More Irma Bentley photos

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of35 Irma Bentley program 1983 (1)

These two photographs show just how important it is to catalog our old institutional photographs.  Awhile back I posted on Fun Fact Friday about our figurehead Irma Bentley, that we discovered was carved in the likeness of Mrs. Irma (Bentley) Murray as a young girl.  More can be read about that here.  Our wonderful volunteer, Melissa, has since finished cataloging the photographs, and as I was thumbing though them I found a folder marked “Irma Bentley Program”.  Apparently, when Irma visited the museum in 1983, she talked to a group of students about shipbuilding and figureheads, as pictured in the first image.  The second image shows Irma with her great-granddaughter.

It is a blast going through these old photographs!

Fun Fact Friday – Irma Bentley

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Back in 1935, the museum purchased a lot of figureheads, including a three quarter length figure of a girl with a carved knotted rope around her waist.  Like the other figureheads, her story was unknown until a chance visitor happened upon her in the late 1930’s.

Upon visiting our museum, Mrs. H.L. Shaw recognized this figurehead as one that had been on a ship built in 1908 by her father, George Edward Bentley, of Port Greville, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.  The ship was named Irma Bentley after George’s daughter who was a welcome companion on sailing trips as she did not get sea sick.  The figurehead was carved by an Alfred Nichols and was modeled after young Irma.   Read more