Thursday, February 5, 2009

Historic Book Discovered At Goodwill

Yesterday, at the bottom of a dusty book bin in a cluttered Goodwill donation outlet, Dumpdiggers found a rare book!

Historic Ontario: "Old Upper Canada" Fog, Frank Maracle Press Ltd.

For relic hunters this book is a double prize for it's not just a historic treasure, it's reference material for finding more historic treasure.

Prepared and distributed by the Canadian government, this 58 page booklet indexes the province's oldest attractions. Divided into historic regions, the book begins by outlining the Highways of New France.

After that introduction there's fifty eight pages of names, dates and facts beside Frank Fog's original pencil sketches of historic buildings presented as they would have appeared in their prime. Its chalk full of interesting stories and little known facts; I learned something on every page. For example did you know there's a cairn beside the Ottawa river near Green lake which commemorates the discovery of Samuel de Champlain's astrolabe? Lost in 1613 this relic was found 254 years later in the spring of 1867 by a farm boy named Edward Lee. He was swindled out of the prize by a steamboat captain...

How old is this book? Unfortunately I can't find a publishing date anywhere, but inside the front cover there's a portrait of John Robarts, who became the 17th premier of Ontario in 1961 and served in that capacity until 1971.

The Historic Ontario book contrasts the settlements at the bottom of Yonge St with growing communities all the way north to Huronia, the capital of the Huron nation near present day Midland.

The book imagines the Battle of the Thames and briefly describes the death of Tecumseh. It pinpoints Crysler's Farm and describes the victory that Lt-Col J.W. Morrison and the British Canadians enjoyed over a superior American force.

There's four pages on the City of Kingston, old Fort Henry and the Murry Redoubt, which I discovered to be a 'Martello tower' in Macdonald Park that once helped protect shipping in Kingston's busy port.

How much is this prize worth? I have to know. Chalk full of valuable information and handsomely decorated with awesome architectural sketches by a Canadian artist named Frank Fog, I have put this find on eBay and confirm its value. Why not sell it? I've already read and digested the contents. If I don't sell this book on eBay now, I'll just end up giving it away for free or it will get chewed by Digger, or suffer water damage and or become blemished by coffee cup rings in my care... so I'll let someone else guard this treasure.

5 comments:

Pam Walter said...

I just love old literature! Hope you are able to discover its value, but it is probably one of those items that's worth what someone is willing to pay for it. www.satisfiedsole.com

Liz Lee said...

There is one copy for sale on Abe Books. If this link doesn't work, search for title 'Historic Ontario', no date, key word 'frank fog', softcover.

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?bi=s&bx=off&ds=30&kn=frank+fog&sortby=2&sts=t&tn=historic+ontario&x=75&y=11

The Antiques Diva™ said...

I just discovered your website! What a great resource! I'm going to email your site to a few friends who think will appreciate it!
Look forward to getting to know you through your posts,
Best Regards,
Toma, aka The Antiques Diva

Heather in Beautiful BC said...

Rob, this is my first visit - awesome blog with some great information :)

I'll be back!

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