Very faded.  Not sure of the ID on the lefthand picture, but I think it’s either my father or my grandfather, with sled.  On the right is me, Ottawa in the early 80s, with sled.

The first is dated on the back, “Feb 26th 1943.”  The second is dated 1946.  The man in uniform is, I think, my grandfather’s younger brother; my grandfather is probably the man in the bowler hat, because (while I have no memories of his face) I remember the hat still being around in my childhood.  The insignia on great-uncle’s cap looks like RCAF to my untrained eye, but no war memorabilia in our cedar chest other than this—we were lucky enough to have an uneventful 20th century in our family.

Unidentified people in front of the Union Bank building in Portland, Ontario, probably not that long after it was built.  Actual information from the internet on this one!

Prior to 1903 and the construction of this first Portland bank, the more prosperous of the village had to take and make their financial arrangements afar and away. In the case of Mr. Gallagher, successful and prosperous burgher, this meant frequent trips to Smiths Falls, some twenty miles distant. He accordingly made an offer to the Union Bank to erect this structure, then lease it to them. Being a wise and shrewd businessman, Mr. Gallagher built his bank as a typical and fine example of rural “bank architecture”. Its imposing front façade with large arched windows and door imposed a sense of assurance and security on those with surplus shekels to save or loans to seek as they entered the bank offices on the first floor. The living quarters of the manager and his family were on the second floor, where he could stay “on top of the money”. The Union Bank and its successor, the Royal Bank of Canada continued to use this building until larger facilities were required. Still of legend in Portland was the day the Bank was robbed. 

Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.

This is, I believe, my grandmother Mary as a girl.

Carte-de-visite ghosts.  The most faded gentleman of all is the only one who has even a scrap of a name: E M….something.  Momsen, Mansen, Marnsen, Mornsen?  The lady holding the blanket is the one wishing us “Merry chrismass all” in that eerie way old dead people have of combining pretty handwriting with terrible spelling.

[ETA: okay MORRISON, a second card had a clearer version of the same signature.  I’m very bad at this.]

I have figured out (I think) that these are cartes-de-visite, so my guess is late 1870s-1890s?  The cardstock is moderately heavy and the corners are rounded and show wear.  (This exhausts all my learnings about antique stuff.)  No photographer credit on the backs, and no helpful notes about who these people are, but since they’re all printed on green backing I conclude that this is a family.  The son resembles his mum a bit, anyway.

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My guess for this one, based on the remains of the stamp and the persons mentioned, is maybe 1903?  Front reads “A Merry Christmas” and the back reads as follows:

Wishing you a bright & joyous XMas from E & S Webster.

Miss Mary John[son?]
Charleston, Ont. 

Yes, I am now just posting old postcards that we have here at home, because I’m bored here and we have a lot of them.

Last one for tonight, somebody I can identify: my paternal grandfather, who at this stage of his life was known as Willie and wore dresses.

He hated these dresses and these photos so much that later in life, when he kept bees, he burned all these dresses in the smoker.

Patronised by the President of the United States
A.C. McIntyre,
Photographer, Brockville, Ont. 

I’m not calling you a liar, sir, but I am curious about this claim.