Martha Murray

When she was a child, Libby Harvey wanted a horse. Her grandfather promised that she would have a horse for her birthday. When Libby brought her friends home on her birthday to see the horse, she was mortified to discover that her new horse was not a real horse.


Ann Elizabeth Harvey, better known as Elizabeth, or Libby Harvey, grew up at 825 Talbot Street. In the following story, Libby’s daughter, Martha Murray, tells a story of an unusual birthday present her mother received.


My mother, when she was growing up, she went to Talbot Street School—but—she had been promised—she always wanted a horse—and my grandfather said you shall have a horse for your birthday. And it was November the 3rd, and she came home with her friends from school to show them her horse, and was absolutely mortified. There was a horse downstairs in the basement, and the horse’s name was Harvey, but Harvey was not a real horse. She was mortified in front of her friends. But I think grew to love it, and we grew up with it, and it’s now—I donated it but to Pioneer Village and I think it’s stuck in a barn somewhere—but it was eighteen hands so it was big, and it was made of papier mâché, had the most beautiful leather side saddle on it, and I could just spend hours sitting on the horse, and I remember he had a jaw that you could take out. It was just in by a wooden peg and had a chain on it so you couldn’t lose the lower jaw. But I mean it had it had muscle definition and it was grey and white and it was really quite spectacular when… but not to a young girl who was expecting the real thing. But for her daughter it was pretty great. And his name was ‘Harvey’.


If you’d like to hear more stories from the Great Talbot area, walk north along Talbot Street, turn right onto St. James Street, and look for another Hear, Here sign on the south side just before you reach St. George.