Leaf 17, Williamson and Blanshard family homes - FAR2018-039.1.17_1

FAR2018-039.1.17_1

Leaf 17, Williamson and Blanshard family homes

Maker: John Dudley Williamson (b. 1885 - d. 1980)
Medium:Gelatin silver prints, paper, pencil, stickers
Geography: Burlington, Ontario, Canada and Hamilton Ontario, Canada
Date: 1906-1925
Dimensions:
25.1 × 17.6 cm (9 7/8 × 6 15/16 in.)
Object number: 2018.83.1.17
Credit Line: Gift of Mary F. Williamson. Courtesy The Family Camera Network
Not on view
Description

This album page includes snapshots of Williamson and Blanshard family homes. The recto includes images of John Dudley Williamson’s parents’ home in Burlington, and the Hamilton home where his sister Sarah Eleanor (née Williamson) lived with her husband, Dr. Thomas Walter Balshard.

The verso includes a photograph of John Dudley’s brother, William (Bill) Edgar (b. 1883 – d. 1954) with his son. The second image on the verso shows the interior of John Dudley’s Aunt Emily’s home – a setting for many photographs in this album. Emily Gertrude Williamson (b. 1876 – d. 1957) was a highly successful businesswoman, and later, one of the first female lawyers in the Burlington/Hamilton area. In the 1920s and 1930s, Emily’s home at "Cedar Lodge" on New Street (or, "Emily's house in-the-woods" as family members called it) epitomized in its decoration and furnishings the height of Art Deco taste. As she travelled through parts of southern Ontario in search of museum-quality early 19th-century porcelain, glass, silverware, weavings and odd bits, her home increasingly reflected that taste.


It is a page from a Williamson family photo album. The album was compiled by John Dudley Williamson in the 1930s, and was passed on to his daughter, Mary Frances Williamson, in the 1960s. It includes photos taken between the 1890s to the late 1920s and hand-written captions, which capture family and friends, daily life, outings, and local events.


John Dudley Williamson, also known as "J.D." or "Dud," was born in 1885 on a 100-acre farm in Appleby, on the Appleby Line south of what is now the Queen Elizabeth Highway, before it was part of Burlington, Ontario. His grandfather emigrated from Yorkshire, England, before 1837, and settled in Moffat, Ontario. John Dudley was one of seven children to John Fields Williamson (b. 1848 – d. 1929) and Hannah Maria Walker (b. 1853 – d. 1923).


In September 1906, John Dudley entered an Honours Mathematics and Physics program at the University College, University of Toronto. He spent his summer breaks in 1907 and 1908 in Langenberg, Saskatchewan, where he taught summer school and helped his brothers with the harvest on their farms. In 1909, he worked as a rail vehicle operator for the Hamilton Radial Railway. He graduated from university in 1910 and began practicing as an actuary with the Canada Life Assurance Company that same year. He married Marie Curtis Peterkin (b. 1898 – d. 1969) in 1922, and they had two children, John Peter Williamson and Mary Frances Williamson. He was an avid photographer and both he and his wife were enthusiastic family archivists. Their passion helped to inspire their daughter, Mary Frances, to continue to document and preserve their family history.


Williamson, Walker, and Peterkin/Bywater family photographs, albums, and archival materials can be found in collections across Canada, at institutions such as: the Burlington Historical Society, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Province of Saskatchewan Archives, the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, and the University of Toronto Archives. This object is part of The Family Camera Network public archive at the Royal Ontario Museum, which includes photographs and oral histories, among other objects from family photo collections.



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