ABOYNE – The Wellington County Archives is launching a local history authors’ series, From Archives to Armchairs, this fall.
The archives holds many resources from diaries to photographs to newspapers and cemetery transcriptions, which three local history authors have used as resources when writing their books.
The series will allow authors to share the stories behind their publications by giving a presentation in the Archives Reading Room.
Fergus native, Pat Mestern, will start the series off on Sept. 22 at 2pm by discussing her books Anna, A Child of the Poor House and Rachel’s Legacy.
Mestern was born, raised and still lives in Fergus.
During her early years her mom, dad and grandmother, Edith, Jimmy and Marie Mattaini, impressed upon her the significance of knowing local history and took every opportunity to make sure she was told stories and that she was immersed in artifacts and archival material.
She never thought seriously of being an author until 1951 when she was introduced to the original Anna, the main character in her second novel Anna, Child of the Poor House.
After working for several years at the Wellington County Museum and being immersed in the history of the building and its residents, Mestern felt inspired to begin her career as a writer.
Clara was her first historical novel and was followed by Anna, Child of the Poor House and its sequel Rachael’s Legacy.
Anna, Child of the Poor House is based on a true story of a child born into the County House of Industry & Refuge.
She was adopted as a young child but returned to the area to try to find out more about her Fergus and County of Wellington heritage.
Rachael’s Legacy completes the story of this unique young woman and the many people who influenced her life.
From Archives to Armchairs continues on Oct. 27 with author, Marion Roes and her book, Mennonite Funeral and Burial Traditions: Interviews and Personal Stories and concludes on Nov. 24 with author Jim Henderson’s publication Before Their Endeavours Fade – the story of the names on the Palmerston cenotaph.
Each author will be signing and selling copies of their books.
Admission is by donation.
The Wellington County Archives collection can be accessed at www.wellington.ca/museum.
The archives are open weekdays, 9:30am to 4:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm.
The Wellington County Museum and Archives is located on Wellington Road 18 between Fergus and Elora.