Lang Pioneer Village–Part two of our Kawartha vacation

July 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm Leave a comment

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.




DSCF7450 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.




DSCF7458My husband standing at the gate of the Milburn House, which represents 1870s.


DSCF7459Children’s bedroom upstairs in the home, complete with doll carriage.





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.

DSCF7465The Milburn house has lovely flower beds too. Someone has a green thumb.




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.




DSCF7466Where 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.


DSCF7487Around the table left to right are: Hailey, Jennie, Patti and Pierre. Both Jennie and Pierre are French exchange students spending time at the village this summer.




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.


DSCF7494                                                                                                                                                    in the doorway;                photo: L. Wilker





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


Entry filed under: artists, arts, blogs, church, community, culture, education, entertainment, family, Gardening, photography, travel in Canada. Tags: , , , , , .

A much-needed vacation More of our visit to Lang Pioneer Village

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