Monday, December 9, 2013

Barns and Coach Houses of Guelph

Barns and Coach Houses of Guelph
By Evelyn I. Bird

Every couple of years, The Bookshelf and the Guelph community are treated to a work of local history that brings to life a person, place, or thing in or of this city. This year, Evelyn I. Bird makes a wonderful contribution of to that story, immortalizing the barns and coach houses of Guelph. In her book, Evelyn offers a fantastic way to look at our city's past. She spent years walking the beautiful streets of Guelph in search of barns. They are all over the place, but how often are we aware they're there, and how often do we consider the story of our past that they tell?

If you have been enjoying some of the local history pages that have popped up on social media sites, you will love this book. Did you know, for instance, that the beautiful stone building on Douglas Street (now up for lease) used to be the place where people would stable their horses while they were at work in the downtown? Or, on Albert Street, you can find a barn that was built in 1836.

It's interesting how things have changed in the past century. Evelyn grew up on the west coast of Canada where the cities she lived in were built more recently, i.e. at a time of the car's early dominance, and therefore did not have many barns. Her book has cataloged over 100 barns in Guelph. She believes that the book will give younger generations "an appreciation of what was necessary for our ancestors to be able to travel around." 

If you have any local history buffs on your Christmas list, this is the perfect gift!

There will be a signing in the bookstore this Friday December 13th at 6:00 pm. Please join us while a portal is temporarily opened into 1800's, 1900's in Guelph.