McKenty Books Feature: Polly of Bridgewater Farm

Polly of Bridgewater Farm: An Unknown Irish Story was written by Catharine Fleming McKenty. Catharine is the granddaughter of four-time mayor of Toronto, R.J. Fleming; younger brother of Aunt “Polly” Noble Verner, who ran the Cabbagetown Store, in Toronto during the late 1800s.

This semi-fictional account of Polly’s early days follows her from her birth just outside Dromore, Ireland in 1837; her survival of the Big Wind of January 6th 1839; the Irish Potato Famine in the 1840s; and the May 14th 1847 crossing of the Atlantic; to the family’s arrival at Grosse-Île near Quebec. The Canadian portion of her journey takes her first to Montreal, and then to Toronto where she married a young tailor, John Verner. Together they set up their business, later described by John McAree in his book, Cabbagetown Store. 


This 240-page book, although fiction is based on actual historical events and people. There are 36-pages of colour, which include illustrations of scenes from the time, as well as family photographs. Original illustrations were created by Polish artists, Darek and Elzbieta Wieczorek.

This is a great book to teach about Irish and Canadian history and has interest to many because of the inherent and global theme of migration. This is an inspiring story of hope amidst despair.

To find out more about the book or to purchase a copy click here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: