I suppose I really like this picture because it reminds me of summers spent on a nearby farm as a child. Although we only came to town on Saturday night to buy or barter farm produce for essentials, we used to ride our bikes to a cousin's house on the River Phillip in Riverview to swim and make model boats. This is the Black River, which runs along in back of the old center of business on Water Street in Oxford, a tributary to the River Phillip. Oxford was named such because it was were teams of oxen could cross the River Phillip.
The surrounding area was once almost entirely subsistance farming where people raised or hunted, fished or trapped almost everything they used. My grandparents lived with no refridgeration, hand waterpumps, outhouses and kerosine lights, farming with horse teams, into the 1950's. The work would change with the season, and would involve making Maple sugar, preserving foods, lumbering, trapping and selling fur pelts, and, if you were close to the water, maybe even lobster fishing. People were very skilled in many facets of life and seemed much more a part of the land they lived from. I don't think my grandfather could imagine himself apart from his 200 acre farm. I suppose this is what is referred to as "a sense of place". Certainly we are more free now, rather than being tied to our land, but it comes at the cost of feeling self sufficient and in tune with nature. The advent of corporate farming and the lure of higher paying work in the cities has resulted in many farms becoming overgrown and/or vacant. The areas near the beaches seem to be moving in the direction of becoming summer recreational properties.
Oxford Woolen Mills have ceased operating, but were once one of the largest businesses in the area,and used the river Phillip for power. In many parts of the world rivers and canals were used as a way to dispose of garbage and sewage, and I suppose that is why the buildings were located here.
The center of business has moved to the other end of town, closer to the Trans Canada Highway, so the park shown here was created when some old buildings were removed. Oxford is known as "The Wild Blueberry Capital of Canada", and now has two frozen food plants that process blueberries and other vegetables.
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robertosalguero (288) 2007-08-10 21:49
Yes Larry, pictures like this one usually bring back memories of our childhood. I envy children because their main worry is when to eat, play and sleep. Unlike adults who have harder worries. Nice and simple image with very interesting perspective of this place and moment. Thanks Larry.
lestans (17168) 2007-08-11 0:47
you must have had a good time coming here! It is a fantastic place for children.
I like this scene: the two kids near the water, and their bycicles far away.
There must have been a way to go to water, now closed, and the boys are just playing there.
I notice that you like to look at children playing from far away: you got also a good scene about children splashing in Tagliamento River .
pboehringer (770) 2007-08-11 18:40
Larry, your note matches very well with the image. Those kids having their adventures through out the land is still with the same approach as your describe it in your not 40-50 years ago, although I see a certain modernity with those bikes waiting in the background.
Thanks for all your image and thoughts,
bakes888 (18499) 2007-08-12 2:06
Hi Larry. The kids playing on the riverbank reminds me of my own childhood. Our place backed onto the Whanganui river, a bit different to this river but just as much fun for a kid. Great photo. I love the ripples on the water, I feel they bring the river to life. Well captured and thanks for sharing.
xuaxo (6846) 2007-08-12 13:55
Nice view of summertime; it seems like the English countryside. But I imagine it a hard place to live in snowy, icy winter.
Very interesting note.
edytungkal (4551) 2007-08-12 18:08
A very nice childhood scene with good details inside. Two little boys with their bicyles on the corner look nice, the colours and sharpness are very well. tfs
jusninasirun (17162) 2007-11-27 4:36
Beautiful summertime composition capturing the holiday mood. Love the contrasting colors and good DoF. Well done!
p/s: Thanks for the White Hibiscus comment.
- Copyright: Larry Carolan (lcarolan) (930)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-07-29
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D 70, Nikon Nikkor AF-S 18-70mm f3.5-4.5G ED-I
- Exposure: f/7.1, 1/30 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2007-08-10 7:22