Mary Cecilia Shepherd

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Mary Cecilia Shepherd, Cecil as she was called, was born to Dr. Frank Shepherd and his wife Lilias Torrance in 1881. She was named after her grandmother, Mary Cecilia Delesderniers Shepherd.

Cecil (pronounced Sissal) had an older brother Ernest, and a younger sister Dorothy. The family lived in Montreal during the winter months where their father was a renowned surgeon, a McGill professor, and the Dean of Medicine. The children also attended school there. 

In the summers, the children enjoyed the delights of the Como shoreline with their many cousins from neighbouring houses... building hideaways with driftwood and even making a stone fireplace (quite against orders), where potatoes could be roasted! Nothing tasted more delicious than those potatoes with their smoky flavour, eaten beside the lapping water, away from disapproving eyes!

As the daily steamboat approached the Como Wharf, the children would row out and feel the swell of the wake under their skiff. Tugs with their barges loaded with logs and lumber might appear around Parson's Point (today it's known as Quarry Point). Sometimes on the foremost barge, there was a small cabin with washing hanging a line, a child or two and sometimes a dog and a smiling woman who waved to them.

Sadly Cecil's mother died in 1892 when Cecil was only eleven years old.

In 1909, Cecil married Percy Nobbs, a Scot who was Dean of Architecture at McGill.

By the 1920's Cecil and Percy with their two children, Phoebe and Frank, were summering in Como and renovating Greenwood. It was during these years, with Percy's guidance, the Greenwood garden that we know today began to develop.

Cecil summered at Greenwood until her death in 1971.

(Submitted by Eleanor Abbey. Eleanor is a great-granddaughter of R. W. and Mary Cecilia Shepherd and sister of the Late Marg Peyton.) 

Return to Greenwood home page. 

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