Win­ter catches in­fra­struc­ture see Sawyerville Leg­end comes to life

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion Vic­to­ria Vanier and Jacqueline Ht­man, Sawyerville

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 info@eaton­ 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.eaton­

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,

Austin Bai­ley

Pho­tos cour­tesy

Carl Speck,

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