Saturday, July 7, 2018

Lives Of Two Prime Ministers

Picking up where we left off yesterday, here are some of the paintings of Josh Silburt, who followed up his editorial cartooning career by focusing on his art. In the days of Laurier and King, these corridors and rooms were servants quarters and offices for staff, and this was my first time back in this area, which has usually been off limits to the public.

This level includes items from both prime ministers, such as these in what was a formal guest room.

The player piano below occupies the Laurier Library. Wilfred used it as his personal office, while King made use of it as a guest room.

Here we have a view of the master bedroom. The Lauriers used it for that, and King did later. It is still decorated much as King would have left it.

Upstairs on the top floor is a room that would have been used by the head housekeeper in the Laurier days, while King turned it into his breakfast room, taking meals in here when he wasn't entertaining. His study was across the hall in a room that Laurier had used for billiards.

This room includes a peculiar set of artifacts- the Liberal Party of Canada gifted these to King. Abraham Lincoln had plaster casts made of his face at the time of the 1860 Republican nomination and his hands before his departure for Washington, done by Leonard Volk. Three copies of the Volk casting exist- one in the Smithsonian, one in a private collection in the United States, and the last one here. 

I headed back downstairs, pausing in the drawing room on the ground floor.

Then I stepped out onto the spacious terrace wrapping around this part of the house.


  1. Abe Lincoln casts---weird. I wonder why he did that.
    Anyway a very interesting place.

  2. Interesting to read how each Prime Minister used the rooms in different ways:)

  3. Another interesting place! The last picture looks comfortable with the cushion where people can sit and have tea!

  4. ...William, what an interesting collection items, I'm glad that you were able to see them. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Well that’s a unique view of Lincoln! Creepy but WOW!

  6. It's always fascinating to see how life was lived back then. Mr Silburt was a fine artist, such a change in style from the political cartoons!

  7. Hello, interesting place. The Lincoln cast are kind of weird. Enjoy your day and weekend!

  8. Nice photos. I always wonder why they needed such large rooms to sleep.

  9. Very interesting tour. I have been enjoying visiting these places with you. :-)

  10. It was all very formal. Neat to see the Lincoln cast.

  11. I'd like to be out on that porch right now!

  12. I could get lost in this place for hours on end. The history, the beautiful decor. Lovely.

  13. What an elegant place. Interesting how they changed the use of various rooms with little renovation.

  14. I love that player piano. It reminds me of my childhood because we had one when I was growing up.

  15. @MB: in the 19th century (and earlier) it was a common thing to make life masks of people, particularly who were well known or becoming so. Among other things, it would help sculptors later in creating likenesses. And it does bring out the face more vividly than photographs did.

    @Rosie: it was quite a home.

    @Nancy: it's quite an appealing porch.

    @Tom: you're welcome.

    @Marie: once you're used to the idea of the tradition, it's less creepy. It must have been trying to have to wait on that to dry when applied to the face though.

    @Grace: a big change!

    @Eileen: thanks!

    @Maywyn: they're large rooms, but not overly so.

    @DJan: and I've enjoyed showing them.

    @Janey: it's quite an artifact!

    @RedPat: it's an appealing spot.

    @Jeanie: it is quite a place to visit.

    @Red: I like the different uses of the place, particularly the billiards room turned study.

    @Sharon: I like the sound of it. The staff turn it on at a regular basis for visitors , and the very first time I visited, I heard it from downstairs and wondered who on earth was playing ragtime music.

  16. Was not a castle but still a very nice place to stay even for a King !Interesting to read that Lincoln stayed there too !

  17. The plaster is so weird to modern eyes...but how good it is to have this record of him.

  18. Interessante Bilder von einem Ort voller Geschichte.


  19. Beautiful and interesting place.
    Have a nice Sunday
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  20. The face the hands is kinda scary.

    Love the big windows.

  21. Nice piano player and the Lincoln head and hands is very strange.

  22. Plaster casts of Lincoln’s face and hands are very memorable exhibit! I love the terrace area. Looks very pleasant.

  23. As formal as the household seems I'll bet the player piano make it a lively and pleasant place.

  24. I always enjoy your tours but the Lincoln casts were a special treat this time.

  25. i love art. of all sorts. nice!! ( ;

  26. Another place for me to read books.

  27. An interesting place, many thanks for your photographs and information.

    All the best Jan

  28. @Gattina: well, in a manner of speaking, anyway! I imagine at some point in his life Lincoln might have come into Canada.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Sandi: it was quite common back then.

    @Noke: thanks!

    @Maria: thank you.

    @Whisk: it's quite different to see.

    @Bill: very much so!

    @Tamago: it is!

    @Kay: it does.

    @Catalyst: I know from previous posts that American readers tend to respond to Abe.

    @Beth: there's a lot of art in here.

    @Klara: there are a great many books!

    @Jan: you're welcome.