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Tuesday, 18 October 2016 18:46

From my perch—Oct. 21, 2016--Bobcaygeon history book

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By John Bird, editor

           “My father told many stories,” recalls Altamae Eberlee. “Some of them were true.”

            That’s why, when her dad—retired Bobcaygeon Doctor W.D. Thomas—decided to write a family history that grew into a book about the village, Altamae worked hard with him to ensure only

the true stories made it into print.

            The result is the delightful book, “Bobcaygeon: The Hub of the Kawarthas.” First published in 1980, it has gone through three hardcover editions, and is now newly available in paperback. You can get it at the Boyd Museum, the Chamber of Commerce, or The Kawartha Promoter.

            Doug Thomas was uniquely situated to write Bobcaygeon’s story. Born in a Verulam township log home, he served as a village doctor from 1934 until his death in 1985—first travelling by horse and buggy (cutter in winter), often over water or ice.

            He knew the backroads and families intimately—and had an open, wide-ranging curiousity that serves writers well. As a child, Altamae often accompanied him.

            Strangely, Altamae’s family and mine had adjoining backyards when I was growing up in Whitby. I remember having a pre-adolescent crush on this attractive, young married woman and mother.

            Imagine my delight on moving to Bobcaygeon to read Dr. Thomas’s book and discover she was his daughter—now living back in the village.

            “I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my eldest daughter, Altamae Eberlee,” Dr. Thomas writes in his preface. “It was she who first stimulated my interest in writing this book, then directed and encouraged me throughout the years of research and the frustrating attempts to learn the rudiments of creative writing.”

            All of us who love Bobcaygeon owe her that debt of gratitude.


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