Lawn Bowling

Tavistock historians have so many resources to draw on. We have books like Fact & Fantasy and Crossroads In Time, pictures from the Lemp Studio Collection, items in our museum collection, records in our archives collection and articles in our local newspaper, The Tavistock Gazette.

All of these resources come into play when the topic is lawn bowling.

From our museum collection we have two bowling balls, well used, in an equally well-used carrying case. The bowler was Pat Kaufman. The case had different initials. Perhaps this set had a few owners.

Pass The Popcorn

Do you like old movies? If so, chances are good you’ve seen a movie produced or directed by Armand Schaefer, a Tavistock boy. Armand was born in our village in 1898. He spent his adult life in California where he produced over 100 films and directed 24. Armand died in 1967.

If you have a famous (or even infamous) ancestor with Tavistock roots, we’d like to hear from you.

Commercial Hotel

Mens’ pockets have always held a wide assortment of useful items. In the early 1900’s it would have been commonplace for Tavistock men to have in their pocket a Commercial Hotel key fob. Perhaps the key fob had a myriad of other uses.

The Tipperary Club

The January 21, 1915 edition of the Tavistock Gazette included a short announcement about a new club ...... “Some of the enterprising young men of the village have formed a club under the name ‘The Tipperary Club’ and though the movement is hardly a week old the members number almost thirty. Their rooms are in the Baechler Block, just above Ruppel’s shoe store.”

Not a word about the purpose of the club or what membership may entail but with 30 members it was off to a flying start.

Main Street plate

Every once in awhile we receive a piece of Tavistock memorabilia that is brand new to the Board of Directors -- something we haven't seen or heard of before. Such was the case with this plate. We believe it was a "souvenir" plate, probably one of many, painted by someone passing through and looking to make some quick money. Anyone local would have named it Woodstock Street and not Main Street. The view is Woodstock Street North looking south. The most recognizable building is the Arlington Hotel.

Weston's Bakery

These days many people get the weather report on their smartphone or iPad. Years ago we all got it the old-fashioned way. We opened the door and stuck our nose outside or we checked the thermometer. One of the items in the Historical Society’s collection is a Ben Weston Bakery thermometer fashioned in the old key style.

Staebler's Jewellery Store

For 37 years, from 1892 to 1929, Moses Staebler was Tavistock's trusted jeweller and watch repairman. From his store at the five corners (NE site) he sold a wide variety of items ... music books, safety razors, phonographs, eyeglasses, canes, silverware, purses and violins along with the expected clocks and watches and jewellery. One wonders how many marriages in the community were sealed with a ring purchased at Staebler's Jewellery Store.

Memories of World War 1

When Captain Ed Kaufmann returned from serving overseas during World War 1 he brought back to Cassel his personal effects, too many memories and his whistle. This was the whistle he used to summon and direct his men in the trenches and in battle. It was his tangible memory of serving "for King and Country".

Check back in December to read about Captain Ed's role in "The Christmas Truce" - a true story that speaks to the human element of war.

Christmas At The Glasgow Warehouse

Like every small town back in the day, Tavistock had a general store. At one point, it had three. The largest was “The Glasgow Warehouse” that stood at the point where Woodstock Street South meets Hope Street West. The proprietor was Fred Krug. For several years, at Christmas time, Fred would give out presents to his best customers. The presents in 1912 were these colourful plates.

The AHA Moment

This picture was a mystery. It’s obviously a Post Office but which Post Office? The answer came unexpectedly one day while waiting for the traffic light to change in Shakespeare. Looking at the buildings on the northwest corner it was suddenly very obvious. One of them was the Shakespeare Post Office! The building has changed over the years. It’s no longer a Post Office. A second story was added on. And, of course, the bunting and decoration recognizing Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 is long gone. Overall, it’s still recognizable.