Little Stone House

They call it the Little Stone House, situated on a 14-acre plot of land on Longwoods Road (Highway 2) just east of Thamesville.

This house was nothing more than a clapboard homestead built in 1870 when Sarah Gamble bought the property in 1926. She was a school teacher who came up from Detroit to find a summer retreat for her and husband Stanley Gamble.

Unfortunately Stan lost Sarah and their infant son at childbirth, so in honour of his beloved wife, he transformed the dwelling into a cobblestone cottage.

Eventually he formed a partnership with local artist Annie Aldred and together they established The Little Stone Tea House. Stan then created a beautiful courtyard with cobblestone archways, a popular place for couples to have their wedding photography done.

Stanley passed away in 1952, and Annie’s tea house closed. The property now belongs to Annie’s nephew Robert Aldred from London.

By John De Boer who lives in Kitchener and enjoys daytripping off the beaten path.   Posted June 1, 2016 in the Kitchener Post    

Source: De Boer’s treasures: Little Stone House

In Memory of Lawrence M. Merin

July 5, 1951 – November 7, 2012
Lawrence Mitchell Merin, a beloved family man and gifted photographer whose work improved the lives of others, died Wednesday, Nov. 7, at home. He was 61.
Larry was the founder and director of the Vanderbilt Ophthalmic Imaging Center at Vanderbilt University and an assistant professor of ophthalmology. Through the center’s program, Larry and his staff took their cameras to every county in Tennessee, screening indigent and uninsured patients for diabetic retinopathy, a condition that leads to blindness. It was the first fully mobile service of its kind.A Detroit native, Larry developed an early interest in photography, and studied mass communications and photography at Wayne State University, where he earned a baccalaureate with honors. Larry’s career as an ophthalmic photographer and instructor included positions at Sinai Hospital of Detroit, Riverside Community Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.While in Riverside, Larry met and married the love of his life, the former Becky Vazquez. The couple celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary Sept. 4.
Upon joining Vanderbilt in Nashville in 2000, Larry obtained the support and funding to start the Vanderbilt Ophthalmic Imaging Center. A leading expert in his field, he contributed to textbooks and professional journals, and taught courses in the United States as well as in Poland, England, Scotland, Italy, Japan and Singapore. He was a registered biological photographer, a fellow and former president of the Ophthalmic Photographers Society and a fellow of the Institute of Medical Illustrators in London. Other affiliations included the American Academy of Ophthalmology. During his career, he earned numerous certifications and awards. Larry’s photography extended beyond the medical field, and he had several exhibits through the years, including one of Vietnam War protest photos taken when he marched as a protester in Washington. For the bicentennial of his mother’s hometown of Wardsville, Canada, Larry took portraits of every resident for a time capsule that will be opened in 2110.
A loving father, husband and brother, Larry was devoted to his family. He served on the advisory board of the Choral Arts Link/MET Singers Honor Choir of Metro Nashville Public Schools, and he provided leadership as a committee member for Boy Scout Troop 3 in East Nashville, where his son, David, is an Eagle Scout. He also was a community steering committee member of the Tennessee State University Prostate Cancer Screening Barriers Study; an associate member of Grupo Comunitario Hispano de Tennessee; and an associate member of the Nashville Latino Health Council. He was an avid reader, car enthusiast and model railroader, and he enjoyed chasing steam locomotives. Larry had a lively sense of humor and a passion for social justice, and he was a proud survivor of breast cancer.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Anne Gayle and Earl Merin. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Ruth Merin, daughter, Sydney Rachel Merin, and son, David Alexander Merin, all of Nashville; sister, Elaine Merin Perri of Chicago; mother-in-law and father-in-law Esther and John Cervantes of Riverside, Calif.; three sisters-in-law, Julie (Doug) King, Riverside, Calif., Anna (Mike) Lemos, Venture, Calif., and Debra Vazquez, San Diego, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

 

Lawrence Mitchell Merin

Lawrence Merin conceived the Legacy Photo Shoot to honour his clan, the Lutchin family of Wardsville

MERIN, Lawrence Mitchell A devoted family man and gifted photographer, whose work improved the lives of others, died Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at home in Nashville. He was 61. Larry was the founder and director of the Vanderbilt Ophthalmic Imaging Center at Vanderbilt University, and an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology. A loving father, husband and brother, Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Anne and Earl Merin. He is survived by his wife, Becky; daughter, Sydney and son, David; sister, Elaine Merin Perri of Chicago; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Esther and John Cervantes; sisters-in-law, Julie (Doug) King, Anna (Mike) Lemos and Debra Vazquez, all of CA, and many loving nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins. The funeral service was held Sunday, November 11th at Congregation Micah.

Artist’s Statement by Lawrence Merin

The Lutchin family 1932

Mom grew up in Wardsville.  That’s her, front row, far right.  Annie Lutchin, posing with her three brothers, two sisters, two pups and parents, squinting into the sun as some now-unknown Kodak-holding acquaintance counted 1-2-3 or perhaps urged the family to “Say Cheese!”

The film was sent to the Big City for processing, and then the photograph was pasted into an album.  Back

Larry and Elaine with family in Wardsville

then, pictures were valuable things.  Out of focus?  Too light?  Too dark?  If it was recognizable, it was kept, pasted in an album or placed in a shoebox, to be pulled out on a lazy Sunday afternoon to help a mood for reminiscing.

By the way, that’s me at the left of this photo, with my little sister Elaine, smiling for the camera while Grandpa, Grandma and Auntie Sarah remember times gone by while looking through old family snapshots.

Mom passed away in 2009.  While packing up her things, we found a shoebox filled with old photographs.  Most were not labeled.  Who were these people?  Were they family members?  From  Dad’s side of the family or Mom’s?  Could they have been friends?   Neighbors?  There is no one left to ask.  The images are fascinating… but as a legacy, they are terribly incomplete.

But at least they were in a shoebox, where we could touch them, look at them and ponder their significance to our family’s history.  Today, when amateur cameras can be used to produce technically fine images (Perfect colors!  Sharp focus!  Great exposure! So simple anyone can take a great picture!), the value placed on photographs as historical artifacts has diminished.  The cost of digital cameras has dropped; memory chips

Unknowns from shoebox

permit hundreds of photos to be made without the cost of film and processing; images can be transmitted around the world with the push of a button – but of the millions of images made every day, how many are labeled, archived or even looked at again?

*     *     *     *     *

My ancestral home, this little one-stoplight village on Highway 2, provided a welcoming, nurturing environment for my immigrant grandparents and their young family, and I always felt that I owed them a debt of gratitude.  Thus, when I learned that a Bicentennial Celebration was being planned, I thought that this might present an opportunity to thank the village for its kindness by photographing most, if not all, Wardsvillians during the celebration.

I chose to use black and white film and a vintage Hasselblad camera for the portraits, since archivally processed film can be safely stored for decades without deterioration. The project was designed from the outset to provide the people of Wardsville with an archival ‘shoebox’ where images and names would be matched, in a single place and in a form that could be seen easily in the future.  Archived in Elgin County facilities, the Legacy negatives should remain in pristine condition for many years.  Hopefully, they can be reviewed and printed anew in 2110.

Over the course of two days, 261 people posed in 52 groupings in a temporary studio set up in the pavilion of the Wardsville baseball park.  A team of “wranglers” provided logistical support as folks signed in and queued up for the sittings.  David Chidley, an accomplished local photographer, provided invaluable on-site counsel, equipment support and photographed each group using a digital camera. Rhaelyn Vereecken set up a digital printer in the ‘studio’ and every group received a high-quality color print on the spot.

Folks generally grouped themselves for the sittings; most were couples and families.  We also photographed people linked by work (the Wardsville Volunteer Fire Department) and by hobbies (barbershop singers, ballroom dancers, barn quilt painters, a brass band).  It was a special honor to photograph a group of War Brides.

There was no 1-2-3 and no “Say Cheese.”  Rather, I reminded each group that the purpose of the photography session was to produce a historical record.  I asked them to look into the camera and imagine that their expression and pose would be the way future generations would come to know them.  Some responded with smiles, while others were pensive.  Some adopted formal poses while others were quite spontaneous.  The photographs we produced reveal the people of Wardsville the way they see themselves and wish others to see them:  straightforward, friendly, proud of their village and comfortable with their way of life.

I am grateful to all who presented themselves to my camera and allowed me to record their names and faces for coming generations.

Lawrence Merin

September 2011, Nashville

In praise of volunteers

Many will be shocked to find

When the day of judgement nears,

That there’s a special place in Heaven

Set  aside for volunteers’

Furnished with big recliners

Satin couches and footstools,

Where there is No committee chairman

No yard sales or coffee to serve

No Newsletter duty or bulletin assembly,

There will be nothing to print or staple

Not one thing to fold or mail

Telephone lists will be outlawed.

But a finger snap will bring

Cold drinks and gourmet dinners

And a rare treat fit for a King

You ask…Who’ll serve these privileged and work for all they’re worth?

Why…all those who reaped the benefits and not once volunteered on Earth…

Author Unknown

I would like to congratulate the Your Wardsville Committee on a job well done..I’m sure we all recognize and appreciate the importance of volunteering and what it means to a community.  – Marigay Wilkins

Walking Wardsville – the Video

Walking Wardsville was created for Wardsville Ontario’s 2010 Bicentennial Celebration. Cara Spooner and Simon Rabyniuk met and interviewed several people currently living in Wardsville. Over a period of 48 hours they explored the geography and history of Wardsville. Each individual they met lead Spooner/Rabyniuk on a walk to a personally significant location within the town. The walk and anecdotes shared during the walk were recorded and edited together to create a short portrait of this changing town. Walking Wardsville also explored a personal narratives for Spooner whose Grandmother lives in Wardsville.

 

Cara Spooner and Simon Rabynik