Hand made finishing nails

Contributed by Frank Dabbs

Hand made finishing nails

Robert Clark, a journeyman carpenter, immigrated from Perthshire, Scotland to Annan Ontario in 1860 where he purchased a property and established a business building wagons, barn, houses and the church and school. In 1880 he built a family home and used these hand made nails in the flooring. Gaelic was the second business language of Annan also spoken at table of the Clark family (wife Isabelle and son John). Robert Clark's life (1836 to 1912) straddled Canada's Confederation (1867) but he and his peers considered his community part of the "vaster Britain" and was Victorian in his tastes and sensibilities. The house he built could be put down in any Victorian English rural community or the border counties of southern Scotland. Through these nails and this house we are connected to a time when Victorian Britishers, including Scots and Irish in this part of Upper Canada, populated central Canada and recreated British Isles culture, religion, art, crafts, and artisanship but with a distinctive Canadian flavour informed by the impact on their lives of the rugged terrain, thick forests, vast interior lakes, severe winters, sublime summers and contact with the Petun and Ojibwa Indians.

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Annan Ont.; at the local forge




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