Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Time Travel my Way by Janice Carter

A little more than a year ago, I wrote my first post here and had just sold my first Harlequin Heartwarming ( For Love of a Dog - September  release).  My topic then was Garden Island, where we've rented the same cottage for 35 years, and where I've written most of my Harlequin novels.
      So taking a page from other posts (thank you all!) I thought I'd walk you down the one kilometre lane (5/8 of a mile??) and tell you something about the history I get to live with every summer.
      The island has been owned by the same family - the Calvins - since the mid 1800s when the family business - The Calvin Company Limited - built timber rafts and steamships to transport timber down the St.Lawrence River and throughout the Great Lakes. After World War I, the advent of diesel as well as a decline in the timber trade around the Great Lakes marked the end of the business. But at the height of production, a village of 750 people lived and worked on this 65 acre island. After the war, the family began to use many of the remaining buildings as rental cottages.
     Starting at the 'foot' of the island is the GI Post Office, once a real post office and general store where villagers traded their Garden Island currency for goods. Now the lower part is an island museum, looking much like it did in the 1800s. The upstairs is rented out.
    Further along is this pretty cottage - the Office - once the island's administrative headquarters of Calvin Company.  There was a two story safe inside it until the mid 60s.
Across from the office is the Big House, the summer residence of the last CEO of Calvin Company, Hiram Calvin. The rambling interior is filled with Victorian and Edwardian antiques and today is the summer residence of Calvin descendants.
Those 750 people in the mid 1800s had to live somewhere too and there are a few buildings still standing - called the Workers' cottages - used today as summer rentals.  By now you're getting the picture of how things here are named!
Further down the lane is the Schoolhouse, one of two originally on the island. There was a resident school teacher for the village and the schoolhouse was also used for church services. Today its interior has been renovated but the exterior is basically the same.
Most of the buildings from that village are long gone.  Many burned down and some simply fell into disrepair, vanishing into the ever-encroaching vegetation. But once there was a library, a dining hall, a blacksmith and a working farm.  The place we've been renting all these years was once a Calvin family summer residence.
My favorite room is the living room with its wood stove, big windows and view of the St. Lawrence.
Recently my niece (who also summers here) and I were discussing books, especially science fiction. I asked her if she could travel in time, would she pick the past or the future to visit. She immediately said the past and, in particular, Garden Island at its peak. I completely concurred.  A walk down the lane in the mid 1800s is exactly where my imagination takes me every summer.
   So if you could travel in time, would it be to the future or the past?  If the past, what era appeals the most?
September 2017

Twitter.com - JaniceGCarter
email - janicecarterbooks@gmail.com

26 comments:

  1. I am always more fascinated by the past than the future, so that's where I would choose to visit--but I wouldn't want to stay! :-) I love the pictures and would love to visit Garden Island.

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    1. I wouldn't want to stay either, Liz. Those days weren't very kind to women. One day would do it for me I think. Come for a visit! :)

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  2. Great photos,Janice. I've always enjoyed seeing old schoolhouses. I'd love to travel back to the 1950s. The music, car hops, poodle skirts, saddle shoes...yes, I loved Happy Days. :)

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    1. Jill, you've just taken me back to the past with your post! I had a poodle skirt and my doll had a matching one. My mother didn't sew so she must have bought them as a set or commissioned them. The 50s were great!

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  3. Garden Island sounds lovely. I think I'd like to see the future and if we'll be able to beam ourselves places like they did in Star Trek!

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    1. That sounds good too, though I'm always a bit anxious about what the future will look like. But yes, beaming to a place and maybe just seeing it. I do love to read books set in the future though, more than historicals.

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  4. Janice, such a fun post! I think Garden Island looks like the perfect place for a mass Heartwarming author retreat. (Although it's so beautiful I'm not sure how much writing we'd get done ;) As tempting as it is to go with the past and the known, I think I'd choose to visit the future. I like the mystery of seeing what the future might hold.

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    1. The mystery of the future holds a fascination for me, too, Carol - in spite of what I might see! Maybe I've been reading too many dystopian future novels!

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  5. Well, when you talk about islands you speak my language. Lived on a couple and love them. Garden Island looks very special. I love your photos and I can picture life there. I'm like the rest of you when it comes to the past--I'll visit and return to my modern woman's life. My mother was born in 1911 and died in 2001 and she always said it was much better to be a woman in her later years than in the early ones. She fought the good fight to make it so, too. Great post! Has me thinking about islands and the past and be grateful for the present!

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    1. You've 'hit the nail on the head', Virginia with that last sentence. The present is always the best and until someone invents a time travel device, it's all we've got. Guess we'll just have to use our imaginations for any time travel!

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  6. Thanks for sharing your summer digs and the travel through time. I love the history of places and love to imagine all that went on. Time travel. hmmmmm. Not sure I could handle a different time zone. I barely make it through my own. All the changes recently and trying to keep up with them is sometimes stressful. Maybe I'd enjoy being a cave woman. LOL with no technology to boggle my mind. Thanks again for the fun post.

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    1. It's always fun to write on this blog, Sandra, isn't it? Gives us a chance to let our imagination run wild or dream up possibilities. I just read a new book called "The Last Neanderthal" which hinted at prehistoric life - didn't look very inviting but was fascinating. Lots of work just to survive and it makes the present look very good.

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  7. What a wonderful place to spend your summer and your writing time. Perfect spot it seems to me for the necessary "dreaming" a writer needs to do. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Roz. It is indeed the perfect place for dreaming!

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  8. What a sunny, uplifting stroll, Janice! I love how the past coexists with the present on Garden Island. The love letter found at the Post office, the framed photo abandoned at a worker's cottage.... I am happy with staying in the present because then I get to be with my Heartwarming Sisters. I might want to do what my husband suggests: bop into the future, get the winning lottery numbers and then head back to now!

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    1. Haha, I'm with you re the lottery numbers. I've a feeling there was a movie about that or something similar. Truly, in spite of our curiosity, the present is best.

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  9. Janice, i loved your post and on a summer day, thats just the thing inlove to do. Stroll through a new area, and take a peak into anither world. I have always found the past to be mysterious and ive looked for missing people in my family... or the real truth about cousin so and so's stint in prison. That kind of thing. But, I wouldn't want to live in the past. I like all my electronics, adore indoor plumbing, and mostly our medical advancements. I'd like to go to the future and check it out, but truthfully, i like it right here, being with my friends and family. These are precious days. I wouldn't trade them.

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    1. For sure, Catherine, the best wouldn't be so comfortable and the future maybe a bit scary. I think the consensus is...present, here and now, with our loved ones.

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  10. Oh, Janice, I first have to say that I love, LOVE your cover. (And not just because there is a dog featured prominently on it!!)

    Thank you for taking us for a walk down the lane. Although I prefer to be grounded in the present, if I had to choose, I would much rather go back to the past.

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    1. I love the cover, too, Kate and can hardly wait to hold the hard copy in my hand! And as you say, am content - in spite of my curiosity - to stay put. But living with the remnants of those days is the next best thing to actually being there.

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  11. Thank you for that stroll around the island. I've always lived in relatively young places, so I'm fascinated when we visit places with a long history. However, as much as I like seeing the historical places, I don't want to live without indoor plumbing, so I'd probably visit the future. I agree, though, the present is where I belong. Can't wait to read your book -- dogs and love are two of my favorite things.

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  12. Ah thanks, Beth. And yes, maybe simply,seeing historical places rather than actually living them is best. Here's to our new releases all!!

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  13. Janice, you captured the essence of Garden Island and how walking down the lane pulls you back to another world. Beautiful.

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  14. What a beautiful place to spend your summers! I can see why it would be so inspiring to write there!

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  15. I adore this cover!!

    If I could travel in time, I actually would go back in time to my childhood and relive moments with loved ones that are no longer with me. <3

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