The New Midgets Palace (Pt.1/3) | Count and Countess Nicol of Montreal
I have a very faint memory that dates back to over 50 years ago when I was a little girl growing up in Ville Lasalle, and my parents brought me downtown to visit what we called “The Dollhouse”. I remember that I was enchanted with the visit but that my mother felt vaguely uncomfortable and warned me before going in that I should “be polite”. I’ve since found out that what I was visiting was “The New Midgets Palace” which was an independant business founded by Montrealers Count and Countess Nicol. It was later bought by another person of short stature – Mme Huguette Riou-Bastien – and I’m actually not yet sure who I saw when I visited!
The Nicols were living in a time when there was very little respect for differences and very few opportunities for people who were considered “different”. In that context the Nichols were unusually successful in that they ran their own independant business, as opposed to many others who were exploited in the sideshow circuits.
Of course, fast forward to today and you will find that “freak shows” have disappeared and Little People (as most prefer to be called) have joined mainstream society. So, I offer this postcard as an artefact of bygone days – thankfully gone!
Further Reading – Midget Palace
Further Reading – Little People
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