Once Upon a Time: “Captain Frank’s Courtship: Part Two”

To read Part One:  Click Here

Born in 1856, Frank Granville (Gonneville) was raised in Southampton. Widowed in 1894, he was left with three small boys to raise. He and his future wife, the widow, Marguerite Denomme Aubin, from St. Joseph, met only twice before they were married on January 7, 1897. Their courtship was recalled by Marguerite’s daughter, Anne, in a letter to her half-sister, Rita, a child of this second marriage.

Part Two:

The Southampton Homecoming

That Fall, my father came back to St. Joseph to get married. He first had to ask consent from my mother’s parents. Poor Father spoke such broken French, it must have been an awful task for him. Father brought his sister, Kate, to be the bridesmaid. Poor Aunt Josephine, how she sewed and sewed to make us all new clothes for the wedding.

After the wedding Joe Denomy drove us all to Hensall where we got the train for our new home. After an overnight stay in some town I have forgotten, we reached Southampton with our baggage and trunks. Big doings at our new home (which later became the Bluewater Inn on the lakeshore.) Uncle Bill made quite a display of Captain Granville arriving with a new bride. He hired a team of frisky white horses to pull our double sleigh. Father’s parents were there to welcome us. They had been keeping house for him after his wife died. They soon moved back to their own little house in back of ours.

Relatives and friends, mostly Scottish fishermen, arranged a big dance for that night. Mostly all square dances of course, but also some fox trot and waltzes. I loved meeting the boys, Louie, Frank and Fred. We got up next morning and made breakfast from father’s big barrel of oatmeal and barrel of sugar in the storeroom. Mother and I soon got on with the work, washing clothes by hand. It wasn’t long before we got into the routines of a new family. Father was a darling step-father to me. Mother and I soon loved the boys.

Well Dear, I guess this is all. It is cold, cold. Windows are frosted. I love the new cashmere cardigan. It is beautiful. Thanks ever so much, Rita.

I hope you have enjoyed this trip “Down my memory lane.” Write soon,


By Patsy Lou Wilson McArthur ( a descendent) was first written for the Bruce County Historical Society’s 1999 Yearbook and adapted by Bob Johnston.