There is a silver lining to the archives' closure March 18th. The archivist is happily addressing her backlog, arranging and describing collections that have been waiting for attention since moving into the Montebello Museum two years ago. One collection is a series of letters and autograph books that belonged to Margaret McEwen Jackson. Salmon Arm residents will know Margaret as a skilled nurse who worked the family farm in the Mt. Ida District by day and then showed up for her shifts at the hospital afterwards. Before her marriage to Bob Jackson and family, Margaret hailed from Grindrod.

Margaret’s own mother, Daisy, died when she was six. Her mother’s sister, Ivy, came out from England to help care for Margaret and her two brothers, Donald and Duncan. The widower George McEwen married Ivy Fathers, the spinster, in 1929. The children loved their new mom very much.

At some point Margaret was given her stepmother’s autograph book. It’s life started in 1911. Over time, Ivy Fathers’ friends painted and drew several miniature watercolours and ink drawings as autographs. We will never know the stories behind the miniature works of art, but they make a delightful study.