Scraps of the past

Nancy MacPhee
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SUMMERSIDE — Its pages are worn, many loose from their binding.

George Dalton (left), Wayne Wright and Mick Scanlan look over two scrapbooks Scanlan found in a barn in Kensington. Scanlan has donated the scrapbooks, which date back to the 1940s, to the Summerside and Area Historical Society.

On the top corner of one is a small piece of metal, beside it, a handwritten story.

The writing tells of the metal’s origin, a piece of a airplane that crashed off of Cape Tryon on Feb. 9, 1943. It carried, as the handwriting explains, four young Island soldiers who had to crawl over ice to make it safely to shore.

It is just one of the interesting tidbits in one of two decades-old scrapbooks turned over to the Summerside and Area Historical Society by Mick Scanlan.

Scanlan, an auctioneer and appraiser, found the scrapbooks during one of his ‘picks.’

“I have people that come in and they want to sell stuff and nine out of 10 times I either go to the house or they put it in a box and bring it in,” said the owner of Revolving Door Treasures. “In this particular case, this was a place in Kensington that I went and did a pick on. I bought four or five pieces. I happened to find these scrapbooks lying in a corner.”

The scrapbooks are from the 1940s and contain newspaper clippings, photos, letters, cards, drawings and other items that the person who made it felt were important enough to keep or document.

“This is stuff that should never leave the Island,” said Scanlan. “We have to keep this here. I’m from away, but I still believe that anything that’s here should stay here. History is so important.”

George Dalton, past president of the historical society, agrees.

While not uncommon, scrapbooks like those turned over by Scanlan are important historical finds, treasures that must be preserved, said Dalton.

“This is really unique. It is a picture of the times,” said the amateur historian. “You would hate to think she went to all the trouble scrapbooking to have it thrown away.

“It’s just a smorgasbord of information.”

He hopes others who find similar items think twice before throwing them out.

“Many of our members get calls now asking ‘can you come and see if this is any good.’ That’s exactly what we are trying to do,” added Dalton. “You would be amazed with what we get.”


Organizations: Area Historical Society

Geographic location: Summerside, Kensington

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