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The Blog or My Need to Share!

The Women of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry 

Edith Rayside 1872-1950

Who are your trailblazers?

October 1, 2017

Edith Rayside, Lancaster ON native. Nurse and first Matron-in-chief of the Canadian Armed Forces, WW1. First woman to receive an Honorary degree from the University of Toronto. While men received Ph.D., Miss Rayside received an MA in Household Science. Standing 5'10" she walked onstage in full dress uniform and found the "household science" aspect very amusing!

Mary Mack 1972

October is Women's History Month

October 3, 2017

Time to celebrate our trailblazers! Mary Mack was the first female alderman for Cornwall, Ontario. Strong in local politics certainly,  but did you know that Mary was also involved with the Eastern Ontario Women's Liberal Association in Ottawa? She became president of that group in 1951.

Quote of the Month

October 6, 2017

Little of women’s history and contributions to society have appeared in our children’s texts. When women are included in schoolbooks they are treated as a separate entity, as if somehow women’s lives are completely divorced from the political, economic and cultural spheres involved in nation-building.


This separateness has done a great disservice to the understanding of our history. The message it sends is that while some women may be interesting and have noteworthy biographies, they were the exception. And yet the study of women’s lives tells another story: women have always been in the forefront of shaping the direction, community, and history of the province.

Cathy Converse, Author

223 Second St. East, Cornwall, ON

223 Second Street East, Cornwall Ontario

October 9, 2017

223 Second Street East, Cornwall was home to William R. Mack, Sheriff of the United Counties and his bride Minnie Snetsinger. It was built by Minnie's father, John Gray Goodall Snetsinger for the young couple who married in 1897. J.G. Snetsinger was a politician and businessman from Moulinette. The house was known as "Goodall" House. Family home to Mary Mack it was divided after her father's passing and mother/daughter moved upstairs at number 225 Second St. East. The home was sold to its present owner when Mary died in 1978. The house saw its share of prestigious visitors, friends of Mary, politicians, and artists. Visitors to the house would comment on its impeccable style, tasteful furnishings including a number of Mary's own paintings.

A.Y. Jackson 1960

A.Y. Jackson and Mary Mack

October 15, 2017

Alexander Young Jackson, was a Canadian painter,  and a founding member of the famed Group of Seven. Born in Montreal in 1882,  he passed away in 1974.


Mary Mack first met A.Y. Jackson when she studied art in Montreal in the early 1920s, through a mutual friend, Randolph Hewton. Randolph and Alex had met in Paris, traveled and painted together, both served in WW1.  


Alex was a part of a dynamic and prolific group of painters who were eager to show the world our Canadian landscape. Although it has been written that Mary painted with A.Y. Jackson, there is no concrete proof of this. One thing is sure, their friendship lasted a lifetime, and they maintained a correspondence until his death. A.Y. loved to write, had many friends and had mentored several young women leading to the creation of the Beaver Hall Group. He lived and worked in Toronto, Banff and later became the artist-in-residence at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinberg, Ontario. From 1955 to 1968, he lived in nearby Ottawa.


A.Y. Jackson came to Cornwall in December 1955, and Mary was happy to see her friend. He was a guest speaker for a group and she had this to say about his presentation; "You may find speaking engagements a nuisance but the simplicity with which you speak gives your word great power for the appreciation of art and Canadian painters."


It seems that Mary particularly enjoyed her friendship and correspondence with Alex because it allowed her to share her deep love for the arts on a level only understood by another artist.


Photo credit A.Y. Jackson on an early spring outing south of Ottawa, 1960

Photographer: Rosemary Gilliat Eaton, 1960 Reproduction of colour transparency

Library and Archives Canada / e010950585

Anne Douglas Savage Artist

Anne Douglas Savage A.R.C.A. (1896-1971)

October 22, 2017

Anne Savage was a well known Montreal artist and art educator.  Like many Canadian artists, a true appreciation of her art came only after her death. 


Anne was a friend of Mary Mack and had visited Cornwall. Both artists had much in common from their painting style to their preference for landscapes. As children both had spent summers with their families in the lower St. Lawrence area and later enjoyed painting the local scenery.


Anne and Mary met in Montreal, while Mary was studying art. Part of a small group of up and coming artists, they had friends in common, including Randolph Hewton and A.Y. Jackson. 


Anne's relationship with A.Y. Jackson is particularly interesting as it came to light after their deaths that their correspondence and the close personal relationship lasted over 50 years.   In 1974 Anne's niece found over 300 letters from Jackson and at the other end, Jackson's niece had found a number of letters from Anne. Together the correspondence weaved a picture of their relationship, and although both never married, it shows they had discussed marriage but could not take that next step.


After reading the book you will be able to see the connections between the four friends; Mary, Anne, Alex Jackson and Randolph Hewton.

Randolph S. Hewton

Randolph S. Hewton (1888-1960), MC, R.C.A.A.

November 10, 2017

Randolph S. Hewton (1888-1960), Canadian artist and close personal friend of Mary Mack, fought at the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Exposed to chlorine and phosgene from the gas attacks, he suffered all his life from the effect of the gas, first with asthma and later with emphysema.  It eventually made it difficult for him to paint out of doors in cold weather, a frustrating situation for a landscape painter. In 1918 Randolph was awarded the Military Cross for capturing a machine gun position, helping to secure the position and advancing the whole line 2,000 yards. In 1918, at the end of the war, he asked for a week's leave so he could sketch the devastation he had witnessed in France.

Randolph S. Hewton

Heritage-Patrimoine Cornwall Heritage Fair

January 1 ,2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019, from 9 am to 4 pm, we will have a table at this Heritage Fair. A chance to talk about Mary Mack and some other great ladies from Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry! Hoping to see you at the Cornwall Square, in the lower court.