Secretary Desk

This oak secretary desk was owned by my great-grandparents, Wilfred and Eva Beaudry. Eva was born in New Hampshire to Quebecois parents in 1897, and Wilfred was born in Quebec in 1892, arriving in New England in 1903. Their son, my grandfather, was born in 1921 and always remembered this desk being in their house. They raised their children in Thompson, Connecticut, which was once a hub of textile mills and Quebecois immigrants, who worked in the mills. Wilfred was a “fixer” for the textile mills, in that he was a mechanic for the equipment.  During the Great Depression, Eva kept her canned goods on the desk, hidden behind a calico curtain on a brass rod over the bottom shelves. The desk would have been a significant feature in their home, and also likely a source of stress during the most difficult time of their lives. It’s where Eva and Wilfred kept their food and would have sat to pay bills during the Depression. Despite hardships that they faced, they worked with other immigrants in the mills to provide for their children. The desk is still a fixture in the home that I grew up in. My mother acquired it in the 1970s and had it restored, finding a newspaper clipping from 1901 behind the mirror, making it likely that the desk was acquired in Quebec and brought with Wilfred. When I move to a more permanent location, I will be the next to inherit the desk.

Place(s): Canada,Quebec,New Hampshire,Connecticut
Year: 1903

– RD

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more