As mentioned in Part 1 of Canadian Canoe Museum, there’s so much to see and learn here that one could spend most of a day here.
This sign says, in part,
Missionaries, beginning with the Jesuits in the 1600s, regularly used canoes to reach the remote parts of Canada… they cheerfully accepted the rigours of life on the trail.
Here’s a closed-in canoe, somewhat like a kayak in appearance. See the wooden seat, like a lawn chair, and the attached oar. Perhaps only for leisure and not a working canoe.
A close-up of the music machine. I think the courting couple would want to go out on calm waters, otherwise the record player and cushions could get wet. Imagine the courting couple out on the water of a calm lake and they’re listening to their favourite music as they paddle.
In another canoe, a similar type of record player, without the amplifier. We had records like this in a black box gramophone.
Look at this sleek canoe with the cushioned seat. Pretty classy.
There we are at the end of the canoe museum. I stopped at the gift shop to look around. I came home with two books, one to read to my granddaughters and one about storytelling. Love the children’s picture book story, One Dog Canoe, by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt. I also discovered that one story in the book, Mugged by a Moose, ed. Matt Jackson, was written by a Waterloo Region author, Leslie Bamford, whom I happen to know.
Today I posted over at Canadian Writers Who Are Christian, about being part of the Sandwich Generation.
“If God sends us on stony paths, he provides strong shoes.” –Corrie Ten Boom
We’re at that stage in our family with aging parents on one side—we’re all aging every day—and younger family with grandchildren on the other side. We’ve known, in retrospect, that this could happen one day and now we’re there, but we don’t always know what to do with it.
With two parents needing our support, our attention and energies are spread to their maximum, and that comes apart from a career as a freelance editor and writer, and a husband at home with some special needs of his own.
Carol Abaya, an expert in elder care, writes that there is no rehearsal for parent care, rather parenting one’s parents. “Becoming a parent to an aging parent presents extraordinary challenges.” Apparently it was Abaya who coined the term “sandwich generation” but also “club sandwich generation.”
Go here to read more.
And while you’re there, read the posts of Peter Black, Glynis Belec, Heidi McLaughlin. You’ll surely find some story that resonates or entertains.
The Sandwich Generation looks a little like this
or like a Dagwood sandwich, with the caregivers in the middle.
Back to the Canadian Canoe Museum another day.
Back to our holidays in the Kawarthas in July.
We read about the museum in the Kawartha Visitor 2014 Summer Vacation Guide and right away it grabbed my interest—a museum about canoes. We weren’t about to find one of those in our community of southwestern Ontario. Curious, I persuaded my husband that we should go there the day after our trip to Lang Pioneer Village. So we set out for Peterborough to find this place and were delighted with the offerings there.
Who would have thought there were so many kinds of canoes? I knew that native Canadians probably started the canoe making, but a canoe with a sail? Courting canoes with a phonograph on board?
A woman met us at the door and told us a bit about the museum and where to begin our tour. She also told us there was a student questionnaire that if we chose to answer, we would get a discount on anything we bought in the shop. We’d wait and see how our time worked out.
Thus we began with the upper level and the whale hunters of Canada’s Pacific Coast.
Here’s a bit of history on the Haida and their life, including the canoes. They weren’t altogether friendly folks, when they raid and take prisoners.
This map and chart shows a few of the shapes of their bow profiles. The sign says, in part:
… their most distinguishing characteristics are bow profiles. … The condition of the water, whether flowing, tranquil, wave tossed or turbulent is reflected in the design of the bow that sets the canoes apart.
I found this intriguing and had never thought so much about its shape. Some of their information came from Cedar by Hilary Stewart, 1984, Douglas and McIntyre, used by permission. If a person was inclined to learn more, this would be a good source to consult.
We watched a video of native Canadians knitting the Cowichan sweater on Kuyper Island and learned that not all the sweaters sold in stores are hand knit. The women do it to keep up the tradition and as part of a way of life, but they find it an increasingly unprofitable venture as stores bring in machine-made sweaters and often the prices they are paid do not afford them a livelihood with the cost of yarn. Rather a dilemma for them.
The men used canoes to gather supplies they couldn’t get by land.
“The making of canoes is an ancient art,” as one of the signs read, but the building continues today. Skilled model builders can be found in the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association. The museum’s desire is to recognize the builders and continuing the tradition.
Jen in the Presentation Area, where they hold workshops. She’s putting kits together for a workshop and she took time to explain some of the programs they offer. They teach classes to children too and how to preserve and add a collection number. One project was a shadow box. Thanks, Jen.
And one loaded with supplies for a journey. Where would the canoeist sit to paddle? Might they have just loaded it to show us what might be carried on a journey? Would a canoe be towed like a wagon?
Every so often there was a play area for children to act out the role of a trader or canoeist. This was a puppet theatre and it had puppets stacked on a pole that children could use.
As I looked at the sign behind it, a museum staff member said to me, “Farley Mowatt.”
I said, ” Ah, but that was the boat that wouldn’t float.”
He grinned, not expecting this answer.
By the way, I do recommend this place for families.
And here I’ll stop for the day. To be continued.
Photos by L. and C. Wilker. If you wish to use a photo, please ask.
There was much to see and do in the area, but we’d have to figure out what we wanted to seee. A tourist information centre in Buckhorn offered maps and detailed information and so we made several choices for the few days we had left. Based on weather for the day, we had our minds set on several possibilities, one of which was Lang Pioneer Village. The sun came out and the sky cleared and so that’ s where we went.
This pioneer village represents 1825 to about 1900 although some of the buildings are older. Here’s the visitor centre, the entrance to the village. In one room they had featured photography of the village in different seasons.
A tractor my father would like to see and it’s older than the one we had on our farm.
And next to the child’s bed, a walker. Who knew the invention was this old? But then the wheels could cause havoc where there were stairs. See the rag rug and the chamber pot– for when there was no indoor plumbing.
Our guide, Sharon, with her two student helpers Emma and Meriah, having a crochet lesson. A bit complicated teaching the craft when you’re right handed and your student is left-handed, but the girls were sticking with it and making progress. In time it will come much easier for them.
We stopped in at the tinsmith shop that was quite small and the carpenter shop with plenty of tools and wood. There were no guides at those buildings.
Where there are farming pursuits, there will be barn and wagon. Look at the bench-style seat on the wagon.
At the next crossroad sits the Fitzpatrick House. People stop to admire the gardens. This home would be built by settlers once they had some crops growing and can afford a bigger home. The kitchen has a wide hearth where cooking would be done, and the staff here had dyed some wool. The skeins filled a basket and were dyed in a variety of colours. They used some natural dyes, but the lighter coloured wool got its shades from Kool-Aid, which I thought was pretty amusing. Makes nice shades of yarn for mittens or whatever the family would need.
Next we visited the Fife cabin, representing 1825, a simple, one-room log house that a settler would build when he got his plot of land. The large wooden box serves as a bed with straw mattress most likely. Only the most basic furniture would be in this cabin. See the baby cradle.
On the other side was a solid wooden table and a few other things such as a churn and a lamp. Families first coming to a lot would have had to build a shelter first, cut down some trees and plant around the stumps the first year. They might not even have a window in the first cabin as this one does. This cabin was still rather dark. David Fife, a Scotsman, is credited with introducing a hardy wheat grain to Upper Canada in the 1840s—a variety that would survive harsh Canadian winters.
From Wikipedia: David Fife wrote to a friend in Glasgow asking for samples of good seed wheat. His friend obtained a sample of wheat off a ship from Danzig, Prussia, (now Gdansk, Poland) and sent it to Fife. As it came to Fife’s hand just before spring seeding time, and, not knowing whether it was a fall or spring variety, Mr. Fife concluded to sow a part of it that spring,
Guide Cassandra, at the Fife cabin, uses a drop spindle, and in the pot over the fire pit is wool that she’s boiling to make it clean and preparing it for dyeing. She told us what she put in the water besides alum, but I don’t remember.
Next is the print shop, the Register, where the newspaper would be printed as well as art prints, signs and advertisements of all sorts. Making a newspaper then would be incredibly time consuming, making our process today look like a whiz. Being a writer and using computers, it was interesting to see some of these processes. I wonder if they had as many challenges with their equipment as we do with computers.
In the print shop are, left to right, Andrew and Steven. Andrew told us about the print shop and presses, but it was Steven who showed us how to reproduce a print.
One more stop and then I will continue on another post.
And here we stop into the Keene Hotel (1870s) where a young woman named Sophie took us on a tour of the hotel and her friend, Sophie, came along as support on one of her very first tours. She explained that the tea room on the left was for the women. Sometimes men could be there too, but women were not allowed in the games room across the hall. The place was busy with a tour when we first arrived, and so I didn’t take more pictures at that time. Guest rooms located on the upper floor were rated according to what the person could afford, and the family who ran the hotel had 14 children, 8 of them their own and 6 more who were nieces and nephews they raised when the children’s parents died.
We’ll stop in here later for tea and a treat a bit later in the day, when we see Sophie 1 and Sophie 2 again.
Watch for more upcoming posts on our visit to the Lang Pioneer Village.
Unless otherwise credited, the photos on this blog are the property of C. Wilker