Winter catches infrastructure see Sawyerville Legend comes to life
TheEaton Corner Museum is, once again, bringing local history to life with an original play: Beyond Belief written by Ann Rothfels and revised for the Sawyerville stage by Pamela Jouris. A fundraiser for the one-of-a-kind museum, the play features a cast of twenty local
volunteer actors and is sure to entertain people of all ages.
Bill McCallum, who became known as the “Glass Man” or “The Nailer” appeared in Sawyerville in 1921. He became a legend for his still unexplained ability to drive nails through glass without shattering it. With his impetuous personality and love for the drink, Bill was known to go on a tear through town, nailing bottles or light bulbs on every telephone pole along his way.
Examples of his remarkable ability still remain in the area.
“Working on this play is a community thing for me and a nice way to get to know your neighbours. Everyone on the cast is local, either from Sawyerville or the environs,” said Pamela Jouris, a Sawyerville resident of thirty-eight years who is making her directing debut with the play.
“The story of Bill McCallum is a local legend. I’d certainly heard about it and I’d read Freeman Clowery’s book, The Imps and Bill McCallum. I think you could stop anyone in town and they’d remember him. He died in 1947,” said Mrs. Jouris. Asked what intrigued her about the story, Pamela continued: “I liked the mystery of it, that no-one could explain it. He was scientifically studied by some people out of Montreal. They couldn’t disprove him. But was it a gift or a curse? That’s the philosophical question.”
“We have a cast of nineteen from all different walks of life. A nice blend of people from generations living here and imports like me,” said the director who hails originally from Parishville, New York.
The cast began rehearsing in the fall, then began really “hitting it” in January. “I just pay attention to what the people can do and then let them go. Some of the actors were in last year’s play, William Stone’s Leg. One of our cast members said we should change the name of Church Street to Broadway!”
“Putting on this play is a way to keep this story alive, otherwise it could pass into myth. The story is a mystery, but it’s not a myth,” concluded Mrs. Jouris.
There will be two performances on Saturday, February 21, 2015, at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, at the Sawyerville Community Centre. Tickets for the play are $10 (children $5) and are available through Pat Boychuck at 819-875-3182, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Refreshments will be available. Reserve early. Last year’s play sponsored by the Museum, William Stone’s Leg, was quickly sold out.
The Eaton Corner Museum has been preserving and sharing local history since 1959 through the exhibitions of its unique and interesting collections and archives, and through events and activities for the public. The Eaton Corner Museum is proud to present its new permanent exhibit, A Tale of the Townships, which tells the story of the early settlers to this part of the Eastern Townships. Also open to the public for the first time this year is the historic Foss House, a fine example of colonial style architecture built in the 1830s, which will have temporary displays and a reception area.The Museum’s 2015 season opens on June 10th. For more information about the Museum, the opening hours, collections and exhibits, and the events and activities, visit the website at www.eatoncorner.ca
playing the part of the Bar Keeper, whom Bill McCallum knew well.
and in the roles of Bill McCallum’s parents. and in the roles of Charles McCallum, his wife Lottie, and Charles’ brother Bill McCallum.
Don Atkinson Pehleman
Denis Palmer, Ruth Kingsley,