“Their Best Work Yet”

Thanks to Bill Freeman and the EMC newspaper for a wonderful write-up on the 2014 calendar.


EMC News -Hastings -Calling it their best work yet, the Hastings Historical Society has just released its newest calendar.

The 2014 calendar is fresh off the press and destined to be a best seller like the organization’s previous offerings.

James and 2014 Calendar“I really do believe this is the best one yet,” says Jim Coveney, a member of the HHS calendar committee and a serious and dedicated collector of post cards, especially those depicting local scenes and activities.

“We really worked hard on the whole thing,” Coveney told the Trent Hills Independent. “We’re going to have a hard time to top this for 2015.”

“We’ve been working on the calendar for quite a while, seeking photos is a year-round project.”

The calendar is marked by “variety and uniqueness,” says Coveney.

“It’s the variety of interest that touches people.”

“It is very difficult to source unique photos but we’ve done it this year, we’ve got some dandies.”

One of those remarkable photos is of the Hastings Grand Trunk Railway station taken in 1911. The HHS has long been searching for old photos of the railway station and Coveney says it is virtually impossible to find 100-year-old shots of the station.

“This was quite a find,” he said. The photo includes local farmers, municipal officials and station workers.

Coveney came across the card on the Internet and bid on the original, he didn’t succeed with the bid but was able to get a “modest copy.”

When he saw the original photo he said to himself: “it had to come to Hastings.”

The card belonged to a dealer in Hamilton and the reason the bidding went so high was that collectors were certain there were no photos of the Hastings Railway Station, featuring the word Hastings, to be found.

“There are collectors of just railway station post cards. They are very dedicated collectors,” Coveney says.

“We were so happy to find a (railway station) picture with local people in it. We hope that people will recognize family members.”

There’s also a 1939 photo of the Hastings hockey team which includes Dit Clapper’s father William, a member of the team’s executive. The photo is courtesy of Campbellford realtor John Boyle whose father Ray was a member of the team.

A1910 photo of

the large stockyard located behind the Hastings railway station filled with cattle is also included. The station can be seen in the background.

“It’s the first and only photo that I’ve ever known about that brings together those two industries that helped build the town.”

The history of that card is remarkable.

The post card was bought in 1910 by a woman who later moved to San Diego. In 1983 she mailed the card back to relatives in Jarvis, Ontario.

Her message, Coveney says, was that her grandfather was in Hastings 75 years ago buying cattle for Koller Packers. On his way home from that sale he was killed in a car accident.

“Our absolute goal is to share,” says Coveney. “We have a passion for Hastings and promoting the good things about it.”

The historical society’s yearly calendars attest to that passion.