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Welcome to my website. I’m a retired educator who lives in Perth, ON, with my wife Zeta. For most of my life I have been a collector, everything from old signs to tin toys. These days I collect bits and pieces of what I call “little history.” Glimpses of the past discovered in the everyday lives of ordinary people - service station operators, hardware store owners, factory workers and mailmen. It’s not the stuff of which legends are made, but I believe it’s the stuff of which history is made. John McKenty

  With my good friend George James (left) at our favourite coffee shop. George is the grandson
of the founder of James Brothers Hardware in Perth, ON, and the one who encouraged
(enticed) me to write a book about Christie Lake. (Photo courtesy of Donna Walsh) 



"Too often we're mesmerized by the comings and goings of so-called 'celebities.' The genius of John McKenty is to help us see how our local citizens make our lives not just interesting, but more meaningful...." 

The Probian, October 2012


Square - Deal - GarageSquare Deal Garage: Sixty Years of Service to the Motoring Public follows the early days of the motor car in Perth and the stories of those who sold and serviced it. A trip down the streets of Perth's colourful past, one meets a host of characters, including the one-armed mechanic who kept a bear tied up behind his garage. "Readers will find a wealth of information on an era and institution that is all but missing from today's motoring landscape." Ian Gray, Perth Courier 
Out of print

To many, George and Lawrence James were just smalltown store owners. Few were aware that, from behind their hardware counter, the unassuming brothers ran a mercantile empire that included a machine shop, a foundry, a Chev dealership, a Ford dealership, a couple of repair garages, a fuel oil business, various woodlots, a snow fence factory and a billboard service, not to mention the local arena. Follow the Crowd: The James Boys of Perth is their story.
Out of print  

During the early years of the 20th century, small  towns competed to have large factories locate within their boundaries. Perth was no exception. In 1910, it gave the Winn family of Milton, ON, $20,000 to bring their shoe factory to Perth. A year later, when it was found that the Winns were "financially embarrassed" and looking to have taxpayers bail them out, all hell broke loose. The ensuing mayhem forced Perth's leading citizens to step forward and save an industry that was to be an intregal part of the Perth community for years to come.

Arden - Blackburn - Christie - LakeTheirs was a bond born in nature. United by water, the early inhabitants on the north shore of Christie Lake were drawn into a community that came to transcend politics, religion and sometimes even family. Arden Blackburn’s Mail Route: The Early Days at Christie Lake follows Arden as he uses his mail route to weave a thread through the lake's unlikely mix of permanent residents and summer vacationers. Located 15 kilometres southwest of Perth, ON, Christie Lake is the third largest lake in what is known as the Tay Watershed. 



 Shipping Costs:

 1 book $8.00
2 books  $12.00
3 books  $14.00

 To order by mail:

Send a cheque or money order for the cost of the book(s) + shipping to:

John McKenty
166 Evans Road
RR 5 Perth, ON
K7H 3C7


(613) 267-7319 or john.mckenty@sympatico.ca


Hank Williams 1923 - 1953

2010 Pulitzer Prize

In April 2010 the Pulitizer Board of Columbia University awarded Hank Williams a posthumous Special Citation. In so doing, it acknowledged “the lasting impact of Williams as a creative force that influenced a wide range of other musicians and performers,” and, above all, lauded “his craftsmanship as a songwriter who expressed universal feelings with poignant simplicity…..”

"When I hear Hank sing all movement ceases. The slightest whisper seems sacriledge." - Bob Dylan (Chronicles Vol. One)  

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