Local historian and author Rosemary Rutley was in the Manson/Lapierre Store at the Lost Villages Museum during the Artisans in the Park event on May 16 signing copies of her recently published book, A Place by The River. Courtesy Photo
LONG SAULT – Local historian and writer Rosemary Rutley of Ingleside was in the Manson/Lapierre Store at the Lost Villages Museum during the Artisans in the Park event on May 16 to sign copies of her recently published book, A Place by The River.
This is the latest book from the author of Voices from the Lost Villages and Of Curds and Whey: A History of the Cheese Factories in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. Several years in the making, Rutley commented “I am happy the project is done, and the stories will be available for future generations,” with a tribute provided “to the river spirits whose voices, through the vastness of space and time, will not be silenced.”
A Place by The River features a series of stories based upon her recollections of the people and events in the Lost Villages of Eastern Ontario. The Lost Villages of Eastern Ontario include the villages and hamlets of Aultsville, Dickinson’s Landing, Farran’s Point, Maple Grove, Mille Roches, Moulinette, Santa Cruz, Sheek’s Island, Wales, and Woodlands that were destroyed during the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project in the late 1950s.
In a series of literary vignettes, Rosemary takes her readers on a journey through time, through the eyes of her main character Naomi as she experiences life in the lands of the Lost Villages. Through Naomi we learn about life in Canada during the First and Second World Wars, the Great Depression, and the effect the building of the Seaway had on the people of the Lost Villages.
Rosemary describes the stories in the book as being based on historical information and recollections of people who had lived in the Lost Villages. Once a story was chosen for the anthology, she would conduct research in local records and newspapers, then writing it in an entertaining and educational way.
She commented how several of the stories are about everyday life, along the Stormont County riverfront in pre-Seaway times, with one whimsical story relating the adventures of a domestic goose named Roy.
Thanks to Rosemary’s work, we can all have a place by the St. Lawrence River from which to dream the dreams of yesteryears.
Copies of A Place by The River is available through Amazon and Friesen Press or can be purchased at the Villages store at the Lost Villages Museum.
Carolyn Thompson Goddard, grew up in Chesterville and attended North Dundas District High School. After completing her BA in Political Science at Carleton University she has worked as a medical secretary and library technician. In 2020 she graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in Journalism and has been a reporter and column writer for The Chesterville Record for over 10 years.