Baptist Summer Homes Association at Victoria Beach
Baptist Summer Homes Illustrations
William J. Baxter was a member of the Baptist Summer Homes Association at Victoria Beach on the Lake Ontario waterfront just east of Colborne from 1928 to 1957. He bought property and built a cottage in the enclave designed to be a summer haven for primarily Baptist ministers but also Baptist congregants. For 30 years, Baxter recorded the minutes of the association’s annual and special meetings. The man was a tactful observer with a witty sense of humour. In the first years, he added artwork to embellish the minute book. The watercolours, illuminated letters and two cartoons (a Baptist bather and lantern), are delightful. When Baxter sold his property in 1957, he resigned from the association and as its secretary. The association lost a kindly, astute social historian. Mandy Martin
First book of minutes for the Baptist Summer Homes Association at Victoria Beach is initialled “WJB”.
First book of minutes for the Baptist Summer Homes Association at Victoria Beach is initialled “WJB”. Details
The illuminated title page of the first book of minutes for the Baptist Summer Homes Association at Victoria Beach is initialled “WJB”. William J. Baxter was secretary of the association from 1929 to 1957. He included several illustrations in his minute book, primarily in the early years, most directly to the page. There are gaps elsewhere in the minutes which hint at there having been illustrations inserted to the page, but now gone.
Pen and ink cartoon probably done by William J. Baxter, August 24, 1929
Pen and ink cartoon probably done by William J. Baxter, August 24, 1929 Details
A pen and ink cartoon is inserted in the minutes of the August 24, 1929 minutes of the Baptist Summer Homes Association at Victoria Beach, Colborne, Ontario. The minutes note, "President Elliott reminded members of one of our unwritten laws. That bathing suits are for bathing in, but are insufficient apparel for parading. The committee on rules was appealed to to compel the wearing of bath robes." The sketch was probably done by William J. Baxter, the secretary of the association who, in the early minutes, inserted two sketches, several watercolour scenes and an embellished calligraphy cover (which he initialed) for the first of two books of minutes.
Watercolour attributed to secretary William J. Baxter, August 1929
Watercolour attributed to secretary William J. Baxter, August 1929 Details
The pastoral calm of the watercolour painting, attributed to secretary William J. Baxter, opens the August 1929 minutes of the Baptist Summer Homes Association meeting. It is juxtaposed by an understated report: "Mr. Coles expressed regret that the tenants of his cottage were undesirable and assured us that such people would not be admitted again."
Pen and watercolour sketch of a lantern, attributed to secretary William J. Baxter, illustrates the August 25, 1930 minutes.
Pen and watercolour sketch of a lantern, attributed to secretary William J. Baxter, illustrates the August 25, 1930 minutes. Details
A dainty pen and watercolour sketch of a lantern, attributed to secretary William J. Baxter, illustrates the August 25, 1930 minutes of a Baptist Summer Homes Association meeting. Poor quality of milk and ice and watchman duties were discussed at the meeting.
A watercolour of Victoria Beach at night, probably by Baptist Homes Association secretary William J. Baxter,  August 8, 1930 minutes.
A watercolour of Victoria Beach at night, probably by Baptist Homes Association secretary William J. Baxter, August 8, 1930 minutes. Details
A watercolour painting of Victoria Beach at night, probably by Baptist Homes Association secretary William J. Baxter, opens the August 8, 1930 minutes of the annual association meeting. “Tonight was dark and stormy,” Baxter begins.
An illuminated "A" opens the minutes of the August 1945 Baptist Summer Homes association at Victoria Beach, Colborne.
An illuminated "A" opens the minutes of the August 1945 Baptist Summer Homes association at Victoria Beach, Colborne. Details
An illuminated "A" opens the minutes of the August 1945 Baptist Summer Homes association at Victoria Beach, Colborne. Note the sandy beach and, looking east on the horizon, the buildings of a quarry operation. This is the last illustration, probably done by secretary William J. Baxter, which appear in the association's minute books from 1927-1993.
Victoria Beach, Colborne.
Victoria Beach, Colborne. Details
A wave crashes ashore at Victoria Beach is this 1928 watercolour painted directly onto the page of minutes from the Baptist Summer Homes Association, attributed to secretary William J. Baxter. Is it a subtle allegory? Purchasers of cottage lots were instructed to pay up of forfeit ownership.
Blank, Colborne.
Blank, Colborne. Details
All the images for the Baptist entry are from the minute books which are in the Archives ownership/possession.
The ragged-left typing of the August 1932 Baptist Summer Homes Association minutes hints at a missing illustration. The "hilarious confusion" described at the annual meeting would have appealed to the artistic comments of secretary William J. Baxter.
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