The Dowdall House – Fowler’s Corners

Half House Fowlers Corners

Cynthia arrived in Halifax on June 14, 1946.  She then travelled by train to Belleville, Ontario.  John and his brother Gordon picked Cynthia up at the train station.  After an overnight stop at Gordon and Thelma’s, they headed to Sudbury to visit with relatives.  A party was thrown for the newlyweds that lasted until dawn.

Originally they were going to live in Sudbury, but Gordon convinced John and his other brother Marmaduke that they should come to Peterborough.  He said there was good farmland, (Marmaduke wanted to farm), and there were jobs at the Canadian General Electric company.

John and Cynthia lived with Gordon and Thelma on Stormont Street.  John got a job at the GE.

On August 7, 1946, they purchased an acre of land on the Peterborough-Lakefield Highway, 5 miles from Peterborough.  The price was $250.00. Then they decided to sell it.  At some point they moved in with “Duke” and Marie on the farm at Orange Corners.

They purchased the land at Fowler’s Corners from Bill Burgomaster (actually his mother owned the farm).  John was able to get a loan from the VLA (Veterans Land Association), because he had served with the Royal Canadian Ordnance Corps., and they began work on the house.


At first they built half of the house.  Cynthia thought that the wind would knock it over, so John attached guy wires to hold it down.

Cynthia’s Diary – June 16 – 29, 1946


16 Sunday

Awoke about 5 a.m. to children crying.  Watched scenery.  Went to sleep.  Had corn flakes, bacon and egg and toast.  Got off at Cambletown for walk.  Also at Mont Joli.  Bought cokes from super café.  Took photos.  Had salad, ice cream for dinner etc.  Went to sleep.

17 Monday

Johnny’s and my second Wedding Anniversary.  Arrived Belleville 5 a.m.  Johnny and Gordon waiting for me.  70 miles in car.  Had flat tire.  Another couple came with us.  Met Thelma and children.  Drove to town.

18 Tuesday

Johnny gave me anniversary presents of stockings, and Red Chenille house coat.  Bought me slacks, dress, etc.  Drove 310 miles to Sudbury.  Had drinks etc. on way.

19 Wednesday

Pamela’s 18th Birthday.  Met Duke, Marie, Ma and Pa Jenkins, Rae, Paul, Ellen, Phil etc.  Had a party ‘till 6 o’clock in morning for me.  Met dozens of people.  Did square dances to orchestra.

20 Thursday

Had table full of presents.  Beer, wine.  Wonderful food, chicken also Wedding cake.  Went to Phil and Ellen’s to supper.  Went drive round Sudbury.

21 Friday

Bought me pickled egg.  Put sugar on by mistake.  Couldn’t eat it.  They laughed.  Had Hen party shower for me  Lots more presents.  Also wine.  Played bingo won 4 times.  Went to Ma Jenkin’s for supper.

22 Saturday

Drove to Lake Penage.  Mr. and Mrs. Whithead’s Lodge.  Mad at John for going on Lake for 2 ½ hours with girls.  Saw house where Dionne Quints born.  Also lovely house they now live in.

23 Sunday

Drove back from Sudbury.  Could not carry my presents.  Just clock off Jenkins.  Had to leave bouquet behind.  Stopped at Callendar.  Met more Dowdalls including Johnny’s half brother.  Had drink in their café.  I was sick on way.  Had flat tire.

24 Monday

Johnny started work again.

25 Tuesday

Insurance man came.  Johnny bought insurance.  Paid $56 first payment.  Drove down town for lime drink.  Bought fish and chips.

26 Wednesday

Drove to canal.  Johnny swam.  I paddled.  Had ice cream.  Also hamburger.  The weather is boiling.

27 Thursday

Had letter from Mummy and Phyllis.  Wrote letters.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m in Canada.  Johnny worked ‘till 11 o’clock on car.  Top fell on his arm.

28 Friday

Rode down got bread with Thelma, Johnny.  Gave me $2 to do some shopping.  Bought pound cherries.

29 Saturday

All went to town to do shopping.  Bought Wendy dress.

Cynthia’s Diary – June 2 – 15, 1946


June, 1946

2 Sunday

Mummy had letter from Johnny.  Had present off Auntie Elsie Also off Mrs. Batchelor.  Went for papers.  A shortage of cigarettes in Cranleigh.  Did not go out.  Mrs. Ward came.

3 Monday

Had new instructions from Wives Bureau.  I leave Friday. And am now sailing on the Queen Mary.  Daddy went back.  I phoned Phyllis.

4 Tuesday

Went to Ewhurst to dancing class with Mummy and Wendy.  It was raining.  Glad to get home.

5 Wednesday

Did not go out.  Pamela and Mummy stayed home again.  Did sewing etc. Also ironing.  Daddy is meeting us in London on Friday.

6 Thursday

Did shopping.  Had tea at Hibbs with Mummy and Wendy.  Went fixed money at Bank.

Went to show.  Saw Son of Lassie.

7 Friday

Taxi called 12:30.  Caught 12:49 train to Guildford.  Caught 1:20 train Waterloo. Packed.  Stood all the way.  Met Daddy.  Phyllis.  She gave me present.  Had cup tea. Then had another at caf. Kissed them goodbye 4:30.  All cried.  Dozens children.

8 Saturday

Had coffee in caf.  Watched Victory Parade from Balcony.  Saw King, Queen and Princesses also Prime Minister and Winston Churchill.  Phoned Mummy had Whelks.  Wrote to Mummy and family.

9 Sunday

Went to tea with Phyllis.  Met her sister, brother etc.  Wrote to Mummy.  Phoned Mummy.  Left Hostel 10 o’clock.  Left Waterloo at 12. Arrived Southampton 1:30.  Gee the Queen Mary’s a big ship.  Wonderful food.  Had bath.

10 Monday

Saw film “Diamond Horseshoe”, Betty Grable, Dick Hayes.  Phoned Mummy in morning.  And afternoon, evening.  Said Goodbye to them all.  Had telegram from them.  Had bath.

11 Tuesday

Queen Mary left Southampton 9:30 a.m.  Took photo of coast and ship Nelson.  Went to show saw Rex Harrison in “Blyth Spirit”.  Had bath.  Did shopping.  Bought jumper, brassiere, etc.QMCynthia_0003

12 Wednesday

Was sea-sick, also the others.  Forced myself to eat.  Got cigarettes.  Also souvenirs.  Sat on deck and in lounge.  Had coke, apples, etc.

13 Thursday

Had hair shampooed and set in Beauty Salon.  The Right Honourable Mackenzie King who is on the boat, gave a speech!

MackenzieKing QMCynthia


14 FridayAutographMK

15 Saturday

Docked at Halifax in morning about 11 o’clock.  Went through immigration. Changed money.  Sent cables.  Spoke several times to Mackenzie King.  Took his photo.

A page from Cynthia’s autograph book

Cynthia’s Diary – February 10 – 23, 1946


10 Sunday

Maurie came again.  Johnny and I went to Stockland Hotel in evening.  Malcolm wouldn’t come.

11 Monday

Auntie Elsie came into town with us.  Had ice in Lewis.  She went to see old ladies.  We went to see Daddy and Auntie Sis etc.  Then went to show.  Saw “A Thousand and One Nights” at Gaumont.  Had supper and went home after having drinks.

12 Tuesday

Tried to book seats at Hippodrome to see Hot Ice, impossible.  Elsie gave us £1.  Had tea Gaumont, then drinks then went to Stockland for more drinks.

13 WednesdayGaumont Theatre Birmingham

Got up early and caught 9 o’clock train.  Floods had subsided.  Got into London early.  Had drinks in Bear and Staff.  Lots of stage and screen people in there.

14 Thursday

Went to Leicester Square Theatre.  Saw George Brent in The Spiral Staircase.  Had lunch etc.  Got train 5:30 to Guildford.  Had drinks and supper.  Went to Onslow, then to show.  Saw Humphrey Bogart in Conflict.  I was sick.

15 Friday

Went to show.  It’s nice having Johnny around the house.  Hand still in bandage.

16 Saturday

Did not go to dance.  Had drink at 3 Horseshoes.  No fish and chips.

17 Sunday

Did not go to show as I’d seen one of the films.  Johnny took photo of me in the Garden.  Left on last bus.

18 Monday

Johnny came round, brought Ace.  Elaine came too.  Had supper then, curse it, he had to go back to camp, as he has to go up to the Hospital early about hand.

19 Tuesday

Went to Ewhurst with Wendy to watch her dancing.  While I was out, Johnny phoned, the poor darling’s hand is broken, so he has to go to the hospital and probably won’t get down for a few days, Oh! Gosh!  I feel like crying.  Gee, I miss him terribly and love him so very much.  Went shopping.  Had headache.  Edna phoned.  Coming 2nd March.  Ace phoned.  Coming Saturday.

20 Wednesday

Johnny phoned.  Promised I’d go and see him tomorrow.  Mummy and Pamela found out about the baby.

22 Friday

Went to Guildford 12 o’clock.  Had cup tea, caught 1:15 bus to Bramshott Hospital.  At last found Johnny.  Film on Weekend at Waldorf.  Felt faint.  Johnny got me water.  Had super there.  Got home 8 o’clock.

23 Saturday s.r.7.0, s.s.5.28

Johnny got here 2 o’clock.  Had dinner.  Went to show saw Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.  Caught 9:30 bus home.  Ace didn’t come!



Cynthia’s Diary – February 24 – March 9, 1946


24 Sunday

Went got papers.  Went to White Heart and had drink with Johnny.  Wore his hospital blue trousers.  Darling Johnny had to leave 6-50.  Oh gosh!  It was wonderful to have him for a few hours.

25 Monday

26 Tuesday

27 Wednesday

28 Thursday

Johnny has a few days leave till Sunday.  Went to show.

1 March Fri

Johnny came.  Went met Edna in Guildford.  Cecil came in the evening.  Edna’s nice.

2 Sat

Cecil had to go to camp.  We got up to see him off.  Went had drinks in the evening.

3 Sun

Stayed in bed till late.  Boys went and had drink.  Went to White Heart in the evening.

4 Mon

Went to White Heart again.  Got quite merry.  Bought some chips.

5 Tues

Went to doctor Kettlewells.  Edna came with me.  Examined me, but could not tell much.   Have to go to the hospital Thursday.  Met Johnny and Cec in Onslow.

6 Wed

Went to Onslow again.  Cecil thinks he’ll leave Sunday.

7 Thur

Went to Hospital for Internal examination.  Verdict: I’m going to have a baby!! Of course we already knew, and so does everyone else.  Johnny for one couldn’t resist telling everyone weeks ago!!

8 Fri

Went to show.  Saw Hollywood Canteen.  Had ice-cream.  Sent form to Canadian Bureau.

9 Sat  s.r. 6:30,  s.s. 5:53

Cec left for Canada today.  Edna upset.  Johnny came.