Heads-up regarding next steps for the Preserved Stories website

Over the next several months, I will be cutting back on blog posts related to Long Branch and nearby neighbourhoods.

I mention this now, by way of a heads-up, for regular visitors to this website.

I will be working, with as few distractions as possible, on a book about Long Branch history. It will be a long project, as I have much material to work with, and many things to learn, as I proceed.

In order to work on the book, I will considerably reduce my postings about day-to-day, current happenings in Long Branch and nearby communities.

The focus of my thoughts will be on the packaging of stories, that some people may find of interest – of sufficient interest, that is to say, to purchase a hardcopy version of a book.

The stories are about a Long Branch that has existed in the past.

The stories are about a community, about pockets of communities, and about a social fabric, all of which, to a lesser or greater degree, are disappearing, or have already disappeared.

Much of life is ephemeral – things come and go.

Memories, accumulated in their vastness, at the personal and family level, in any neighbourhood, come and go.

My project, like all such projects, seeks to shape, and package in one or more suitable formats, a selection of those stories, as otherwise they are lost forever.

History of a Disappearance (2017)

Among the many sources, that serve as inspiration for my book project, is History of a Disappearance: The Story of a Forgotten Polish Town (2017) by Filip Springer. That is a wonderful book; I recommend it highly.

In the case of Long Branch, as the ongoing story unfolds, the community remains, as a residential district, but much of the established built form disappears, and the social fabric – which has, indeed, been a key element of what people like to call “the character of the place” – disappears as well.

The story of Long Branch is a great story, that speaks to – that speaks to what?

That’s a nice, open-ended question, which each person, who speaks about Long Branch, past, present, and future, can fill in for herself, or himself. There are many Long Branches, and many versions of the story related to it (or them).

I encourage you to set up your own website, and write a blog offering your own perspective on things

My own way of looking at things is but one among many ways, that a person can choose from, based upon each person’s formative experiences, experiential encounters, and character traits.

I am pleased to refer you, as well, to a previous post:

I encourage you to set up your own website about local history and planning issues in Long Branch

I was interested to read Colleen O’Marra’s comment at the end of the post you are now reading

Please note that, by way of bringing attention to the comments that follow below, I’ve written a separate post, entitled:

Comments from Colleen O’Marra regarding next steps for the Preserved Stories website


2 replies
  1. Colleen M. O'Marra
    Colleen M. O'Marra says:

    Don’t forget one of the best resources for your book Mr. Pill. The lonely filing cabinet in our great Long Branch library full of our town’s history. For example, listings of all the previous owners of the last homes on Lake Promenade funded by the unofficial founder of Long Branch, Thomas Wilkie . There are at least six of them standing on the north side of Len Ford Park. There is also the fascinating story of the warship, Defiance, ordered by Simcoe to be built for the defense of Upper Canada. The ship was constructed at the mouth of the Etobicoke River.Was it used in battle ? How about the mystery of artifacts found at Colonel Smith’s farm. A dig took place in 1984. Where are those artifacts ?

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I much appreciate your reminders, Colleen O’Marra!

    Bernice Law, an old-time Long Branch resident (who subsequently moved to Alderwood) organized a series of life stories by Long Branch residents many years ago. The stories that she gathered are at the Long Branch Library. There are so many connections to the past, in resources at the library.

    I will be adding, to the library’s resources, a hardcopy version of the “History of Long Branch” document that I’ve put together for the Preserved Stories website. I first need to prepare it in a Microsoft Publisher version. The latter document includes some fact-checking related to previous local-history accounts, as they relate to Long Branch. For example, the Colonel Smith house was torn down in 1955, as a number of printed sources indicate, rather than in 1952, a date that, once it got published, has been repeatedly endlessly, even though it’s inaccurate.

    Similarly, the erroneous statement that the Long Branch Hotel fire occurred in 1954 has been frequently repeated whereas the actual date was 1958 as noted in several eye-witness accounts among other sources.

    This kind of fact-checking is important because many people rely on the Long Branch Library resources for historical facts about Long Branch. At times, the requisite checking of sources, and verification of details does not happen, and non-facts are repeated as facts. This is a frequent happening, whenever local history tales are recounted, in communities around the world. It’s a fascinating process and is a great topic to research, as I have been doing for the past seven years or so.

    Bernice Law shared with me, some years ago, a series of life-story chapters by a long-time resident who lived in South Etobicoke many years ago. I have a plan to publish that, chapter by chapter, at my website and to ensure that the Long Branch library has a copy.

    I’ve been invited to give a talk about Long Branch history at the Franklin Horner Centre. The talk is at 1:00 pm on Oct. 25, 2017. I enjoy the opportunity to share information, on such occasions.

    The story of the Colonel Smith artifacts will be in my book for sure. As will the initiative called “The Story of Mississauga,” which I’ve been following for some time. It’s by establishing a context – such as by looking at the stories of Alderwood, New Toronto, Mimico, as well as Port Credit and Lakeview in the old “Toronto Township” that we can get a really good sense of how the history of Long Branch is positioned.

    As well, we are dealing with storytelling including the story of how Mississauga Museums has developed and elaborated, and edited over the course of many discussions, what is known as the “Story of Mississauga” – a process that is of ongoing interest to me.

    (In the preceding sentence, I’ve treated “Mississauga Museums” as singular, as it is a proper noun that functions as a singular, not plural, entity.)


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