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Petersfield Guestbook

Dates of Creation: 1901-1970

Physical Description: 3.2 cm of textual records

Location: Cape Breton Regional Library - McLennan Collection

Reference Number: Petersfield GuestBook InsideCover1

Scope and Content: 
Item is the guestbook that was used at the Petersfield Estate, and later by Katharine at events on her home on Whitney Avenue, Sydney. In fact, Petersfield is most famous and historically interesting because of the guests who stayed there. Besides frequent local visitors like Hetty Kimber and her brother Fred, Shirley Davidson, the Burchells, the Sutherlands, the Grosvenors and visiting family members, the estate boasted visitors of international renown.

Prime Minister Robert Borden and future Prime Minister Arthur Meighen visited Petersfield in 1911 and 1914 respectively. British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald also paid a call on J.S. at Petersfield (page 149). Governors-General Byng (page 137), Wellington, and Tweedsmuir all visited Petersfield. Lord and Lady Baden-Powell stayed at Petersfield and Katharine subsequently became very involved with the Guiding movement in Cape Breton. The poet, Sir Charles G.D. Roberts and the musical group the Hart House Quartet (pages 150, 153) were guests. Canadian historians D.C. Harvey and J.C. Webster, along with aviation engineer Frederick Walker "Casey" Baldwin (pages 146, 136) were honoured guests. Lord Grey and Admiral and Lady Kingsmill visited J.S. at Petersfield. Another famous visitor was Sir Wilfred Grenfell of the Grenfell Mission of Labrador who was a favorite of Katharine's.

Other notable pages in the guestbook include Isabel's wedding (page 106), the tragic death of Louise McLennan in 1912 (page 109), Margaret's wedding to future Lieutenant-Governor, Dr. Henry Ernest Kendall (page 113), the deaths of both son Hugh and J.S.'s brother Bart in battle during World War I (page 126). J.S. McLennan's death is noted in an elegant tribute written by Katharine on page 162.

Notes: Blank pages have been omitted.

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