A Merry Party: Walkerville Early 1900s


"As merry as the day is long." Not.

Well, you wouldn’t look very merry either if you had to sit perfectly still for two minutes waiting for a camera to do its thing. It’s certainly not easy to have a smile plastered on your face for that long.

The other reason for the somber faces is back in those days, people took getting their photograph very seriously. It was akin to having a portrait painted and smiles were extremely rare in portraits. The fact that there is little blurring is because they’re outside and hence, the exposure would have been faster than in a studio setting as artificial lighting was in its infancy and certainly wouldn’t have been available to most photographers.

I count 30 people. Who were they? Was it one family, several families, or just very close neighbours? :  )

Charlie Fox who provided this photo doesn’t have information other than it was taken in Walkerville. I’m guessing the scene is the playground in Willistead Park. I remember spending hours on a merry-go-round there when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t this one as I remember it as much bigger and it looked kind of like an upside spinning top. Orange, yellow and red if I’m not mistaken.

That merry go round was taken down many years ago. Likely considered “too dangerous” for children. I don’t recall anyone getting injured. Maybe a few bumps or bruises but that’s about it. You knew to hang on tight as somebody ran around spinning it as fast as they could.

A wonderful lesson since isn’t life really just one big merry go round?

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About Elaine Weeks

How history was taught in my day: memorize lots of boring dates and facts, watch corny old black & white history films. There was one bright spot, however. Grade 9 history at Walkerville Collegiate with Miss Falls (Georgina) when she taught a section on local history and took us on a field trip to explore some of Windsor's built heritage. Due to a peculiar series of events, celebrating local history became part of my business. My company, (partner is Chris Edwards,) Walkerville Publishing Inc., launched "The Walkerville Times" in 1999, which in due course became "The Times Magazine". Our goal was to make history real. I am a writer, editor, blogger, photographer, mother, wife, sister, activist, traveller, gardener, knitter, masters track & field competitor (when I have time), glass is nearly full person.
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