Monday, May 25, 2020

Mondays at the Manor - Courtship for the Backus Family



                              
  

           
 To the Backus family, one of the most import tasks for Mrs. Backus was to ensure that her daughters were married, and married into good families.  Courtship in her life was much different from what we look at as dating today.
The time for a young woman to enter society and assume her role as a marriageable woman was determined by her parents. A woman was also expected to have completed her education typically around age 16. Courting before this age was highly frowned upon. A young lady was chaperoned at public entertainments, such as theatre or dances, by her parents, brothers, or a family friend. (Once she became formally engaged, her fiancĂ© became her “legitimate protector and companion.”) She always followed acceptable behaviors, and books were written that outline what that would be. Mrs. John Farrar wrote The Young Lady’s Friend, that was published in 1837. She called for “delicacy and refinement” when in the company of young men. “Never let a man hold your hand; decline his offer of assistance with getting in and out of carriages.” Mrs. Farrar summarized: “Your whole deportment should give the idea that your person, your voice, and your mind are entirely under your own control. Self-possession is the first requisite to good manners.”
A gentleman did not consider courting a woman unless he had been formally introduced to her. (Men were not without their etiquette manuals: Lord Chesterfield’s Advice to His Son on Men and Manners, first published in 1774, was the popular source.) As they became acquainted, and if he perceived that she was not averse, a gentleman took the next step — writing to the lady’s father to ask permission to pay a visit to their home. As soon as the father established that a young gentleman was suitable company for his daughter, courtship commenced. In the young lady’s front parlor, with a chaperone present, a courting couple engaged in allowed activities including singing, talking, piano playing, and parlor games with other guests. Supervised carriage rides and outdoor excursions to dances, picnics, dinners, and concerts were also permitted. By the mid nineteenth century most young people, and many parents, believed that people should marry for love, but permission from parents was still important. Long engagements were common and it was not considered proper for a young couple to marry until the man could support his wife in a decent home.
Before 1860 the typical couple was married at the bride’s home in the presence of immediate family members and a few close friends. During the 1860s and 1870s middle-class weddings became more elaborate. The bride’s family often sent engraved invitations to a wide range of relatives and acquaintances. Church weddings became more common because the typical family parlor could not hold all the guests, and weddings were often followed by lavish receptions. Many middle-class brides who could afford to do so wore flowing white gowns and veils, a style that originated with in the 1830s, having been influenced by the wedding dress of Queen Victoria in 1840.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


All our events, admission and programming income goes into maintaining our heritage buildings, daily operating expenses like utilities, and funding future events.  If you are able to contribute financially by purchasing a Tyrconnell Heritage Society Membership or making a donation in any amount your support would be greatly appreciated.  Memberships - Individual $30; Couple $35; Family $40; Organization $45; Business $75; Individual Lifetime $250  Here is the link to our page at CanadaHelps.




Saturday, May 23, 2020

Saturday Sighting


Hi everyone,

My building check went great again this week.  I wish everyone could visit the grounds right now as the flora is really growing right now!

This week's nugget of nature is a lady bug that landed on me leg while I was walking through checking on the house.

Fun facts about lady bugs:
  • Their average life span is 2-3 years. 
  • Some species help the farmers out a lot, because they eat aphids and other plant-eating insects. 
  • In Europe they are called ladybird beetles. 
  •  Their colouring and spots are meant to ward off predators and make them unappealing.
  • When it feels threatened, it will either play dead, secrete a foul-tasting liquid from the joints in its legs, or both! 
Have a great week everyone.  Stay safe and take care!

Catie Welch














We have had to cancel or postpone events, facility rentals and are unable to open on May 1st resulting in a loss of approximately $15000.00 in planned revenue that is used for utilities, wages, and general operating expenses.  We have cut our expenses as much as possible including reducing staff to one person 7 hours/week, unplugging non-essentials, cancelling the internet and reducing temperatures in the buildings. 

Staff and volunteers raise more than 50% of the revenue needed to operate each year and at this time we have enough funds to operate on a reduced budget until June 30.  We are reaching out to private foundations and applying for government grants, but those funds tend to be project specific and not to be used for general operations.  If you are able to sponsor one of the following categories or make a charitable donation of any amount your support is essential right now.  Can we count on your contribution?
     One Month of Operations $3000         One Week of Operations $750
     One Day of Operations $100               A Donation of Any Amount $_____

All cheques can be made payable to Tyrconnell Heritage Society and mailed to Box 26, 29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown, ON, N0L 2M0.  You may also wish to donate online through our efficient and secure account at Canada Helps.  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/tyrconnell-heritage-society/




Friday, May 22, 2020

Foodie Friday - Silver Cake

From a Tyrconnell Heritage Society book in progress 
called "Grandma's Recipes Circa 1902"

Silver Cake

1 pound sugar
¾ pound of flour
½ pound butter
Whites of ten eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract

One pound sugar, three-fourths pound of flour, one-half pound butter, whites of ten eggs.  Flavour with bitter almonds, one teaspoon full




Advertisement found with above recipe


Brown’s Bronchial Troches are widely known as an established remedy for Coughs, Colds, Bronchitis, Hoarseness and other troubles of the throat and lungs.  Their good reputation and extensive use have brought out imitations, represent to be the same.  Obtain only Brown’s Bronchial Troches



-----------------------------------------------

You may not know that all our events, admission and programming income goes into maintaining our heritage buildings, daily operating expenses like utilities, and funding future events.  If you are able to contribute financially by purchasing a Tyrconnell Heritage Society Membership or making a donation in any amount your support would be greatly appreciated.  Memberships - Individual $30; Couple $35; Family $40; Organization $45; Business $75; Individual Lifetime $250  Here is the link to our page at CanadaHelps http://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/tyrconnell-heritage-society/

Monday, May 18, 2020

Mondays at the Manor - Religion in Family Life




Religion in the Backus Family

            Religion in the 1850s was a central part of a family’s life. Early reading lessons for the children would include a daily bible reading, and in some homes, the head of the family would read a passage in the evening. The Andrew Backus family were members of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tyrconnell, just a short walk up the hill from their home. 
            For many farm families, the church was a centre of social life, and Sunday was set aside for services. The minimal farm work was done, then off to services.  The weekly services were a Sunday morning service and an afternoon Sunday School for the children. After dinner, a service of Evensong was held.  Each family had their own pew, often with their name on a plaque at the end. This custom, often referred to as “pew rent” continued into the 1890s.  The daughters of the Backus family played the organ for the church services, and the men very likely served on the Select Vestry (or council/consistory). Not only did the men serve in leadership roles, but the women has no role except to plan and cook community church meals.
            In addition to the weekly services, the men of the Backus family, along with farm hands, helped maintain the church and the parsonage.  Local rumour also says that family paid for the horse and buggy for the priest. The original drive shed was destroyed by fire, and the replacement that was built in 1896. It is now located on the Backus-Page House Museum property and is open for tours when the museum is open. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Tyrconnell was founded in 1827 and built on land given by Mary Storey from the original grant from Col. Thomas Talbot. The Patterson, Pearce, Story, and Backus families each pledged 70 pounds to the project, as well as the labour that went into building the church. St. Peter's is still an active congregation with services every Sunday at 10.00 am. Tours are available during the summer months.  More information on the church and it’s history can be found on their website http://www.stpeterschurchtyrconnell.org/  or at http://stpeterschurchtyrconnell.org/history.htm

A special thank you to Rev. Canon Nick Wells for his assistance with this blog entry.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All our events, admission and programming income goes into maintaining our heritage buildings, daily operating expenses like utilities, and funding future events.  If you are able to contribute financially by purchasing a Tyrconnell Heritage Society Membership or making a donation in any amount your support would be greatly appreciated.  Memberships - Individual $30; Couple $35; Family $40; Organization $45; Business $75; Individual Lifetime $250  Here is the link to our page at CanadaHelps.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Saturday Sighting

Hi everyone,

Though it is too quiet with the lack of visitors during this time the buildings were all still well this week.

This weeks nugget of nature is the spearmint that comes back in abundance in the museum kitchen garden.

Fun facts about spearmint:
  • It originally comes from Europe and Asia. 
  • Its sweet taste is used to flavour many things, such as chewing gum. 
  • Spearmint has been used throughout history as an antimicrobial. 
  • It is used often used in teas, especially those advertised for digestive upset. 
  • It is also an ingredient in mixed alcoholic drinks such as the mojito and sweet tea. 
Have a wonderful week everyone.  Stay safe and take care!

Catie Welch

We have had to cancel or postpone events, facility rentals and are unable to open on May 1st resulting in a loss of approximately $15000.00 in planned revenue that is used for utilities, wages, and general operating expenses.  We have cut our expenses as much as possible including reducing staff to one person 7 hours/week, unplugging non-essentials, cancelling the internet and reducing temperatures in the buildings. 
Staff and volunteers raise more than 50% of the revenue needed to operate each year and at this time we have enough funds to operate on a reduced budget until June 30.  We are reaching out to private foundations and applying for government grants, but those funds tend to be project specific and not to be used for general operations.  If you are able to sponsor one of the following categories or make a charitable donation of any amount your support is essential right now.  Can we count on your contribution?
     One Month of Operations $3000         One Week of Operations $750
     One Day of Operations $100               A Donation of Any Amount $_____

All cheques can be made payable to Tyrconnell Heritage Society and mailed to Box 26, 29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown, ON, N0L 2M0.  You may also wish to donate online through our efficient and secure account at Canada Helps.  https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/tyrconnell-heritage-society/



Friday, May 15, 2020

Foodie Friday - Nut Cake

From a Tyrconnell Heritage Society book in progress 
called "Grandma's Recipes Circa 1902"


Nut Cake

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 cups flour
One cup cold water
4 eggs
1 tsp soda
2 tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups nuts


Two cups sugar, one cup butter, three cups flour, one cup cold water, four eggs, one teaspoon soda, two teaspoons cream tartar, two cupfuls kernels hickory nuts, carefully picked out and added last of all


Advertisement found with above recipe


Sore Throat, Cough, Cold and similar troubles, If suffered to progress, result in serious Pulmonary, Bronchial and Asthmatic Affections, oftentimes incurable.  BROWN`S BRONCHIAL TROCHES reach directly the seat of the disease, and give almost instant relief.  The Troches have been thoroughly tested, and maintain the good reputation they have justly acquired.  For Public Speakers, Singes and those who over-tax the voice, they are useful in relieving an Irritated Throat, and will render articulation easy.  To those exposed to sudden changes in the weather, they will give prompt relief in Coughs and Colds, and can be carried in the pocket to be taken as occasion requires



-----------------------------------------------

You may not know that all our events, admission and programming income goes into maintaining our heritage buildings, daily operating expenses like utilities, and funding future events.  If you are able to contribute financially by purchasing a Tyrconnell Heritage Society Membership or making a donation in any amount your support would be greatly appreciated.  Memberships - Individual $30; Couple $35; Family $40; Organization $45; Business $75; Individual Lifetime $250  Here is the link to our page at CanadaHelps http://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/tyrconnell-heritage-society/

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Clean Up Day at the Park


On May 9, the staff and volunteers at our Museum were greeted with the news that several Ontario Parks would be opening on May 11 and May 15. The park on which the Backus-Page House is located is John E. Pearce, which will reopen officially on May 15.  A flurry of emails later, and the result was an out-of-door, physical distancing, work day for Angela and a crew of volunteers. In spite of a chilly wind, it was a beautiful day to be outside.

In usual years, a clean up day is held in April to prepare the grounds and the Museum to open on May 1st.  Even though there is no word on when our house will open, there is work to do to be ready. The grounds were cleared of larger pieces of brush and sticks, some of the flower gardens were weeded, and the inside of the carriage house was wiped down.

This work day also was a first glimpse into the new Agricultural Centre, which is still a work in progress.  The Heritage Barn, which has been on the property since 2005, measures 20’ by 30’ on the main floor. The Agricultural History Centre is 48’ x 64’, which will allow for a nice large event space which can be used for weddings and school education trips. Thanks to one of our volunteers, we can provide a sneak peak into the Centre.

Our volunteers at work:










A quick peak at the Centre: