LOUISE PENNY’S

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Place - Book 1: Still Life

THE REAL PLACES OF THREE PINES: STILL LIFE

BROME COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY / ARTS WILLIAMSBURG

And so it was on the Friday before Thanksgiving the painting was lifted on to an easel in the gallery of Arts Williamsburg. (Still Life, page 7, Paperback Edition)

Brome County Historical SocietyA central “character” in Louise’s magnificent Still Life, Arts Williamsburg was inspired by the real life Brome County Historical Society. Located just south of Brome Lake in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, the Historical Society was established in 1898 with the mission “to acquire, preserve, research, exhibit, interpret, and publish items of historical interest encompassing all of the historic Brome County and its sites.”

Incorporating multiple buildings, the Historical Society’s museum is a visual and tactile celebration of the power of the past. From the Tibbet’s Hill Schoolhouse (built in 1844) to the Old County Courthouse (built in 1858) and right up to the Children’s Museum (inaugurated just last year), the museum is a must-see for those who identify with George Santayana’s famous quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Not to be missed is the extensive archive which houses a bevy of material from the original pioneers of the area, including census and church records, founding family trees, and cemetery inscriptions. The Historical Society also hosts wonderful events. Upcoming happenings include a concert comprising local musicians, a picnic to celebrate the upcoming season, multiple antique and craft fairs, a Harvest Festival, and much, much more.

While not announced yet, keep an eye out for the remainder of the 2015 Lecture Series. Past topics have included “The King of Terrors:” Benedict Arnold’s Trek to Quebec Through the Eastern Townships and “A Beautiful and Picturesque sheet of water ensconced among the hills:” The Development of Tourism in the Lake Memphremagog Region, 1850 – 1900.

Brome County Historical SocietyLastly, any visit to the Historical Society should include a stop at the War Museum which houses, among many important artifacts, a WW1 Fokker DVII aircraft. Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. the Red Baron flew one of the first experimental versions of this plane and complained bitterly about its performance. As one would expect, his words did not fall on deaf ears. The engineers went back to the drawing board and modified it to the Baron’s liking. History tells us that von Richthofen was “highly” pleased with the new design although he never got to fly the DVII in combat as he was killed just 2 weeks prior to the plane’s introduction to squadron service.

For more information about the Brome County Historical Society, please visit: www.lacbromemuseum.ca.

Has anyone here been to the Historical Society or the Eastern Townships?

How do you feel the Arts Williamsburg/Historical Society fits into the overall theme of Still Life?

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