This is the final column about the photographers Carter & Isaac. It shows one more sample of the fascinating outdoor work they produced during their time in St. Marys from 1903-07.
Recent columns have featured several of W.W. Carter’s pictures of area farmsteads. This week’s photograph does not fit the same pattern. It’s a view from Victoria Bridge looking toward the north ward. The firm’s standard name label is glued on the back but no inventory control number has been written on it.
This view has always attracted photographers. Many, many pictures have been taken looking north or northeast from the Queen Street Bridge and Carter may have taken this one for his own satisfaction. The St. Marys Museum’s print is faded and somewhat damaged but, even so, we can see that Carter took the same care with perspective and detail that characterizes all his photographs. The important landmarks are included: the two church steeples on the hill, the dam across the mouth of Trout Creek and the new steel truss bridge at Water Street. A smoke stack marks the building we know as the Creamery. In the early 1900s, it was a lumber yard and planing mill. Sheds to keep wood dry can be seen beside Trout Creek, sitting where Parkview Drive is today. The changes and similarities in the course of a century are there for us to note.
A number of researchers have been intrigued by Carter & Isaac because of the quality of their work and the peripatetic nature of their lives. For example, the late Joyce McCorquodale Groves, an expert on the history of Zorra Township, was a long-time Carter & Isaac enthusiast and one of the first to identify some of the houses in the Museum’s glass negative collection. Elysia DeLaurentis of the Wellington County Archives has studied Carter & Isaac and written about them extensively. More recently, Bethany Kearsley, an assistant at the Museum, learned many details about their lives in her preparation for the new photography exhibit: Through the Lens. Anyone with an interest is invited to see the Carter & Isaac prints at the Museum and find out why these pictures hold such lasting appeal.