A Better Home

Published February 2, 2021 by A.J.B. Johnston

Like a lot of people during the pandemic, I’ve been getting rid of some stuff. Most is not worth talking about, but this 19th-century pewter mug (with a glass bottom) is different.

I was sent it many years ago by someone in Ontario whose name I no longer recall. At the time, I was living in Cape Breton and working at the Fortress of Louisbourg. The gentleman in question somehow came across my name and obtained my phone number. Maybe he had visited the Fortress and heard me give a talk? Or someone recommended me to him?

In any case, he told me on the phone that he wanted the mug to return to Nova Scotia (from whence it had come). Had he inherited it? Purchased it? If he told me 25 years ago, I no longer remember those details. What I do know for sure is that he said the mug belonged to one George J. Drillio who was a contemporary and friend of the renowned 19th-century politician Joseph Howe. Wanting to see it back in NS, the gentleman asked if I would accept it. I said I would, and not long after the mug arrived in the mail.

For the next 25 years it was on shelves, first in Sydney and then in Halifax.

Yesterday, following an exchange of emails, I handed the mug over to Lisa Bowers of the Nova Scotia Museum. Lisa said that the NSM collection did not have anything of that kind in their collection and that Drillio had been a Halifax alderman back in the 1800s.So, I handed the glass-bottomed, inscribed pewter mug over to Lisa and signed the necessary form.

So, now the NSM has the mug, which is a much better place for it than any shelf of mine.

No Response to “A Better Home”

Comments are closed.