Prince Edward County’s Newspaper of Record
May 16, 2024
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February 24, 2022

Pasternak shares tales of Minerva Friday

<p>(Jed Tallo/Gazette Staff)</p>
(Jed Tallo/Gazette Staff)

The County of Prince Edward Archives are always looking for ways to bring history to life.

As part of achieving this goal, the Archives is a Founding member of Flashback February, an annual series of talks and workshops. This year, in partnership with the Prince Edward County museums, the Archives will host two sessions.

On February 25 Suzanne Pasternak will share her book, “Minerva”. Minerva McCrimmon was the seventeen year old ship’s cook and the Captain’s daughter on the 125 foot barley schooner The Davide Andrews. The ship was difficult to handle and no man could make her steer a straight wake, but the teenager Minerva could. In 1882 Minerva rescued the crew of her ship when it wrecked off the shores of Oswego, N.Y. She died shortly after at the age of 21 and is buried in the little cemetery in South Bay.

For thirty one years legendary County heroine Minerva McCrimmon’s life story was told on stages in a folk opera written and composed by Suzanne Pasternak and Tom Leighton. After years of performances and undergoing development at Mirvish Productions, Suzanne and Tom decided to bring her incredible story home to the County and make a permanent record of her life by writing a book about her.An illustrator from Toronto has joined Tom and Suzanne to develop the manuscript for the new book.

Deeply researched for three decades, the story paints an historically rich portrait of the marine culture of South Bay and Long Point. The 1990 version of the book, entitled Minerva, and illustrated by Tammy Love, is available at the library.

On February 27, Nancy Woods, longtime volunteer at Macaulay Heritage Park, will use the historic hearth at Macaulay House to demonstrate 19th century cooking methods – specifically those using cast iron cookware. For tickets for these two events, visit

The Archives are also founding members of the Ameliasburgh Heritage Hub, a group that includes the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Centre, History Lives Here Inc, the Quinte Educational Museum and more. As a fundraiser for the Heritage Hub, Sprague Foods is launching a series of historic labels for their canned goods. A portion of the proceeds from these sales will support the Heritage Hub.

“The canning industry was key to the growth of Prince Edward County,” explained Archivist Krista Richardson, “and these beautiful heritage labels remind us of that important element of our past.” If you are interested in learning more about the Archives or would like to make an appointment to research any element of Prince Edward County History, call Archivist Krista Richardson at (613) 399-2023.

-Liz Zylstra

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