Keshen Goodman family photographs

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Keshen Goodman family photographs

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  • Graphic material

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CR 19

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  • [191?-198?] (Creation)

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Physical description

ca. 50 photographs: b&w; col.

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Biographical history

On her death in 1992, Marion Keshen bequeathed her estate to the Halifax Regional Library to construct the Keshen-Goodman Library. The family had earlier, in 1962, donated funds to build an auditorium for the Dalhousie Arts Centre - the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. This philanthropy was based on the wealth accumulated by the Moses Cohn and Louis Keshen families. Louis ran a small business in Halifax, then invested in bonds and in Halifax real estate.

Louis and Fannie (Kitz) Keshen immigrated to Halifax from Poland, via the United States ca. 1904. Fannie's sister Rebecca and her husband Moses Cohn joined them in 1906; both families lived on Brunswick Street. While first living in the U.S., the Keshen had spent summers on St. Margaret's Bay, and later had a cottage near Chester. The Keshens had four children; Helen, who married lawyer Samuel Brody Goodman; Dr. Saul Keshen, physician; Louise; and Marion, born in 1913. After Fannie's death in 1935, Louis and youngest daughter Marion, along with Helen and her husband moved to 80 Oakland Rd., where Marion lived until her death in 1992. Helen died in childbirth in 1936. Louise returned to Halifax, after a failed marriage to Joe? in Cincinnati, Ohio, to help Marion keep house for their father and brother-in-law.Marion and Louise volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross Corps, serving in the Overseas Detachment during World War II. Marion also volunteered with the Izaak Waton Children' Hospital Auxiliary. The family were all active members of the Brightwood Golf Club in Dartmouth.

Rebecca Cohn died in 1942, instructing that her estate be held for twenty years before being distributed to charities. Marion, Louise and Sam Goodman were the trustees who made the important $500,000 gift to Dalhousie for the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium, as well as gifts to St. Mary's University, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Guides of Nova Scotia. Having never married, Marion was the last of the Keshen Goodman family, and so on her death in 1992, her $2.75 million estate was bequeathed to the Halifax Regional Library to be used for a new library named after the Keshen Goodman family. Marion had been an avid library patron at the Spring Garden Road Memorial Library, and her close friend and neighbour Margaret Martin was a librarian there, so many expected the funds to go to a new central library. By 2000 the bequest had grown to $5.8 million, sufficient to build a new library to replace the old Thomas Raddall Library in Clayton Park. Public concern about the loss of the old library's name was appeased by the naming of Thomas Raddall Drive, and the Thomas Raddall Room within the Keshen Goodman Library.

Custodial history

After Marion's death, the family photographs were passed on to their closest remaining relations, second cousin John Kitz, who donated them to HRM Archives in 2008.

Scope and content

Collection consists of photographs collected by the Keshen-Goodman family. Photographs show the family, friends and pets, the family's home on Oakland Rd., Halifax, their cottage on St. Margaret's Bay, golfing at Brightwood Golf Club, Louise and Marion's sojourn working with the Canadian Red Cross Society's Overseas Detachment during World War II, and family trips to Florida, Ontario and Europe. Some photographs are dated and identified by the family on the back, but most are not.

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Some photographs have been digitized and featured on a web exhibit about the Red Cross Overseas:

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