Friday, August 17, 2018

Fun Fact Fridays #7 - Bye, Bye Beavers 🐾

      Did you know that in the 19th century the beaver population in Canada was nearly extinct?

      Beaver pelts were a very important part of the Canadian fur trade economy. Starting out, they were mostly used for coats, but moving towards the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century hats became a very fashionable item. People would wear hats on a daily basis and they were used as a status symbol instead of keeping the sun off their faces or keeping their ears warm.

      Hunters found it difficult to find beavers in certain regions, so they moved their hunt towards the north and west and established a large network of forts and supply routes that assisted in the development of Canadian economy. Though the money was good, the beaver population became scarce and were all almost completely wiped out until, finally,  in the late 19th century beaver pelts were not as sought after. Afterwards beavers reproduced quickly and can now be found near rivers, streams, small lakes, and marshes throughout North America.

      Come feel a real beaver pelt and try on a top hat made out of beaver pelt at:
29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown, ON
(519) 762-3072

Top Hat Made Out of Beaver Pelt
Beaver Pelt

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Tourism Thursdays

Whats Happening This Weekend in Elgin County?

Fun-filled, treasure packed individual & community yard sales. Bargins for everyone! Talbot Line to Heritage Line to Straffordville, Plank Road south through Vienna to Port Burwell.
Home owners all over the county will be hosting yard sales, and who knows what you may stumble upon! Be sure to start early, with almost 100km of the talbot trail to cover, there is lots to see!
Rain Date August 19th. 

The Aylmer Merchants would like to say thank you for shopping locally this year! Join us for a free celebration of fun, food and laughter in the park! There will be wagon rides, jump & bounce activities, BBQ food, games, snow cones & more! Downtown, merchants will have sidewalk sales & coupon promotions!
Phone: 519-773-3164
Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 10:00 to 14:00
Balmoral Park & Downtown
Aylmer, ON N5H 1N5

Off the Hinges hits the road and delivers an evening of hilarity created on the spot, just for you! Using audience suggestions, the troup performs improvised scenes (similar to those seen on Whose Line is it Anyway?) that have never been seen before and will never been seen again!
Performances on July 28 at 8:00pm and August 18 at 8:00pm. Tickets can be purchased on Periscope Playhouse website.
Phone: (519) 874-1185
Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 20:00
42 Wellington Street
Port Burwell, ON N0J 1T0

Heritage Farm Show 2018

The Annual Heritage Farm Show at the Backus-Page House Museum takes place on September 8 and 9, 2018.  Our goal is to have 165 pieces of agricultural equipment on display.  

Currently looking for individuals willing to volunteer their time at the farm show.  Contact our office 519-762-3072 or for details.
Come and see a variety of heritage skills being demonstrated, explore your rural roots and experience the museum, barn and grounds first hand!
The Back Pages Band is playing 12 – 4pm both days.    The gate takes cash for admission.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Fun Fact Fridays #6 - Don't Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water! 🛁

      Did you know that in the 19th century families would bathe from oldest to youngest and all use the same bath water? Usually in the summer, the Backus family usually bathed in the lake across the street, but it was way too cold to do that in the winter. Instead, they had either a bathtub or just a tub of water that they would all share. Starting with Andrew (the oldest), they would bathe one by one with the bath water getting dirtier and dirtier with every bath. Andrew and Mary Jane had 12 children altogether (only 6 lived to adulthood), so you can imagine how dirty that water would be when the baby goes. Hence, "don't throw the baby out with the bath water". Then again, it would really help the immune system. 

      Come see the type of bathtub the Backus' would have had in person at:
29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown, ON
(519) 762-3072

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Tourism Thursdays

Whats Happening in Elgin County?


A celebration of Port Stanley Harbour featuring live music and other entertainment. Twilight boat parade, fireworks over the harbour, vendors, water shows plus music all around town. Follow Harbourfest on Facebook for full details.
Friday, August 10, 2018 (All day) to Sunday, August 12, 2018 (All day)

The Elgin Historical Show is always the second full weekend in August. An Antique show to demonstrate how farming was done in the pioneer days.
Phone: 519-631-1270
Friday, August 10, 2018 - 09:00 to Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 17:00
Dan Patteson Conservation Area
44014 Mapleton Line (Off Highbury Avenue)
St. Thomas, ON N5P 3T3

Join us August 10th-12th for the Aylmer Fair!
The fair runs the second weekend in August. Aylmer Fair is a non-profit society run by the OAAS (Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies). We are celebrating our 171st year as an agricultural fair, and are the oldest agricultural fair in District 13. We are run by a board of Directors, and volunteers in our area.
Fair admission is $7 for adults, $3 for ages 6-12 and free for kids under 5. Parking is $5. Advanced ride vouchers are available at The Fair Office, Elgin Feeds and Aylmer Downtown Convenience until August 9th. 
For times and more information refer to their fair events booklet or website.
Phone: 519-773-3445
Friday, August 10, 2018 - 10:00 to Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 17:00
Aylmer Fair Grounds
Aylmer, ON

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Trailblazer Tuesdays

Trailblazer Tuesdays

Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else.Wetlands provide an important range of environmental, social and economic services. Many wetlands are areas of great natural beauty and many are important to Aboriginal people.Wetlands also provide important benefits for industry. For example, they form nurseries for fish and other freshwater and marine life and are critical to Canada's commercial and recreational fishing industries.Wetlands are the vital link between land and water.

Wetlands are among the most productive ecosystems in the world, comparable to rain forests and coral reefs. An immense variety of species of microbes, plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, fish and mammals can be part of a wetland ecosystem. Climate, landscape shape (topology), geology and the movement and abundance of water help to determine the plants and animals that inhabit each wetland. The complex, dynamic relationships among the organisms inhabiting the wetland environment are called food webs. 
Wetlands can be thought of as "biological supermarkets." They provide great volumes of food that attract many animal species. These animals use wetlands for part of or all of their life-cycle. Dead plant leaves and stems break down in the water to form small particles of organic material called "detritus." This enriched material feeds many small aquatic insects, shellfish and small fish that are food for larger predatory fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals.
The functions of a wetland and the values of these functions to humans depend on a complex set of relationships between the wetland and the other ecosystems in the watershed. A watershed is a geographic area in which water, sediments and dissolved materials drain from higher elevations to a common low-lying outlet or basin a point on a larger stream, lake, underlying aquifer or estuary.
Wetlands play an integral role in the ecology of the watershed. The combination of shallow water, high levels of nutrients and primary productivity is ideal for the development of organisms that form the base of the food web and feed many species of fish, amphibians, shellfish and insects. Many species of birds and mammals rely on wetlands for food, water and shelter, especially during migration and breeding.

Wetlands' microbes, plants and wildlife are part of global cycles for water, nitrogen and sulfur. Scientists now know that atmospheric maintenance may be an additional wetlands function.Wetlands store carbon within their plant communities and soil instead of releasing it to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Thus wetlands help to moderate global climate conditions.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Fun Fact Fridays #5 - Better than a Scarf! ⛄

Hand-Drawn Portrait of
 Andrew Backus
      Did you know that in the 19th century it was very popular and fashionable to have neck beards? Talk about the complete opposite of fashion today! Backus-Page House's very own, Andrew Backus, had a long, scruffy neck beard that fit right in with the popular styles.

      To have a certified neck beard the face must be completely shaven with only facial hair starting right at the jaw line. Sometimes men would have a mustache to go along with it, but it was only a neck beard if the mustache did not connect with the beard.

      It is known that popularity of neck beards started growing when a young philosopher by the name of Henry David Thoreau showed off his remarkable facial hair. People in the 19th century either extremely loved or extremely hated Thoreau for his views on slavery. Canada, during this time period, was viewed as a safe haven for the slaves coming from the United States. The Slavery Abolition Act came into play in 1834 and it was not until over 30 years later that the U.S. followed Canada's lead.

      Come check out Andrew Backus' neck beard and house at:
29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown, ON
(519) 762-3072

Henry David Thoreau
(in all his neck beard glory)

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Tourism Thursdays

What's Happening This Weekend In Elgin County

Come out for a family fish fry put on by West Elgin volunteer groups. Enjoy a live band throughout the day and fireworks at dusk. 
Phone: (519) 768-2939
Sunday, August 5, 2018 - 16:30 to 22:00
Port Glasgow Yacht Club & Marina

Three day festival on the beach in Port Burwell. Live music, children zone with bouncy castles, face painting, entertainers throughout the weekend, free parking and amazing fireworks!
See website for more details.
Friday, August 3, 2018 (All day) to Sunday, August 5, 2018 (All day)
Port Burwell Beach

Bee Happy at Clovermead! Inspect an open bee hive and ask the beekeeper your questions, see how honey is harvested from the honeycomb, dip your own beeswax candle, kid’s B craft, beekeeper dress up, and free honey samples. A Bee Beard demonstration at 2:30pm. Meet the Bee Princess and Sticky the Bear. Enjoy wagon rides, bee barrel train rides, jumping pillow, pedal go carts, play area, corn maze, farm animals and face painting. Come for fresh family fun on the adventure farm!
Phone: (519) 773-5503
Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 09:00 to 17:30
Clovermead Adventure Farm
11302 Imperial Rd
Aylmer, ON N5H 2R3

Join Erie Fun Tours on August 4th for a Grand River Lunch Cruise! Cost is $88 per person plus HST and includes transportation, full roast beef dinner with dessert, Blazing Saddles concert and 3 hour cruise.
For times and more information contact Erie Fun Tours.
Phone: (519) 943-3743
Saturday, August 4, 2018 - 10:00
174 William Street

Port Stanley, ON N5L 1E4