16 April 2011

Souvenirs of the Eastern Townships

A favourite of the thirty images in A Gentleman of Pleasure, this 1940 photograph captures John Glassco riding outside the Eastern Townships community of Knowlton. Seated next to him is his "housekeeper" Sappho, Mary Elizabeth Wilson, the third in one of several ménages à trois he enjoyed with Graeme Taylor.

A week ago, A Gentleman of Pleasure was launched at Knowlton's Brome Lake Books. Driving home the next day, I snapped these photos.

The Knowlton United Church, where on 18 February 1941 Taylor married Sappho. The union was witnessed by Glassco and the minister's wife.

In a letter to his friend Robert McAlmon, Glassco wrote that after the ceremony he joined the newlyweds in consuming "the last champagne in the district". Sappho left the two men in 1944 – she divorced Taylor five years later.

Jamaica Farm, Glassco's first home in the village of Foster. In 1945, he moved into this yellow farmhouse with Taylor. The two men lived alone until 1956, when they were joined by Elma Koolmer, another "housekeeper". Roughly six months later, Taylor died of Buerger's Disease in Montreal's Royal Victoria Hospital.

Glassco's second and last Foster house, built in 1966 for Elma. Five years later, he would scatter her ashes in a stream that can be seen from the rear windows.

Crossposted at A Gentleman of Pleasure.

No comments:

Post a Comment