Here we have the personal account of the misadventures that preceded the opening to the public of the Leacock home in 1958.
Forty years ago, in October 1954, a committee was formed, chaired by Pete McGarvey, to acquire and preserve Stephen Leacock’s summer home, known as The Old Brewery Bay. Four years later a golden key opened the front door of the home, allowing Leacock fans to pay homage to the humorist in a setting he had prized above every other. As the years have passed, appreciation of Leacock’s genius has grown and today the Leacock Museum is open year-round to visitors from all parts of the globe.
The Old Brewery Bay is a Leacockian yarn full of ironies, the greatest one being that the salvation of Leacock’s home was accomplished not by a national campaign involving governments, philanthropists, McGill alumni, and foundations (all of whom were approached in a spirit of urgency and all of whom backed away), but by a gang of naive and stubborn Orillians, using old-fashioned political moxie. Leacock would have loved that - his Mariposans showing the big sophisticated world how to get things done.