Saturday, 23 December 2017


So says the large envelope dated December 1955 and addressed to Mr Harold Morgan of Hampton Village (no street address required) from Kaye's Auto and Electric. Inside is a large "Season's Greetings" Christmas card from Kaye's Auto-Electric, Dealer for Mercury, Meteor, Lincoln, Frontenac, and English Built Ford Products. Lift that and you find a set of paper Christmas placements, 4 each of 4 .different designs. I found it interesting that the message is "season's Greetings" not "Merry Christmas". A man ahead of his time?
According to David Keirstead's "Reflections, The Story of Hampton", the Kaye's garage was built by Whit Scovil, opening in the spring of 1948. For a few months it was run by Harold Piers, but was soon taken over by Eldon Kaye in November of that same year. I don't know when it closed, perhaps one of our readers can enlighten us, but it was till in operation when David's book was written in 1982. It was located on the present site of Spuds N Things.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Flewwelling Mill complex was the economic backbone of Hampton during the late 19th century. First established in 1862 by brothers Gilford and George Flewwelling, together with partners Gilbert White and Samuel White, by 1893 it employed 150. Gilbert Flewwelling died in 1897 at the age of 62. That December his "fellow workmen" were given a souvenir card with his portrait in remembrance of him.
Interestingly, the first Christmas Card was the brain-child of a British civil servant, Sir Henry Cole, who had helped set up the Penny Post three years earlier and was looking for ways to have more people use the service.

Sunday, 10 December 2017


While working in the vault earlier this week I happened upon a 1912 Christmas catalogue from E Harmer, Ltd of Norton. Information from Lillas Reid's book "The Road to Norton" is that this store was built about 1897 by James Price. In 1912 you could buy 4 lbs of Mixed Candy for 25 cts, Rolled Oats were 7 lbs for 25cts and Black Pepper was 25c per lb. Fancy Barbados Molasses was marked down from .45 per gal to .43 (or you could buy it by the barrel for .40 gal). You could get fruits such as grapes, oranges, apples and lemons or nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, filberts and almonds. Seasonal items included men's Christmas braces for 50c to 75c, ladies embroidered linen collars for 15c, 20c, and 25c each. Mr Harmer pointed out that it was no longer necessary for people to send their money to Toronto as E Harmer, Ltd could "sell you your goods as low as you can buy them anywhere in Canada."

Happy Christmas shopping!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

The Kings County Museum has a small collection of coins, one of which is this 1864 New Brunswick  penny.
In 1860 New Brunswick officially switched from the British pound to the New Brunswick dollar as the currency of the province. It replaced the pound at a rate of 4 dollars = 1 pound (5 shillings = 1 dollar) and was equal to the "Canadian" dollar in use in Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec). The New Brunswick dollar was replaced by the Canadian dollar at par when New Brunswick entered the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
The coins were only produced from 1861 until 1864 in ½ penny, 1 penny, 5, 10 and 20 cent. The 1/2 penny and 1 penny were cast in bronze while the rest were made of silver. Although the last coins were cast in 1864 they continued in circulation until the early 20th century.

If like me you are curious about language and where the "penny for your thoughts" phrase comes from, you can check out this link:

Sunday, 3 December 2017


I recently found three Burley's Farm Catalogues from early 20th century St John. These were real estate listings of farms for sale in the area.

The first three photos are from the 1919 issue and included for sale a 300 acre farm located in Hampton. With the photo and the description I was curious if anyone might know the location and whether it is still standing today. It is described as being in Hampton, with the Hammond River flowing through the farm with a 7 roomed house, stone foundation and frost proof cellar. In addition to the home there were three barns, a woodshed, hog house, and sheep house. The school was one and a half miles away, the post office a half mile, two miles to the store or the railway station. Taxes were $8.00. The price was $2650, with $1500 down and 6% interest.

The second and third farm listings (photos 4 and 5) are from the 1928 edition. The first is described as 1 mile from the county seat (which would be Hampton) and 2 miles to the Consolidated School . The school had van service for the students, hydro electric was available. For $4000 you could have this 250 acre farm.

And the final listing (also from 1928) is described as being on 4 acres in a pretty village, with frontage on 3 streets, lots of elm trees, and with the Kennebecasis just a 1/4 mile to the west. The house is a "fine, double house, electric lighted and furnace heated . . . hot and cold running water" and just 1/2 mile to the consolidated school. All yours for $6000.

Anyone recognize their house?

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Cool Music Box!

We received an amazing musical artefact recently from the family of Earle and Hazel Armstrong of Barnesville. Earle had acquired this Concert Roller Organ from his cousin Robert Floyd in the late 1930’s or early 40’s. Robert needed a battery for his car, and Earle had always admired the Roller Organ, so in exchange for the money for a new battery Robert sold the organ to his cousin.

The copyright for the Gem Concert Roller Organ was July 14, 1885, but ours was not manufactured until June 3, 1903 by the Autophone Company of Ithaca, New York.  These hand-cranked roller organs were affordable and could be played by anyone, with a sound similar to that of parlour organs of the time.  

Roller Organs operated by placing a music roller (cob) into the mechanism and cranking the handle. The songs are encoded onto the wooden cobs (so-called because of their resemblance to corn cobs) using metal pins and staples. Pins are used for short notes, and staples of varying lengths for longer notes. This donation includes 39 cobs of popular music and hymns. Some examples are My Old Kentucky Home, Bring Back my Bonnie to Me, Abide With Me, Onward Christian Soldiers and Old Folks at Home. If you want to see a similar one in operation there are several on youtube, such as at

In the words of Confucius “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” Roller Organs like this one brought music (and pleasure) to many homes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  

Monday, 6 November 2017

A Lovely Day for a Drive?

For the car buffs, one of the cool artifacts in our collection is a New Brunswick license plate # 1221, This was registered to W. F. Lutz, Sussex, N. B. on a Ford Touring, 22.5 horsepower, gasoline engine, green touring car with top and windshield. Serial # 5992, registered May 20, 1913. New Brunswick started requiring car owners to register their vehicles in 1906, but until 1911 they had to provide their own licence plates for display so this would be one of the earlier provincially issued plates. For those with an interest in old plates, there are a number of online resources which you may enjoy such as