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Eddy Echenberg Collection (C586)

1707-1992. - 155.25 cm of textual records. - 667 postcards. - 201 photographs.

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

Mr. Edwin "Eddy" Echenberg (1926-2014) is a retired Sherbrooke retail store owner, insurance salesman and avid collector. In 1950 he married Isabelle Boy, with whom he had one daughter, Cathy. He was the owner of his father's store, "Jack Echenberg and Sons" on Wellington Street in Sherbrooke where he worked from 1950 to 1967. After the store closed in 1967, he began a career with the Sun Life Insurance Co. where he continues to work today.

Mr. Echenberg's passion for collecting began in the early 1950s with a small set of coins and a few bank notes from the Eastern Township Bank. A decade later he sold his coin and bank note collection for $15,000, and a part of the collection found its way to the Bank of Canada Museum. His passion for collecting was rekindled in 1963 during a visit with his wife to Chicoutimi where he discovered antiques and antique shops. Two people who profoundly influenced his life were Father Léon Marcotte, archivist at the Sherbrooke Seminary Museum, and J. Douglas Ferguson of Stanstead, former president of the Canadian Manufacturing Association and an avid numismatist. In 2002, Mr. Echenberg donated a large part of his collection to the McCord Museum.

Scope and Content:

The items in the Echenberg collection are related to everyday life in Quebec's Eastern Townships. They consist of several thousand souvenirs and promotional objects respecting the region, especially the Sherbrooke and Lennoxville areas. They include invoices, letterheads and envelopes from local companies, personal correspondence, postcards and photographs, Christmas cards, financial documents, manifests, calendars, trading cards, catalogues, books and pamphlets. There is also a series of documents pertaining to the tobacco industry, including some on the W. R. Webster Company.

The photographs in the Echenberg collection, which are of a remarkably wide range, include many pictures by local photographers in towns such as Coaticook, Sherbrooke, Scotstown, Cowansville, Eastman, Granby and Waterloo. Some of the scenes depicted, such as the group of drinkers in Richmond and the man pointing a pistol in Sherbrooke, are much in demand by visiting researchers. Among the other subjects are a military camp in Farnham, a train wreck, a pseudo-cowboy, two delicately tinted views, and the construction of a church in Bury. The pictures cover the time period from 1860 to about 1950.

The fonds is divided into the following series:

  • A: W. R. Webster Company
  • B: Personal
  • C: Ledgers
  • D: Printed documents
  • E: Books and pamphlets
  • F: Photographs