An Evening with Dorothy Thompson

Dorothy ThompsonOn May 23, the Kawartha Lakes Public Library hosted Dorothy Thompson, author of Threads From The Loom Of Time, as part of the Local Author Series. Chief Librarian Linda Kent introduced Thompson to a crowded, eager roomful. Thompson captivated the audience with passages read aloud from her book and photos of her ancestors.

Threads From The Loom Of Time is a fictionalized account of the life and times of Thompson’s ancestors. Her book could be considered part of a genre with the freshly-coined term “faction”, meaning fiction based on facts, for Thompson’s book is made up of the stories about her grandparents handed down through the generations.

Her story also covers a fair bit of history in Ontario. Ever heard of The Battle of Crysler’s Farm? When Thompson’s Casselman ancestors emigrated to Canada, they owned land along the St. Lawrence. They sold this land to a man named Crysler.

Another of Thompson’s ancestors was Elizabeth Ware, who Florence Nightingale helped get a job as a nurse, and who then went on to become the first woman to be named head of a hospital. At the age of 52 she married Richard Thorton and moved to Muskoka. She always envisioned the land they owned in Muskoka as vacation land. When she got too old to see that dream happen herself, she sold the land to a developer interested in creating a resort. You’ve perhaps heard of it: the Deerhurst Resort.

Then there was Thompson’s grandmother, Beatrice, who was stillborn, but her father, a brilliant man who was a doctor, a surgeon, a dentist and many, many other things, wouldn’t give up. Beatrice recovered miraculously, and with a gift of accurate premonitions and a startlingly near-perfect memory. In one such premonition, Beatrice saved her family from fire.

These were just a few of the interesting details about Dorothy Thompson’s family. There are many more stories like this in her book, Threads From The Loom Of Time. You can purchase the book at Kent Bookstore, or borrow it from the Kawartha Lakes Public Library.