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100-year-old picture of Belleville settler family received at food bank returned

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Early photograph of one of Belleville's settler families returned – Jun 18, 2018

Belleville resident Lois Foster was surprised when she read in the local newspaper about a 100-year-old photograph at the Gleaners Food Bank, and the director of operations was looking for the owner.

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Foster’s husband, Paul, is a direct descendant of the people in the photograph.

The picture was taken in front of an elaborate house and features Daniel Foster, the son of Shubael Foster, one of the early settlers in the Belleville area.

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Foster says Shubael arrived over 200 years ago.

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“Shubael Foster had come to Belleville, or come to Canada, in 1811 from Martha’s Vineyard,” Foster said. “He and a friend walked from there.”

Susanne Quinlan is the Gleaners Food Bank’s director of operations, and says she spotted it in some donated goods for an upcoming yard sale.

“This beautiful historical picture was in that and people were just putting it on skids and [I thought] ‘whoa, whoa, we need to look at that,’ Quinlan said.

However, Quinlan says that whomever brought the picture in is a mystery. There was nothing identifiable in the goods donated with the picture.

“It had a bunch of curlers in it,” Quinlan said. “We know it must have been from an older lady, and the other thing is we know the lady was a smoker because when we cleaned it, it was quite yellow.”

Foster is a researcher at the historical society in Belleville and will take the picture there. She also plans to make copies of the photograph.

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“We’ll make copies for my kids and I’ll have copies made.”

Daniel Foster and his brother W.A. Foster were prominent businessmen who owned and operated a brickyard in the area.

W.A. Foster was also Belleville’s mayor from 1875 to 1877.