Treasuring History - In Memory of the Blayneys

On exhibit September 20 to December 24, 2017.

Fred Blayney (1919-2017) and Dora Mae Nixon (1927-2015) married in 1953 and purchased a pharmacy in the City of Waterloo. Together, they enjoyed visiting museums and developed a love for antiques.

According to Fred, "finding two coverlets woven by an ancestor really sparked our interest in Canadian textiles. This ancestor, Great, Great Grandfather James Blayney, came to America in 1784. He was a teacher by profession, a weaver of textiles, a tanner and later a farmer. He taught school in Newark, Upper Canada [Niagara-on-the-Lake] in 1797. He and his family moved to Charlotteville Township, Norfolk County in 1816 where he continued weaving all types of textiles until his death in 1849."

The Blayneys were among the first to begin collecting Ontario-made furniture, glass, metals, textiles, and paintings. They attended auctions and antique shows, collecting items that reflected their eclectic tastes and wide-reaching interests.

Schneider Haus National Historic Site is grateful to Fred and Dora Mae for their foresight as collectors and for their generosity in donating to the museum throughout the years.

In total, the Blayneys donated over 120 artifacts to the Schneider Haus collection, including 15 jacquard coverlets that were certified by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board as a national treasure in 1994. Our exhibit, Treasuring History, highlights a sampling of those coverlets.