Vintage Holiday Card
It is said that the first commercial Christmas card was created in 1843. The story goes that Sir Henry Cole commissioned painter John Callcott Horsley to illustrate the artistic vision he had in his mind. The goal was to create a method of correspondence which was simple, yet still thoughtful enough, to extend holiday wishes by mail.
According to our records, this Christmas card is from the late 1800s. On one side the card reads, “May every happiness be thine, this happy Christmas day.” On the reverse are the words, “flowers from tender buds appear, may joys unfold with the New Year.” The card features silk threads lining its borders and two designs of shells overflowing with various types of flora.
Gravenhurst Christmas Tree
In 1925, the Gravenhurst Board of Trade began a holiday tradition that lasted for more than 30 years. This photo, taken in the 1930s, depicts the community Christmas tree in Gravenhurst.
Located in the centre of the main intersection of Muskoka Road and Bay Street, this annual tradition turned the downtown core into a winter wonderland. Many women would volunteer to fill bags of fruit, candy, and small toys donated by local businesses for children. Santa would arrive on Christmas Eve in a sleigh led by two white horses and greet the families waiting to sing Christmas carols and celebrate together
Bartwood Manor CardBartwood Manor was built in 1887 right off the Port Carling main street. Owned by Jack Van der Jagt, it began as a private home that eventually turned into a homey lodge for the area’s visitors. Open year round, the Bartwood Manor advertised easy access to swimming, boating, dancing, shopping, and the summer stock theatre. Though it was small, it boasted about its cozy lounge equipped with a warming fireplace and living quarters with their own showers. In 1958, a stay at the Bartwood Manor, no matter the time of year, was $7.00 per room, and you could stay for an entire week for only $38.50.
Hallmark Card BoxHallmark was founded in 1910, when Joyce Clyde Hall and his brother Rollie Hall went into business as the Hall Brothers. In 1928, their interest in the phrase “hallmark” (as used by goldsmiths to identify quality) led to their rebranding, and from then on, Hallmark would appear on all they produced. This box would have contained 12 Christmas cards with illustrations designed by Norman Rockwell. While Hallmark has commissioned many artists in the production of their greeting cards, Norman Rockwell’s Christmas designs became an iconic representation of the Christmas season for many in North America.