C.C.P. Pelton wedding portrait of Mary Elma Newans and Thomas W. Halfpenny April 26, 1905. In 1905 Mr. Halfpenny was manager of the Patterson’s Corners Cheese Factory, later a farmer and from the mid 1940's the Halfpennys became Oxford Township Tax Collectors. Photo courtesy Jean Joyner Newans

by Doug MacDonald and Sandy Arcand

From 1895, when the Pelton brothers, Daniel Edson Pelton (1868-1901) and Charles Cook Pelton (1876-1965), purchased the Samuel Martin Photography Studio, they were the pre-eminent portrait photographers in Kemptville. The brothers also had a branch studio in Merrickville, and, briefly, (1900 to 1901) in Carleton Place.

In the North Grenville Historical Society’s recent publication, “School Days Past”, Larry Loke writes of these talented “photographic artists”. Larry’s research revealed that the Peltons were entrepreneurs who embraced the new technologies of the time. Their high standards and keen sense of detail are evident in their work. Their photographs captured images of many of the residents of the Rideau townships as they “sat” for a Pelton Portrait between the final years of the Victorian era and 1922. The results are an invaluable historical record of the people of our communities.

Many people may not realize that their cherished family portraits tucked away in century old photo albums or displayed in an antique frame, are Pelton brothers originals.

The Archives of the North Grenville Historical Society (NGHS) is creating a permanent “Daniel and Charles Pelton Collection” and would be pleased to accept donations of original D.E. Pelton or C.C.P. Pelton photographs, including biographical information on the subjects (names, dates, family history and stories).

Donated acquisitions to the Archives of the NGHS would see the benefit of preservation efforts, best practice housing and storage, conservation treatment of original formats, and identification of photographic formats from the period (original formats might include both negatives and/or positives, glass plates, cased photographs, mounted prints, as well as stereo cards of views of the villages of the Rideau townships). If families are not yet ready to part with their original photographic prints or negatives, the NGHS would also be interested in capturing scans of original photographs for the digital archival fonds, and then returning the originals to the owner. Note that additional research by the NGHS Archives could lead to a Daniel and Charles Pelton Photo Exhibition. Please contact the North Grenville Historical Society Archives at 613-258-4401 and leave a message or email nghsociety@gmail.com

As a result of the article, “Who Was Dorothy Dumbrille?”, published in the North Grenville Times’ April 13, 2016 issue, we now have nine of the twelve Dorothy Dumbrille books for the “Dorothy Dumbrille Collection” at the North Grenville Historical Society Archives. This is thanks to donations from: Jane (Wilson) von Boetticker, Sheila (Findlater) McLeod, Isabel Wilson, and Pamela A. Brooks, and the keen eye of Mervyn Berridge Sills. We are still missing “Last Leave” (poetry), “All This Difference” (Harlequin Romance #718 novel, and “A Boy at Crysler Farm” (booklet), as well as photographs of Dorothy, her parents Rev. Rupert Dumbrille and Minnie, her brothers and sisters, residents of Kemptville from 1908-1927


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