Posted on December 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm
too big for local historian
It’s a book that is bound to contain several interesting secrets.
Francis Racine, Francis.Racine@eap.on.ca
The Cornwall Journal
Local historian Sara Lauzon has been undergoing the systematic research of Sydney Street, one of the city’s most historically rich roads, with some houses on it dating from as far back as the last century. She hopes to complete a book on the subject, in the near future.
“It’s a big project,” explained the woman. “It all started when I discovered that my grandmother lived in two different houses on Sydney Street. It just picked my curiosity!”
Since then, Lauzon has researched several of the majestic residences and has uncovered some interesting facts, seemingly lost to history. “Several of the residents of Sydney Street were owners of businesses on adjacent Pitt Street,” she said. “You had grocery store owners, soda shop owners, but also doctors, lawyers and so on. There were a lot of important people living on this street.”
The historian’s research has led her to tour five of the houses, in the hopes of uncovering more of their history. “So far, I’ve been given tours of four different houses,” she expressed. “They all look wonderful and it was very interesting. In one of them, I even managed to find old phone numbers in the basement.”
But not everything is easy to find. Lauzon stressed that the biggest obstacle she faces is researching what has disappeared. “There was a whole section of Sydney Street that disappeared,” she said. “The section from Water to Sydney was entirely demolished for the shopping centre. In the process, they tore down houses and altered the park that was there.”
In addition, the local historian said that not a lot of archives are left regarding the forgotten portion of Sydney Street. “It’s just hard to research something that isn’t there anymore.”
But even though the area appears to have been lost to history, Lauzon stressed that local residents have been more than helpful in her quest to find information. “Everyone is so helpful,” she said of the people that contacted her and gave her important leads and information. “I’ve found out so much about the big park that used to be there and I’ve come across some heartwarming but also sad stories.”
The woman also gauged the interest of local residents by providing historical walking tours of the street last summer. “I had an amazing turnout,” she said. “People were really fascinated by the many stories of Sydney Street.”
But Lauzon’s quest is far from over, for she still needs to research a good amount of properties before she can write the definitive history of Sydney Street.
The historian is asking anyone who has information regarding Sydney Street to contact her via her website, at www.cornwallslittlehistorian.com