Pioneer Villages Are Always Good For Vintage Quilt Sightings
A quilting frame at Fort Henry National Historic Site in Kingston, Ontario
Fanshawe Pioneer Village
Little did I know that as this summer progressed I’d be visiting a number of pioneer villages and would be seeing a great many old quilts on our haphazard, spontaneous travels. Earlier on this summer I visited Fanshawe Pioneer Village with Rob’s family for the grand opening of a new exhibit, a recreation of a tinsmith’s shop.
Some of my husband grandfather’s tools were part of that display. The neat thing about Tinsmith Wesley Miller was that he was a talented handquilter and he created templates from tin in his shop on Dundas Street in London East for the projects he and his wife Edna worked on together. Wes was very familiar with the idea of templates – that’s what was used to create all sorts of tin ware in his shop.
Upper Canada Village
Later in the summer and farther from home, our first major stop was to Upper Canada Village along the St Lawrence River near Morrisburg, Ontario. At the village they have the Ross Farm cabin devoted to quilting and handcrafts.
Volunteers Sharon Shaver and Marj Munroe
There I met Marj Munroe and Sharon Shaver, volunteers demonstrating the art of quilting. Both and members of the loval Upper Canada Quilters Guild. There are a great many quilts displayed throughout the pioneer village and once a year they show even more at their Fall Fair event taking place in mid September.
The Ross Farm Cabin at Upper Canada Village
The Lost Villages Museum
Another place of interest we visited along the St. Lawrence River included the Lost Villages Museum. In 1958 a large area along the river was flooded covering 9 villages and hamlets. Over 6500 people and some 530 of their homes and businesses were moved to accommodate the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway Power Project.
The museum preserves some of those buildings in a village setting to pay tribute to a way of life lost to those residents. Today you see roads leading straight into the river going nowhere.
We discovered this road leading nowhere while kayaking along the Ottawa River. Between 1950 – 1962 the Carillon Dam was built for Hydro Quebec that submerged parts of the town of Hawkesbury, Ontario
Old Fort Henry
Way back when I was a wee girl my Dad, a history buff, drove the family to Kingston, Ontario to see Old Fort Henry. I had my picture taken with one of the Redcoats then and did it again on this trip.
Wives of some of the officers and soldiers did live within the fort and inside they had set up a quilting frame in the soldiers quarters to demonstrate what these ladies must have done in some of their rare spare time. That’s the picture at the top of the post.
Alexander Mackenzie donated the bell for the former St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Williamstown, Ontario
Several surprising hidden historical treasures we discovered in Eastern Ontario were found in the towns of Williamsburg and the parish of St. Andrews West. Both were areas where many United Empire Loyalists settled after the American Revolution. These towns were settled mainly by families of Scottish decent starting in the 1780’s.
Over time the famous explorers the Hudson’s Bay Company and the Northwest Company settled here. They included Simon Frazer, the fur trader and explorer who charted most of present day British Columbia; Alexander Mackenzie, the first man of European decent to cross North America and see both the Pacific and Arctic Ocean; and David Thompson, who mapped most of Western Canada traveling 80,000 kms by foot and canoe with his Metis wife Charlotte. Charlotte actually had 5 of their 13 children while he was mapping in the prairies! Charlotte also served as interpreter during his travels.
David Thompson’s home in Williamstown, Ontario
Wow! All these fellows were the hero’s of my public school social studies classes and I was awed to be able to visit the area where they later took up residence.
We visited many more museums and historic spots on our Canada 150 travels but ended off our journey in Ottawa just in time to see the grand finale of a fireworks competition that had been taking place throughout the summer. The various provinces were all trying to outdo each other and this final show was a knockout.
Here’s hoping you had a terrific summer as well and are feeling all ready for everything September will bring!
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