On Thursday, February 19, 2015 the society will meet for a presentation by well-known local historical graphic artist Annie Dalton, The Story of the Passenger Pigeon.
Can you imagine, in the early 1800s, seeing a flock of birds here in Eastern Ontario, so thick that its shadow blocked out the sun… so long it stretched from horizon to horizon… so vast it took three days to pass overhead?
Now, imagine these birds gone forever - a shadow, a ghost, a haunting memory. This is the story of the Passenger Pigeon – once numbered in the billions, and now gone, due to loss of habitat and commercial hunting, between 1870 and 1890.
The passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was a wild bird - not to be confused with the domesticated carrier pigeon trained to carry messages. It was once the most common bird in North America; mile-wide migrating flocks turned the skies black, producing a deafening noise, as they passed. Painter John James Audubon, watching them pass on his way to Louisville in 1813, described “the continued buzz of wings”. The “the air was literally filled with pigeons; the light of noon-day was obscured as if by an eclipse…” When he reached his destination, 55 miles away, the birds were still passing overhead, and “continued to do so for three days in succession.”
Tragically, just over one hundred years ago, on September 1, 1914, Martha (named after George Washington’s wife) the world's last passenger pigeon, died at the Cincinnati Zoo, marking the extinction of this amazing species.Of particular interest for genealogists will be a follow-on first public demonstration of a regional historical mapping project under development to mark the anniversary. Employing digital mapping technology and resurrected original maps of the survey of 1815, this project will provide an interactive, online information system showing settlement locations of the soldiers and settlers by lot and concession, names of the original and subsequent families, and other data on their histories, as a lasting anniversary legacy.on a major area historical mapping project. The presenter is Barrie Crampton, a member of the 200th Anniversary Committees.
Please join us for these interesting presentations, at Perth's Royal Canadian Legion, home of the Hall of Remembrance, 26 Beckwith Street E., Perth, Feb 19th at 7:30pm (Toonie donation)
Perth & District Historical Society is dedicated to studying and popularising our area’s rich history and culture, and providing a forum for discussion and celebration of our heritage.
Our meetings are open to the public, on the third Thursday of each month. For information, call 613-264 8362 or 264 0094.
Visit our website: www.perthhs.org, or Facebook: www.facebook.com/