Doris Calder Oral History

The Collection

The Doris Calder Oral History fond contains records of interviews that Doris Calder conducted with Kingston Peninsula residents. These interviews document oral histories of the region and provide the research material for her book All Our Born Days: A Lively History of New Brunswick's Kingston Peninsula.

The records include audio recordings, Calder's original note cards, and transcripts of Calder's notes.

See a complete list of interviewees at the bottom of this page, and make an appointment with the archive to listen to the tapes!

All Our Born Days
Percheron Press, 1984

From the back cover:

"Doris Calder is a lifelong resident of the Kingston peninsula. Born at Grey's Mills, she attended the one-room school at Long Reach for eight years, and graduated from Macdonald Consolidated School at Kingston in 1959. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Acadia University in 1963, sand a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of New Brunswick in 1964, she and her husband, John, lived for a year each in Toronto, Northern Ireland, and Botswana, before returning to her childhood home, where they and their three children have resided since.

Doris has a deep affection for the Kingston Peninsula and its people, and has long been interested in telling their story. In preparation for this book, she spent several years researching written material, interviewing older residents, and visiting sites that were important to the early settlers. The daughter of Gordon and Ethel Patterson, Doris' ancestors include: Edmund and Jane Price, who preceded the loyalists and farmed at Greenwich at the head of Long Reach; David and Sarah Pickett, who were with the first group of Kingston Loyalists; and Thomas and Ellen Patterson, who came from Ireland in 1841 and settled near Oak Point."

Biographical Note

Doris Ethel Calder (née Patterson) is a resident and historian of the Kingston Peninsula. She was born on November 3rd, 1941, and currently lives in the Patterson family home in Long Reach with her husband, John. Both her mother, Winnifred Ethel Crawford, and her father, George Gordon Patterson, are direct descendants of Loyalist settlers.

Calder is as an authority of local history with a natural gift for storytelling. This disposition can be traced back to her childhood, when she would tell stories to captivated peers in the woodshed behind her school. Much of the rest of her childhood was spent working and playing on the family farm.

After high-school, Calder left the Peninsula for a few years. She graduated from Acadia University in 1963 and received a B.Ed. at the University of New Brunswick the following year. In 1964, she married John Calder. The young couple then embarked on an adventure, hitch-hiking through Europe and Africa, where they worked and explored. When the grand tour came to an end, Doris and John settled in Long Reach, where they have remained ever since, serving as keen-eyed witnesses to patterns of life and their generational transformations.

In addition to being an oral historian, Calder is the author of All Our Born Days: A Lively History of New Brunswick’s Kingston Peninsula (Percheron, 1984). All Our Born Days is the definitive account of life on the Peninsula. This book stems from more than forty-five interviews conducted by Calder, documenting the memories of local residents.

A Fascinating Story

Doris Calder gave a wonderful presentation at our Saturday Speaker's series, sharing her knowledge of Grey's Mills.

Listen to one of the many stories she shared with us during the course of her presentation. This story involves the First World War, internment camps, a man on the run, and passing mention of a very well known Russian revolutionary.

This particular story demonstrates some of the ways that the history of the Peninsula intersects with the larger currents of world history.

Doris's presentation can be viewed in full at the Kingston Peninsula Heritage archive, at the John Fisher Memorial Museum. Please make an appointment with us to come see it!


The Doris Calder Oral History collection includes interviews with the following people:

  • Mary Catherine “Kay” (Hickey) Barlow

  • Gladys Vida Lucella (MacDougall) Bostwick

  • Myrtle Maria (Holder) Burnham

  • Edna Gertrude (Waddell) Cochrane & William Harvey Cochrane

  • Ida Harding (Marshall) Coffey

  • Maurice “Morris” Kingston Coffey

  • Robert Wesley “Bob” Cosman

  • Maisie Willington (Pitt) Currie, Lucie Melita (Pitt) Worden, & Eva Marjorie (Pitt) Miller

  • James Gordon “Jim” Edwards

  • Helen Augusta (Williams) Flewelling

  • Mildred Ellen (Gorham) Redmore & Zaidee Vivian (Gorham) Williams

  • Stanwood Brittain “Stan” Gorham & Blanche Marion (Long) Gorham

  • Hartley Emerson McAlary

  • Gladys Marjorie (Henderson) Titus & James "Gordon" Henderson

  • Louise Everett (Peters) Holder

  • Dr. Albert Theodore Leatherbarrow

  • Joseph Leonard Linton

  • John Frederick “Fred” Long

  • Russell E. McCleery

  • Ethel Muriel Meritt

  • Eva Marjorie (Pitt) Miller & Robert “Bob” Miller

  • Addie Helen Murphy

  • Charles Duffy Northrup, Melva Isabella (Moore) Roberts, & Lucy Louise (Paddock) McPherson

  • Barbara Helena Northrup & Marguerite Agnes (Northrup) Watts

  • George "Gordon" Patterson

  • Ida May (Patterson) Wakeling

  • Ida May Patterson & Helen Louise (Patterson) Regan

  • Ella May (Pitt) Reed

  • Zetta Theresa Fern Rodgers

  • William Robert “Bill” Roper

  • Vera Florence May Rosetta (Carter) Shamper

  • Albert M. Sleep & Alice Elizabeth (Donnelly) Sleep

  • Claude Arthur Stewart & Agnes Gertrude (Gilliland) Stewart

  • Albert Willard Thompson

  • Lorne Kenneth Waddell & Doris Mabel (Hall) Waddell

  • James “Jim” Walton

  • Agnes Elizabeth (Miller) White & Marjorie H. (Dickson) Miller

  • Lena Mary Victoria (White) Linton & Agnes Elizabeth (Miller) White

  • Zaidee Vivian (Gorham) Williams

  • Robert Marshall Wood, George Thomas Frederick Wood, & Elmina Augusta “Gussie” Wood

  • Bessie (Holder) Crosby

  • Bruce Hansom Williams

  • Hazel May Puddington & William Ellis Puddington

  • Harold Hazen Kierstead & Ruby Winifred (Hunt) Kierstead