Parkwood does not solicit artefact or archival donations. However, once in a while there is a real gem among the several calls we receive in a week about a carriage found in a barn or a Parkwood Christmas card found at auction or even perhaps an early McLaughlin Canada Dry store front sign.
Many of the items in our secondary collection come from artefact & archival donations made by the general public and McLaughlin family members to Parkwood.
These items are referenced as secondary collection items because they are not original to the house or are not items that actually belonged to the McLaughlin’s who lived at Parkwood, but assist us in telling the story of Sam and Adelaide McLaughlin and the history of the estate.
Saying that, I should reference that in the 12 years I have been at Parkwood, an item has come home to the estate that is part of the primary collection and is designated as so, since it was returned by a family member who was bequeathed the item when Adelaide McLaughlin passed away.
This week we have had two marvelous donations to our secondary collection, each arriving under very different circumstances. Those of you that follow our blog know that we recently lost Philip Jackson, widower of Diana Phillips Jackson, grand-daughter of Sam and Adelaide. The Jackson estate bequeathed a gorgeous oil on canvas portrait of Eileen McLaughlin Phillips McEachern painted in 1929. Eileen is in her equestrian gear, one of her passions in life, and is a stunning example of society portraiture in the 20th century.
The second donation to the archives is a marvelous bit of fate. A woman named Frances C from Swift Current called General Motors information line about a 1939 brochure she had been saving which referenced the Royal Visit and the custom made McLaughlin Buicks for the Royals to travel in while in Canada. The operator at General Motors Canada was quick enough to think of us, rather then just get rid of Frances (GM as a corporation is in the car business not history) and called the museum to see if we would like to chat with Frances about her fantastic keepsake, hidden away in one of her drawers.
We certainly did and the parcel arrived this morning with a fantastic reference to the Royal Tour, General Motors, McLaughlin Buick and Oshawa, Ontario. Already the brochure has captured the attention of our PhD student Amanda, and is something she will be able to use in her thesis and is something we will actively be working with in our WWII story with the Gr. 10 History students from Fr. Austin in Whitby.
Thank you to the operator who was quick to think of Parkwood. Thank you Frances C of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, for saving a wonderful piece of Canadian history!