Scenes of Early Kingston

Construction site of the Novitiate at Heathfield, 1931


Members of the Kingston Historical Society meet monthly at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library to listen to presenters discuss Kingston history.

On November 18, 2009, four young archivists came together to present “Scenes from Early Kingston and Area”; a pictorial history of the city. In addition to myself, Rodney Carter, archivist for the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph and archivists from Queen’s University Archives and the Lennox and Addington County Archives participated in the presentation.

I chose photographs that focused on the Sisters of Providence buildings and ministries in Kingston. The first photograph depicts the House of Providence as it would have appeared circa 1900. The next was a panoramic photograph of the Congregation taken in August 1922 in front of House of Providence and on display in the Heritage Room. The next three photographs featured Heathfield; the first of Heathfield Villa taken in the 1950s, the second of the construction site of the Novitiate at Heathfield taken in 1931 and the last, the wonderful 1952 photograph of Sr. Marie Dumont and Sr. Mary Publow with a horse and plow. Members of the Historical Society had never before seen these photographs, especially the images of the Sisters of Providence and the RHSJ collection. Many questions and comments followed, and one can only hope the presentation fostered a greater interest and understanding of Kingston’s rich Catholic history.