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Did you know that July is watercolour month?

Wright Home 2006 4 3

This watercolour painting currently on display in Artful Architecture in the Art Space at 34 Frank is one of many done by artist John Kolstein. He was born in Holland and immigrated to Strathroy with his family in 1957. In his early years in Strathroy, Kolstein was commissioned to do a number of paintings of local businesses and houses. Many of his works were watercolour though he was known to mix in pen. He passed away September 22, 1991 in Strathroy. The Museum’s Collection houses many of his paintings.

One painting in particular is of the old Wright family home located at 40 Kittridge (Kittredge) Ave. W, Strathroy. The house was built in 1871 by James Wright (1837-1914). It was occupied by James, his wife Keziah Clark (Chinnick) and their children – one of which was Ernest Joel (E. J.) Wright who founded the Wright Piano company. After James’ death his wife and eldest daughter, Mary Jane (Polly) moved closer to the downtown core. They wanted to avoid having to climb up the hill to Kittridge and moved to 27 Metcalfe Street. Keziah lived there until her death in 1926. After Keziah passed another of her daughters Margaret Susan and her husband Alfred Brock moved in. After Alfred’s death in 1933 the sisters, Polly and Maggie, continued to live in the house for another 18 years or so until they both passed away (Polly in 1949 and Maggie in 1950).

A photograph taken in 2009 shows renovations occurred that removed the porch and the second floor balcony. Further renovations occurred, as can be seen in this 2014 Google Street photograph, with the porch being added once again.

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Ideas on how to take part in Watercolour Month

First if you have never tried it before, go for it. Pick a photo or go outside, paint with friends and family, or take a class.
Always wanted a watercolour in your living room? Support a local artist by purchasing a piece of art.
Have a favourite watercolour painter? Highlight a work of art on Facebook and other social media platforms.

In honour of the recent Beaver and Cub tours held at the museum and conducted by Brianna, I am dedicating a post to Scouting.

The Beaver program (ages 5-7) emphasizes having fun well learning basic social skills and gaining self confidence.  Cubs (ages 8-10)  is built around games, crafts, music, storytelling, play acting, and the outdoors and individual interests and skills are recognized through simple awards.

Strathroy, Mount Brydges, and Melbourne are part of the Sydenham Area under the Tri-Shores Council which has 4,900 youth in the Scouts Canada Program and over 1,200 adult volunteers who deliver and support the program.

Strathroy’s first Scouting group was organized shortly after the founding of the Boy Scout Movement by Englishman Lord Robert Baden-Powell in 1907.  Since this time Strathroy and area citizens have been active in promoting the movement.  Among the early leaders were E.J. Wright and Ian P. Bateman.

During the years of the Second World War activities increased.  At that time there were two groups in Strathroy with an approximately 200 Scouts and Cubs.  The Scout House located at the northern end of Alexandra Park was built in 1957 at a cost of $22,000 on land donated by R.B. Pincombe. 

For more information go to the Age Dispatch article published during the 100 year anniversary of Scouting.

The museum has a number of pieces from the 1930s-1980s, from books to uniforms, below is just a sample of what can be found within the collection.

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About the Museum

Museum Strathroy-Caradoc opened to the public in 1972. As a community museum we strive to preserve and tell the story of Strathroy-Caradoc, and inspire residents to explore and understand the community around them.

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