Here at the museum we are always happy to receive new items to be added to our displays. The days when people bring in their old family heirlooms or artefacts found hidden away in an attic have to be some of my favourites. I love getting to learn about the things that were once so prominent in people’s lives and getting to see real pieces of our community’s history up close. On any given day you never know what might come through our doors or the story that goes along with it.
Earlier this summer we received one of the neatest donations I have seen in my time here this summer. The artefact was an antique porcelain bowl used for carrying hot water from the kitchen to the baths, but that wasn’t the fascinating part. The story that goes along has to be one of the best I’ve heard while working at the museum. The bowl was donated by a member of our community who used to own and operate a cafe in the old Victoria Hotel on Water Street. The old hotel opened in the late eighteenth century as the Doran Hotel named after the owner Thomas Doran who came to Windsor from Ireland shortly after the deportation of the Acadians in 1755. It was later renamed the Victoria Hotel in honour of Queen Victoria. This being said the old hotel has a lot of stories to be told like this one:
One day as maintenance crews were working upstairs in the old apartments they happened to find this beautiful porcelain bowl hidden away above the ceiling tiles. Not really sure why it was there, just knowing it was a bowl elegantly designed one of the members of the maintenance crew decided to take the bowl home to his wife. Now unfortunately his wife didn’t enjoy the bowl as much he thought and so he brought it back to the cafe that was now operating in lobby of the hotel. Luckily for us the owner for the cafe loved the bowl and decided to keep it until her cafe closed. Then she decided to bring it to us to share with all of you.
The question now remains, why was the bowl left in the ceiling? Was it being hidden, or simply being kept for safe keeping in a makeshift attic, that we may never know.
Abbie, summer student.