C. A. BEARDSLEY COLLECTION

MC 32

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

C. A. Beardsley was a member of a prominent Woodstock area family. The Beardsleys originated in New Brunswick with Rev. John Beardsley and his family who were United Empire Loyalists. Rev. Beardsley had been ousted from his church in Syracuse, N. Y., during the American Revolution and their property confiscated. His son John Davis Beardsley and wife Sarah Munday Dibblee were prominent in the Woodstock area. Their farm, just above Bull's Creek, was the birthplace of a family of eleven children. The fifth child in this family, born in 1802, was Ralph Dibblee Beardsley. Ralph married Ellen Currie, daughter of the first settler in North Richmond, Carleton County. Ralph and Ellen lived 5 miles from Woodstock on the Houlton Road near Richmond Corner. Their home, called "Bleak House" because of its location, is now (1992) owned by Ron Currie. Ralph and Ellen raised a family of eleven children. Their youngest son, Alfred Beardsley, is the originator of this collection.

As the August 14, 1895, issue of the "Dispatch'' newspaper said of Mrs. Ralph Beardsley on her 90th birthday, "Mrs. Beardsley's family furnishes an illustration of the way in which Carleton County is helping to build up the neighboring Republic. She has at present three daughters and a number of grandchildren whose homes are in Maine, one daughter and grandchildren in Kansas City, Missouri, one daughter in California and grandchildren in Massachusetts, New York, Idaho and Spokane, Washington. Her four sons have all spent a number of years in the Western States and Territories."

During the period of this collection (1913-1927) Alfred Beardsley was living in Glendale, California. Alfred's family home in Richmond, "Bleak House,'' was also sold to John B. Currie during this period. Alfred asks wistfully in one of his letters, "Is the Cedar Hedge at Bleak House still standing?" Alfred, born in 1845, writes colorfully of his earlier remembrances and of his later life in California in this collection.

CONTENT: This collection consists of personal letters and stories sent to friends and relatives by C. A. Beardsley. They contain genealogical information as well as discourse on historical events.