shelves in that room. The last event of the year was Mingle Jingle and one of our board members asked if there was anything her husband could do over the winter. I showed him what I had started and he asked what I was using. I displayed my small tin of neutral stain and he said ‘I have something better than that!’ Morris Ingram showed up the next day with his box of finishes, cloths and wax and started in the far (stained glass) room. A few days later (that room finished) he started in the middle room and another chap showed up, Brien Patchell, and started working with Morris. Morris asked what we were going to do with the knocked together painted boards (a bookshelf against the outside walls), decision made, it would come down! Sue had been taking off the old wallpaper, inch by inch. Even with the industrial steamer it was going to take forever. Heavy brute of a steamer held in one hand up a ladder! Morris suggested I call Brian Wilson (recently retired) and looking for something to do. Now we have a crew of three. All good friends. Sue said ‘I love those guys!’ and gladly handed over the steamer. Morris brought in Dan Laviolette to fix some patches on the wall after the wallpaper was removed. He then mumbled about talking to Peter Waite (painter). Peter showed up and said he would talk to Livie’s Town and Country mentioning that he was doing this job as a volunteer and perhaps they would donate the paint. They did and Peter started. Next up Morris suggested bringing in Doug Anderson to do some wood working for us. A new book case, matching the one in the third room, and replicating the bench under the stained glass window. Wonderful! Morris then said he would talk to ‘Ken’ about moving a wall plug. OK. Next day Ken showed up and I asked him about new baseboard heaters in the art room. Mr. Ingram said he probably could do that. Then Morris asked him to crawl under the floors (through the crawl space) and find the wiring to that plug he wanted moved. I said something about Mr. Ingram to Morris and he said ‘what’s with Mr. Ingram’. ‘I said I don’t know him, so he is Mr. Ingram’. Morris said he is my brother Ken. OK!

So we have a whole construction crew! I love retired guys.

My husband removed all of the quarter round (the floor guys would have broken it up removing it). Sylvia had started removing it then went on a cruise so Brian (mine) took over.

Crew chief Morris Ingram and super painter Peter Waite

Sue painting baseboards in Art Room

Morris and Brien discussing plug placement while brother Ken is under the floor chasing wires. Remember snow (look outside window) today is 27 degrees C.

Doug Anderson’s bench (still old flooring)

My Brian, painting the trim around windows

Meantime I have been trying to get a building permit for Jason Martin to put in a coffee bar in the corner of Willy Boyd’s Trent Valley Navigation Co’s office. This problem has been ongoing for about 6 weeks. I don’t know how anything gets done in the way of permits because I sure couldn’t get one. It is all in the terminology it is not a kitchenette (we are not zoned for this) so we ended up calling the counter and sink a coffee shelf. Surely, we are allowed a cup of coffee for the office! I think we have finally got that organized (or at least Sue has) I gave up after being told it is ok you can start, until the permit office called and we started again. Apparently, we just needed a plumbing permit not a building permit! We received CHEST funds for this job (if we can ever get it started!).

New flooring has been put down. We chose an antique oak plank (synthetic) floor. Looks really nice with all of the refinished and visible


So, Morris’ crew is pretty much finished and he and his wife are off for a winter holiday in warmer climes, the Andersons also. The rest of us are here but so is spring.

Carolyn has been holding her book sales trying to keep a bit of money coming in. It is certainly a big building once heating bills started coming in for the whole building instead of just the museum space. We have been getting prepared to rent out the former library as an event space. We really couldn’t do much till the reno’s were done and a new floor throughout put in. Another couple of weeks and we will be able to sell the space for club meetings, corporate meetings, birthdays, anniversaries etc. We have also been told it would make a beautiful small wedding venue. If food is required, they will need a caterer to come in and clean up! We definitely will not be doing that!

Meanwhile the museum looks like a storage room as all stuff from the ‘out there’ is piled up in the museum. I still have to get out there to get the museum ready for the opening. Everything but the kitchen sink (but we have that also).

We still have work to do. Sue and Sylvia want to re-do the bathroom in the Art Room. Sylvia took on the challenge. Removing wallpaper and painting the room. Ruthann (decorator extraordinaire) will do some magic for this small bathroom. She has already donated a chandelier in the front entrance hall. A new paint job in the front room.

Gretchen (a loyal friend) who has a large collection (a life of collecting) First World War books. She has donated them to the Foundation. They are being housed in the front room on the shelves vacated by the library. These will be a reference library only. Carolyn has also collected and shelved local books about Bobcaygeon and surrounding area. History, fiction and photo journeys in and around this area, again reference only. Non Fiction Canadian also. It doesn’t take long to fill up the empty shelves. Look at the beautiful shelves, thanks Mossom Martin Boyd (Mossie) and his brother William Thornton Cust Boyd (Willy) for your thoughtful work in building this building, back in 1889! Morris and his crew for cleaning them.

The three rooms (former library) now refurbished, floored and repainted we hope will become rental space for special events. We have already had some activity out there. An all day ‘Wellness’ information show. They had the whole space art room included. Some smaller individual events. Once the reno is completed we feel it will become a popular venue. Heritage Building, sitting on the Canal, beautiful interior what’s not to like! We are hosting an art sale in July which will encompass the whole interior space as well as exterior booths.

Art shows have started again (but with no library) we will have to have volunteers in so people can come into the art room. We are also planning to have limited book sales ‘Sheila’s Little Used Book Shoppe’. May bring in a few dollars.

The three rooms will be a tribute to the Trent Valley Navigation Co (a Boyd enterprise). They had a fleet of steam ships running throughout the surrounding lakes. Regattas, commuters, goods in and out of Bobcaygeon, these ships ran all summer long. The first room (children’s private school room) with the large painting of the Esturian (will be called the Esturian Room), the second room will be known as the Ogemah and the third, the Calumet. We have a watercolour painting of the Ogemah and the third (stained glass room) the Calumet., Kelly White has painted a beautiful painting of the Calumet. Henry Meyer has created signage for each of the rooms (including Sheila’s Art Room) which hangs at the entrance to each room.

I do love volunteers!

We should be at the Fenelon Home Show later this month with a display advertising the museum. A museum which I still have not found under the construction stuff etc. I will get to it!

Will take a pic of the new flooring, then I must get this out to you so you will know we are still here (floundering) but alive!

Not quite finished but our new coffee bar and a sneak peek at our new flooring.

The start of our coffee bar

Our new flooring (this is throughout the former library space as well as the Art Room)

Ok all for now, a lot of changes but it is coming together. We are not only a museum, a foundation, now landlords (landladies!) a fundraising organization all to keep the Boyd Building insitu and viable. Hope we can do it!

Carolyn and I set up “Sheila’s Little Used Book Shop” in the second room (Ogemah) on the existing book selves. We are going to try, hard cover fiction, hard cover mystery and on the other book shelf all Canadian authors. The Calumet room (third room book cases) hold magazines and a comfy chair to sit and schmooze, perhaps a cup of coffee. The other book case in the same room will hold our ‘vintage books’. These are marked with prices (below commercial) but still better than a usual book sale. We hope to generate income with these book sales and the rental of the rooms are not bothered with some books on the shelves.

Gotta Go!!

- Barb

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