Beginning every Monday afternoon from March 2 – May 25th 2015, CKWS TV in Kingston will be broadcasting The History Moments series – short video vignettes on local history themes.
Over the next 13 weeks, excerpts from the five series produced by History Lives Here Inc. will showcase popular history stories on early settlement, founding industries, prominent people and significant events, which have shaped the history of Eastern Ontario. The series airs on ‘Ws Daily, the station’s current affairs show which airs weekdays from 5 – 6 pm.
The series kicked off on Monday, March 2 with an interview with series producer Peter Lockyer discussing the project, plans for a new series scheduled to be launched this fall in Kingston, and his introduction of a segment on the Fox Sisters of Prince Edward County, two teenagers who are credited with founding the American Spiritualist movement in the 1840s. Katie and Maggie Fox claimed they could communicate with the after life through a series of knocking sounds they interpreted. The idea didn’t seem so preposterous in an age when American inventor Samuel Morse had demonstrated how a series of telegraph clicks could be communicated across vast distances and translated into messages. And in an era when so many families were suffering the loss of wives in childbirth, and children from a wide variety of diseases for which there were not yet any cures, the Fox Sisters provided hope to a grieving nation. The girls became an instant sensation making $150/night conducting demonstrations of their abilities in lecture halls across the country. In reality, the Fox Sisters were frauds able to make their knocking sounds by snapping their toes on hardwood floors. Yet they were also gifted clairvoyants who told skeptics and families things about their loved ones they could not possibly have known by tricks alone. Today, Maggie and Katie Fox remain two of the greatest historical figures from the rich past of Prince Edward County.