Friday, April 24, 2009

The Duncombe Rebellion

In support of our local community, as well as our mandate to preserve the history of the Talbot Settlement, the Tyrconnell Heritage Society provides the following information from "Your Wardsville". Tickets for the matinee and gala are available from the Carriage House Office behind the Backus Page House (519-762-3072)or by contacting the individuals listed below.

Wardsville: ‘The Duncombe Rebellion’ is about ordinary people caught up in a struggle for something we all take for granted - the right to govern ourselves. The Duncombe Rebellion 1837 honours that struggle, and recognizes the sacrifices made on our behalf.

This past Monday, the Wardsville community met to work on plans for KinDay June 20th which features a living history play about a fight for democracy that ended in disaster. The play launches the 50th anniversary celebration at Fanshawe Pioneer Village Victoria Day weekend May 15 to 18 and continues on tour in June to Sparta, Wardsville and Lexington Michigan.

Al Leitch, an actor playing Henry Morrow, a Loyalist militia man, explained the military aspect of the story. Laura Jean McCann, a cellist, talked about how she will create the sound and ambience.
Eleanor Blain, Vice President of the Your Wardsville community association, says that it's a great opportunity for local people to witness their own history.

The play tours three historic sites connected with Duncombe’s story. In beautiful Sparta on Saturday June 6, a highlight will be a re-creation by Rev Nick Wells of Colonel Thomas Talbot’s St George Day speech in 1834 - an effort by the ruling Family Compact to crush the growing unrest. Sparta is also planning tours, displays and a visit to the grave of Joshua Doan, Quaker farmer and martyr to the rebel cause.

Relatives of the rebels are curious to see this story come to life. Ged Doan from Wardsville is a direct descendent of Joshua Doan. “I’m no historian so this play will be a great way to learn more about my family story.”

On Saturday June 13 the play is presented in Lexington, Michigan, an area that was just beginning to develop in the 1830’s. The connection to Duncombe is intriguing: Richard Shenick, a boy who travelled with him on his flight to freedom, became one of the many Canadian refugees who settled there after the rebellion and never returned to Upper Canada. Richard became a leading pioneer in the area. His life story will come full circle when a busload of Canadian actors arrives in Lexington to tell how it all began.

The final performance of ‘The Duncombe Rebellion’ takes place on Saturday June 20 in Wardsville - a historic village on Highway 2 that might adopt a new slogan: ‘Charles Duncombe slept here’. For a modest price, ‘Rebels and Quakers’ can purchase matinee tickets and a dinner following - for slightly more, members of the ‘Family Compact’ can buy dinner, the play and an ‘after-glow’ party. There will be much to celebrate!

"The Duncombe Rebellion 1837" creative team includes award-winners playwright Marion Johnson and director Jason Rip.

For further information contact:
Nancy Johnson,
Living History Productions

or Mary Simpson
519 287 3566

Monday, April 6, 2009

Backus Page House Schedule for the 2009 Season

Come join us at one or all of the special events the Tyrconnell Heritage Society has planned for the 2009 season at the Backus Page House.

Season Opening

Sunday, May 3, 2009, 12 to 4:30 

Come share the festivities as the Society celebrates the beginning of the new season at the Backus-Page House. Children’s activities, demonstrations and costumed interpreters will be on site to welcome visitors. It’s a great opportunity to meet with old friends, explore additions to the museum collection or discover further opportunities for volunteering, leisure or entertainment.   

 Student Pioneer Education Day (open to area schools or home schooling groups by reservation only)

Friday May 22, 2009

Pioneer Education Day continues to be one of the most popular student events offered by the Tyrconnell Heritage Society. Scores of community volunteers, Society members, amateur and professional re-enactors and tradesmen come together to create a full day of historical interpretation of the early years of the Talbot Settlement. Although Friday’s activities are strictly for students, chaperones and educators, the public is welcome to share the pioneer may experience on our “Relive the Talbot Settlement Day” which follows.  

Relive the Talbot Settlement Day- 200th Anniversay Celebration

Saturday May 23, 2009

The Backus-Page House, located in the Heart of the Talbot Settlement, welcomes all to experience the life of an Upper Canada settler. Originally known as Lakeview when it was built in 1850, the Backus-Page House was home to second generation settlers Andrew and Mary Jane Backus. Now owned by the Ministry of Natural Resources and leased by the Tyrconnell Heritage Society, the property is home to a cultural and historical center that works to interpret the agricultural history of the area as well as the heritage of the Talbot Settlement legacy. Relive the Talbot Settlement Day is an annual event that allows visitors to interact with historical re-enactors, tradesmen and interpreters. 2009 marks the 200th anniversary of the original pioneer settlement in the area which came to be known as Tyrconnell. Refreshments, children’s activities and house tours will be available. Call the Carriage House Office for admission prices and times and other information at 519-762-3072. 

Canada Parks Day Celebration

Sunday July 20, 2009, 12 to 4:30

 Opening in 1957, the John E. Pearce Provincial Park is home to a diversity of habitats that attract a wide variety of insects, birds, plants and animals. This Carolinian zone is noted in particular as home to the Pileated Woodpecker and the white tail deer. The Tyrconnell Heritage Society has overseen the maintenance of the Pearce Park since 1995. Canada’s Parks Day is a national event, showcasing parks and historic sites, in every province and territory in Canada.  This year the Society will celebrate Canada Parks Day on the Sunday with a lecture, house tours with costumed interpreters, light refreshments and guided park tours.

Contact the Carriage House Office at 519-762-3072 for additional information. To learn more about Canada Parks Day visit   

Pioneer Day Camps

July 27-August 1st and August 10th –August 14th, 9am to 5pm (approx)

This year the Society is offering not one but two weeks of camp for children ages 6 to 12. Crafts, games, historical presenters are all set against the backdrop of the beautiful John E. Pearce Provincial Park. The cost is $80 per child and 2 snacks a day are included. Registration is limited so book early. 519-762-3072 or 

Heritage Farm Show

Saturday September 5, 2009 (10 am -4pm) and Sunday September 6, 2009 (9am -4pm)

Come and experience our proud agricultural roots at the Heritage Farm Show. The weekend will include farm themed displays and demonstrations featuring steam engines, working horses, threshing, blacksmithing, heritage tours and children’s activities. There’ll be barbeque as well as a Sunday pancake breakfast and church service. Contact the THS office (519-762-3072) for admission fees and additional information.

 1850s Christmas Dinner

Saturday December 5, 2009

Once again the Tyrconnell Heritage Society is offering the opportunity for you to win a genuine 1850’s Christmas dinner served at the Backus-Page House. This popular event provides a culinary and historical that shouldn’t be missed. Raffle tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5 and will be available in July.