Once Upon A Time: Bruce County Memories Autographs To Mary

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 The original article in the Bruce County Historical Society’s Yearbook was abridged by Bob Johnston.

While today’s “autograph hounds” line up to have books, baseball cards or other memorabilia signed by athletes or pop singers, many years ago, the emphasis was on having friends write personal notes in one’s autograph album. In 1974, Helene Scott described her Aunt Mary Murray’s very old album.

The book is very old and the leaves are yellowed and loose, but the sentiments expressed by the writers are still legible. Most of the autographs were written at McVicar, near Tobermory, where Mary Murray was a hired girl at the McVicar family’s boarding house. Here are some entries.

Dear Mary: Be a good girl. Live a good life. Marry a good husband. Be a good wife. Mary Pettit, Wiarton, May, 1894.

To Miss Mary: May your house be neat and clean and your husband kind and good. But remember, it is your duty to help split the wood. Mary Quesnee, August 17, 1894.

To Mary: Think of me ever. Think of the good times we once had together. Your friend, Annie Gordon. 

For you I love and will forever, you may change but I shall never. Though separation be our lot, dearest friend, forget me not. Saddie (sic) Brocks, March 20, 1895.

Mary Murray is your name and single is your station. Happy will be the little man who makes the alteration. Nellie Hatt, Sept. 30, 1895.

Oft in tender recollection, think of me, your distant friend. I cherish for you that affection which I hope will never end. Annie Matheson, Dyer’s Bay, April 27, 1895.

I wish thee health and wealth, I wish thee gold in store. After death, I wish thee Heaven, what could I wish thee more. Your true friend, Mary Lamont, November 11, 1896.

A pleasant visit we have spent, though short our acquaintance been, such pleasures to our life are lent, like deserts dotted o`er with green. Lucy Lamont, Great Falls, Montana, June 28, 1896.

May the goddess of flowers profusely strew thy path, may the choicest of earth’s blessings rest upon you— a sincere friend and well-wisher, Andrew F. Embury, Brussels. November 14, 1894.

My aunt became Mrs. A.R. Granville of Stokes Bay and lived to over age 80.