Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | November 17, 2016

Life in Miniature at Domtar

One of our three current featured exhibits has grown again!

Don Sewell and his wife Doreen recently stopped by to check out the Toronto Paper / Howard Smith / Domtar paper mill exhibit. Don had worked there as a painter and Doreen worked in the rag sorting room and later in what became the label department.


Doreen Sewell among those finishing their shift

We enjoyed reminiscing with them. Doreen beamed when she saw our photo, which also appears of the cover of a book on Smithville. It’s a photo of shift change during the Howard Smith days. Doreen is the only woman identifiable in the photo (she was carrying a purse and coat.)


Update: After his son printed out this post for him, Don Sewell returned with this photo, a never-worn blue Domtar ball cap and a decision to make the indefinite loan of the miniature an outright donation. Pictured are painters Don Sewell, the late Bob Archambault and the late Len Malloy.


Don Sewell’s retirement miniature

Sometimes when long-time employees retired, their co-workers would create a replica of their work area in miniature and present it to them as part of a retirement sendoff. When the couple saw our two miniatures, both donated since the start of the exhibit, Doreen commented that Don still has his. Unlike the other two, Don’s has moving parts; move his left arm and his eyes pop and hair raises. The piece includes a stainless steel sandblasting tank, a gear being readied for painting, bags of silica and a little man. We asked if Don would consider bringing it out of the storage locker and lending or donating it to the collection. An hour later Don was back, miniature in hand. It’s now on “indefinite loan” to the Historical Society.


Vern MacDonald’s retirement miniature

The miniature that started all of this was the late Vern MacDonald’s, donated by his daughter Wendy. Vern was a supervising engineer. On his desk was a large jar of peppermints and he was always ready with a few well-anticipated pieces of advice.


Vern MacDonald ca. 1972


Garth Boyce’s retirement miniature

Garth Boyce was a maintenance supervisor; his daughter Judy donated his miniature in his memory. Co-worker John Wood made it for Garth.

All three miniatures are what we consider lovely examples of local folk art and it’s apparent that each was made with much affection for the co-worker.

The paper mill exhibit will continue until mid-December. Visit us any Wednesday – Sunday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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Cornwall Industry

A Cornwall Community Museum Blog

Cornwall Canal and Shipping History

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Cornwall Community Museum

In The Wood House at the waterfront, Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

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