Valley Carvers - Past and Present
School House Museum
Deep River, Ontario
Woodcarvings by Dave Trimble (1915 - 1997) of Beachburg Ontario
1Dave Trimble 1915 - 1997
By AILEEN POWER
Of The Observer
BEACHBURG - Standing in his living room, Dave Trimble is surrounded by the world he has created. Horses stretch out their sinewy legs. in full gallop, dogs lay down for a sleep, farmers are set to hitch up their wagons and owls keep watch over everything.
It's a world carved from blocks of butternut, pine and sumac by Mr. Trimble who whittled his first dog out of a piece of pine in 1971. Renfrew County audiences will recognize Mr. Trimble from appearances in the annual Irish play and when he performs with the Pembroke Legion Band
He augmented these-hobbies by carving 20, years ago. because he wanted something to do. Since then he has sold his carvings at craft shows across the province in Toronto, Windsor, Chatham and London. He quit the craft show circuit seven years ago, when the cost of travelling amounted to more than what he was earning but not before he won three ribbons at the International Carving Show in 1983
Many people want to learn how to carve, but they don't concentrate, says Mr. Trimble. He starts out with pieces of slabwood he obtains from John Bromley's sawmill, indents the eyes and other features allowing air in so the drying process can start. He then puts it aside to make sure it doesn't crack.
The shape of the branch or wood, closeness of growth rings gives Mr.Trimble his carving ideas. When putting knife or chisel to wood, he finds the most difficult part is keeping human and animal body parts in proportion. "When first starting I knew what a horse looked liked, but then again I really didn't, because becoming knowledgeable about anatomy takes a while."
Sometimes, Mr. Trimble uses lilac wood but because it has a natural twist, its more suitable for small items such as the broachs he carves.
Most days find him in his shop carving from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day and usually working on more than one item at a time. The final step is to sand the item a little, usually with a round rasp, before applying a coat of shellac.
3A typical craft fair display of Dave Trimbles work including his prized display sign "Carving Cravings" , carved in relief from Staghorn Sumac.
53 squirrels carved in 1992 and 83 by Dave Trimble of Beachburg, Ontario Now part of a Kemptville Ontario area collection.
7Comic figures carved by Dave trimble of Beachburg Ontario in the 1980's and now part of a Houston Texas collection
9Deer Head paper weight carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1985 and now part of a Kingston On area collection
11Horsehead paper weight carved from Cedar by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1971and now part of a Houston Texas area collection.
13Moose from Maple, carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1994 and now part of a Houston Texas area collection.
15Moose plaque, carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario about 1972, now part of a Blind River Ontario collection
17Name and spoon and fork, carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1980 and 1985. Now part of a Kemptville Ontario area collection.
19Owls by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario . Carved in 1992 and now part of a Houston Texas area collection. The Owl with the "Mortar-board" Dave called "The Graduate" and it was popular as a graduation gift.
21Sumac Owles carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario and now part of a Blind River Ontario area collection.
23One of many broaches carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario, 1975 - 1995
25A collection of Dave Trimble , Beachburg Ontario broaches, 1975 - 1995
27Sheep, carved in 1972 by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario.
29Owl carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario from Butternut in 1986 and now part of a Kingston On area collection
31Owl figurine carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario about 1985, now part of a Blind River Ontario area collection.
33Owl Plaque carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario about 1985, now part of a Blind River Ontario collection.
35Deer Head broach carved from Birds Eye Maple by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario and now part of a Pembroke Ont area collection.
37This was the second carving Dave Trimble created after he began carving in 1971. It remains in the family.
39A Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario Dog carving from the early 1970's
41A Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario Dog carving from the early 1970's
43A Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario Dog carving from the early 1970's
45One of a set of 6 Huskies carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in the late 1980's for a Deep River area Husky breeder.
47Sad dog carved by Dave trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1983 and now part of a Kingston On area collection
49Plaque carved in 1988 by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario and now part of a Houston Texas area collection.
51Hound Dog Plaque. Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario carved many of his figures in both Plaque and Statuette form. Carved in the early 1990's , one can see a marked evolution from the style of the 1970's carvings.
53Walking Hound. Carved in early 1990s . by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario and now part of a Houston Texas area collection.
55Running hound-dog carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario from Pine in 1994 and now part of a Houston Texas area collection..
57Hound taking the scent. Carved in 1997 by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario and now part of a Kingston On area collection.
59Baying Hound. Carved in early 1990's by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario .
61Baying Hound Plaque carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario about 1994, now part of a Blind River Ontario collection.
63Horse carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario about 1995
65Donkey mother and son carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in the late 1970's
67Horse by fence carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ont. In 1995
69Squirrel and horse carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1983 and 91. Now part of a Kemptville Ontario area collection.
71Light horse by fence , carved by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1993. Now part of a Blind River Ontario area collection.
73Horse in frame carved from Pine by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1987
75Four Horse (48") wall hanging by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario, Carved about 1985 it is now part of a Blind River Ontario collection.
77Horse carved from Pine by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in 1993.
79Horseshoe and head carved in 1979 by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario
81This is a typical Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario signature
83Stallion carved from Black Walnut by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario in the 1980's. Originally unsupported it has fallen to the ravages of time.
85Peon and Burro in Plaque form. Carved 1996 by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario .
87Peon and Burro - carved in 1992 by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario and now part of a Kingston On area collection.
89Peon and braying burro by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario. Carved about 1990 and now part of a Kemptville Ontario area collection.
91Light horse on delivery cart by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario
93Heavy Horse on dumpcart carved in 1989 by Dave Trimble of Beachburg Ontario. Now part of a Kemptville Ontario area collection.
95This display is Mr Trimble of Beachburg Ontario's last work. He had all of the parts completed before he became ill and was unable to finish it prior to his death in 1997. It was assembled by his Son-in-law and mounted on a laminated Sumac tabletop which Mr Trimble had also made. It was then donated to the Ross Museum in Foresters Falls Ontario .
Carving, Music Fill Valley Man's Life
Although he was born almost 81 years ago in a small community east of Ottawa, Dave Trimble settled in Beachburg in 1949 and the Ottawa Valley became the recipient of an extraordinary person and continues to benefit from Dave's community-minded spirit.
Dave and his wife of 56 years, Vida, live in a one-storey fashionable brick structure situated on the village's main street.;.. The building had originally contained three stories, but a fire destroyed most of the structure and the Trimbles bought it, removed the shell from the two upper floors and rebuilt the main floor which now serves as their comfortable home. Dave served in the Second World War and is a Korean War Veteran. For a period of time he also was employed as a civilian at Base Petawawa. His love of music is quite evident. since he along with the late Doug Lowe were responsible, in part. for the formation of the Pembroke Legion Band in the 1950s. Dave was seen, on many occasion, playing his trombone or chimes with this talented group of Musicians in Pembroke and many parts of the Ottawa Valley. At one time he belonged to both the Pembroke and Petawawa Legion bands and would drive into Pembroke and Petawawa for band practice from his residence in Beachburg, on roads, especially in winter, which were quite treacherous. His unusual sense of humor and his gifted musical contributions were always welcomed by band members. For a short period of time he also taught music in Cobden and Eganville schools.
The many trophies and awards in his home attest to his skills as an avid horseshoe participant. Dave threw horseshoes for more than 30 years and was an active member of the Pembroke Horseshoe League. League member Mel Gardener recalls that Dave loved to participate in the warmest weather, the hotter, the better, and if he took his shirt off, "Watch out". Dave's favorite partner was Al Dawson of Pembroke. Each year at the conclusion of the horseshoe tournament, two of the participants, a lady and a gent, would receive an authentic "Ollie" trophy, personally hand carved out of wood, by Dave. These were for the two losers and given in memory of Oliver Latour.
Although he had no formal training, his wood carvings adorn the homes of admirers in England, Ireland, and most parts of Canada. At one time Vida and Dave would attend trade shows in various parts of Ontario to display and sell these unique, one of a kind, carvings. I truly believe he gave away more than he ever sold. His generosity is beyond belief.
His musical contributions for many years to the Lung Association of Renfrew County wore unequalled. Along with pianist Jimmy Mayhew, and ably assisted by a group of well trained singers, he kicked off the opening ceremonies of the annual Christmas Seal Campaigns at the Pembroke Mall.
In the late 1980s, on a charter trip to Ireland, hosted by Emile and Sylvia Giroux of Emerald Travel, Dave won the hearts of those he came in contact with from Dublin in the south, to Belfast in the north. He also entertained the residents of the Emerald Isle and in the Northwestern town of Ballyshannon, his "dancing man", which he had carved for the trip, brought cheers of delight at the Thatch, one of Ireland's oldest pubs. Dave was the favorite in a group of 40 or so on this very memorable tour.
On Oct. 16, 1993, there was a special evening set aside for Dave and Vida at the Pembroke Legion Hall. Master of ceremonies Glen Andrews called on a number of individuals, representing various groups, that the guest of honor had lent his services to from time to time. Tributes flowed from the Korea Veteran's Association, the Pembroke Horseshoe League, the Pembroke and Petawawa Legion bands; and the Lung Association and the Columbus dramatic Club.
Dave was and still is a born actor, and in the 10 or more years he acted in the Irish Plays for the Columbus Dramatic Club, he may have been known as Phineas Plunkett, Mr. Brownlee, Elmer Doubleday, Rufus Dwight, Farrell Fanswallow, Captain O'Malley or inspector Ryan. Dave was always admired by other cast members and his ability to act on any given situation earned him the respect of Ottawa Valley audiences. Whether his part was large or small, he played it to perfection. He was always first to learn his lines and always willing to lend a hand to others. Shamrocks. Shellelaighs, and a host of other items needed for each production kept this caring individual busy as his carving skills were put on overtime.
Dave and Vida have two children, five grandchildren, and eight great grand children. Although his health suffered a slight setback over the past year, I'm happy to say he's feeling "fit as a fiddle" now. Dave Trimble is one of a kind and has the ability to draw both young and old to him. People enjoy being in his company and his community spirit is unmatched. If one ever was to have one friend in life wouldn't it be great to have one like Dave?
Former Valley journalist and broadcaster Pat Leonard's column appears here every Thursday.
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