Mr. Allan MacRae's cane and picture was on display at the museum this past weekend for the annual Glengarry Wood Fair, and it was decided that his moustache is just too wonderful not to have him featured in a Moustache Monday post. Mr. Allan MacRae lived an intriguing life, earning some interesting nicknames such as Black Allan the Dogs, Allan Gorrach, Allan the Dog or Allan na Coin. He was even represented as a character (Allan Gorrach) in Ralph Connor's novel Glengarry School Days in 1902, as a wild eccentric who lived in a shack. Allan MacRae seems to have this mysterious air about him, represented in oral history as a homeless wanderer who travelled the countryside, finding lodging wherever the curiosity or charity of people allowed. He made wooden objects such as potato mashers and butter ladles, fixed chairs using elm trees, and also had the habit of disposing unwanted dogs by selling their hides or turning them into mitts. Less known, but equally as interesting, he apparently had a lovely singing voice in both English and Gaelic, was an exceptional storyteller and brought the news to the townspeople. At one point of his life, he actually did lived in a cabin in the woods- Lot 11 in the 19th Concession of Indian Lands near Maxville- which assisted the portrayal of him in Glengarry School Days.
No matter this man's history, he had wonderful facial hair and a grim stare which earned him a spot on our Moustache Monday post. The museum has collected a few of his things, including the cane shown in this photo, and some chairs that he is believed to have fixed. At your next visit to the museum, be sure to ask the staff about this interesting man, and to point out of these historical chairs!