Monday, September 29, 2014

Media Monday

Media Monday
Happy Monday Everyone!

October is right around the corner! (I know - hard to believe!) 
I have researched and discovered 5 new items for our QR Code project that will be on display throughout the Backus-Page House Museum. The new items range from objects to images and give quite a background about the museum itself. The items include: a glove stretcher, an image of Andrew and Mary Jane Backus, a carcass splitter, shoe forms, and the Moorhouse Doll. 
Some of the objects for the month of October are very interesting and took some time to research and discover what exactly each of them were used for!

Below is a site map showing where each of the objects will be displayed throughout the museum:

Friday, September 26, 2014

Foodie Friday- Garlic Green Beans

Garlic Green Beans
  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, split
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 (20 ounce) can whole green beans
  • Heat salad oil, garlic cloves, vinegar and sugar. Drain beans and add to the mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove garlic and serve.
Recipe from "Capital Cookery".
Kelsey Conway
Backus Page House Museum

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

World War Wednesdays #2

World War Wednesdays Blog #2

            I recently had the opportunity to attend a lecture given by British military historian Martin Middlebrook at the Canadian War Museum. The lecture was called Up the Line and Back Again and followed the path of a First World War new recruit. It told how infantry soldiers were trained and mobilized to the Western Front, the various stages of treatment and evacuation after having been wounded, and the process of being discharged when no longer fit for military service.

            Before I attended the lecture, I had never heard of Mr. Middlebrook, but I now know that he is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an author of a number of books related to military history (list below), a soldier himself, and a Knight of the Order of the Belgian Crown. Clearly, hearing him speak was a great privilege.

            Upon arriving at the museum’s Barney Danson theater, my roommate and fellow history colleague and I were confronted with the usual intimidating feeling of being the youngest ones at a history event. Right away, the elderly man onstage came down to shake our hands and thank us for coming in front of the whole audience. It was a remarkable touch that made us feel appreciated and instantly more comfortable.

            As he began talking, I could see right away that Mr. Middlebrook knew his subject very well, having been a tour guide of the war cemeteries in France for many years, and that he was very passionate about what he had to say. I also began to notice something that left me feeling sad. Mr. Middlebrook would often go off on tangents while he was talking and end up diverting from the point and confusing the audience. As you can imagine, he was eaten alive with corrections and “added information” during the question hour. I felt that this was very unfortunate. Here is a man in his eighties who has given his life in research, and has travelled a great distance despite the recent death of his wife to share his information with us for free. We as a group seeking to do the same thing should have been embracing what he had to tell us and chalking his faults up to the inconveniences of age. Perhaps as a young historian I am more naïve to the topic, but I feel that our older historians are an incredibly valuable asset. There should be no room for competitions of knowledge, but everyone’s individual areas should be embraced. There is something to be learned from all people, old or young, and it is people like myself who are trying to be worthy of inheriting the legacy that people like Mr. Middlebrook will be leaving behind. For me, it was an honor to meet Mr. Middlebrook and hear what he had to say, and I’ll try harder from now on to appreciate everything that can be learned from people like him.

                     Thanks for reading,

          Delany Leitch


Mr. Middlebrook, courtesy of the Ottawa Sun.


Martin Middlebrook Books:

  •  The First Day on the Somme with much co-operation from John Howlett. (1971)
  • The Nuremberg Raid (1973)
  • The Kaiser's Battle with much co-operation from Neville Mackinder.(1978)
  • The Battle of Hamburg (1980)
  • The Peenemünde Raid (1982)
  • The Schweinfurt-Regensburg Mission (1983)
  • The Falklands War, 1982 (1985) first published as Operation Corporate
  • The Berlin Raids (1988)
  • Convoy
  • Battleship (with Patrick Mahoney)
  • The Bomber Command War Diaries (with the late Chris Everitt)
  • The Somme Battlefields (with Mary Middlebrook)
  • Arnhem 1944
  • Your Country Needs You
  • The Fight for the Malvinas
  • The North Midlands Territorials Go To War/Captain Staniland's Journey


I Love the 50's! Stoves


Stoves became available in the 1850's. Cooking on an open fire was still common among many households, however, step stoves quickly gained popularity. Cooking on an open fire was either done outside or inside the home on the fireplaces. Stoves slowly replaced cooking on an open fire.
The upgrades that stoves had undergone were visible in the 1950's. Companies manufacturing these new and improved stoves included Chambers, Dixie, Gaffers & Sattler, O'Keefe & Merritt and more. The materials used to make stoves in the 1950's included chrome and porcelain. They were also made to look fancy by having polished handles. The colour of the stove ranged from white to red to blue. Stoves used in 1950 were also bigger then the standard step stove used in the 1850's. 

1950's stove
Backus-Page House Museum

1850's step stove

Monday, September 22, 2014

Media Mondays

Wallacetown Fair Exhibit
This years theme is Hunting and Fishing.
We were pretty excited to hear about the new theme for this year because 
we have a bunch of antique hunting and fishing implements here at the museum. 
Setting up and getting ready for the exhibit was very exciting 
- Kelsey and I had some very interesting ideas!

We numbered all of the objects and provided labels to make identifying easier to do. 
We have also chose 7 items that were especially interesting and created QR code landing pages for each to provide viewers with more information!

I hope you get a chance to come out to the fair and see our exhibit - don't forget to bring your SmartPhone and scan some of the QR codes and learn more about our 
Hunting and Fishing Exhibit Collection!

Below is a preview to what we collected together for our Hunting and Fishing Exhibit!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Foodie Friday- Two Tone Fudge

Two Tone Fudge
  1. Boil the following ingredients for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and add 1 tsp. of vanilla.
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 2 cups granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1 cup carnation milk
  2. Next add 1 package (10 ounces) of miniature marshmallows and stir until melted.
  3. Reserve 2 cups of mixture.
  4. To remainder add 1 six ounce package of butterscotch chips and 1/2 cup walnuts. Stir until chips melt.
  5. Pour into large pie plate or large cake pan (buttered).
  6. To remaining 2 cups add 1 package chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Pour over first mixture. Smooth top with buttered rubber spatula.
  7. Cut into small pieces when cool.
Recipe from "Heritage Cookbook".
Kelsey Conway
Backus Page House Museum

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

World War Wednesdays #1

Delany Leitch worked at Backus-Page House Museum during the summer of 2013 and is now volunteering her time to submit World War weekly blog posts for us. 

If I were to ask you what your favorite subject was in school, my best guess is that your answer probably wouldn’t be History, or anything related to a subject which requires the memorization of dates, places and names combined with a great deal of writing and reflection. I’ll be the first to say that I can’t blame you there. After all, for most people the subject is not directly related to the kind of knowledge and skills required in a workplace, so it’s a generally short-lived struggle. If this sounds at all familiar to you, I am sorry to hear that. You probably didn’t have the amazing luck that I’ve had in the history teacher department, which for me was a huge factor in sparking the inspiration which has led me to where I am right now.

I’m a second-year student at the University of Ottawa specializing in history, specifically the German side of the Second World War and the Holocaust, with additional interest in the German language and Sociology. I am so thrilled to be able to say that I absolutely love what I’m studying, and I could not be more excited about this stage in my educational journey.

If what I’m studying doesn’t sound appealing to you, that’s perfectly understandable. Studying the far-away concepts of times gone by can seem at best daunting and at worst useless. This isn’t the most employable field in the world, I know. But, for just a few minutes, I’d like to get you to see the value in studying and appreciating history, and if you don’t end up joining me in perpetual research and essay writing, maybe you’ll have a better understanding of why we do this.

I’ll start off with a little story which has sparked a lot of recent pondering for me. Last Wednesday, September 10th was the 75th anniversary of Canada’s official entry into the Second World War. It was a day I had been anticipating, and was looking forward to seeing how it would be recognized. On that morning, I went to my Facebook page, as I often do, to share with friends and family the interesting and humorous historical things I encounter. I uploaded a few pictures of my great-grandfather, Verne Frank in his uniform posing with family. You can see the photos enclosed in this blog. In the caption, I mentioned what a significant day it had been for my family, and asked how it had affected other people. I expected to not receive much response, but I was shocked to begin receiving the personal family war stories of people I don’t even know well. I was incredibly humbled and thrilled that these people would take the time to send pictures and stories in response to my casual little question.

This positive reception also made me think. These people were so proud to be able to tell me of their relatives’ participation in a war that spanned the entire globe, a war which I have become dedicated to study. It made me wonder why people are so quick to be bored and overwhelmed by studying history, but asking them to draw personal questions results in an outpouring of pride and sharing. I can now say that I recognize and appreciate the immense value in establishing personal connections with the history that has shaped all of us. This lesson is valuable in any field, but in history it can make or break how someone views it. For me, having the individual stories make the big concepts I study so much more impactful. I thought as I was reading them how great it would be if all parts of history could be explored in such an exciting a  manner as if it were our own relatives’ experiences. I thought about what a difference history teachers could make if they broke topics down from the key concepts to the little people who were a part of them.

This is just a little observation I have made and been thinking about. One of the greatest lessons I have learned from this is how a momentous event like the Second World War can bring people together not only during, but many decades after the dust has settled. I can’t express enough how honored I was to be entrusted with the amazing stories I have read. This is a lifelong discussion for me and I love when people add to it. If you want to be a part of the conversation, I’ll always want to hear it. Seeing other people get excited about history makes me happier than anything, and if you’d like to know more, feel free to follow my journey!

                 Thanks for reading,
                 Delany Leitch


I Love the 50's! Transportation

Ways of Transportation

The railroad was a popular way for traveling during the 1850's. Steam boats and Keel boats were also used. Keel boats were used for transporting people and goods. These boats would travel on smaller rivers, where as the steam boats would use bigger bodies of water. Financially well off families had access to a horse and buggy, although you still could not travel long distances using this method. 
People were able to access cars as a way of transportation in the 1950's! Gas for the cars cost approximately 18 cents for a gallon. For those that couldn't afford to purchase a car, they had the option of using the subway. Toronto purchased their subway cars from the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom would then ship them across the Atlantic Ocean. Another way of travel was by bus. 1950's buses were very long and had many windows in them. Of course the railway was still a way of transportation in the 1950's, however, it had undergone improvements. The trains up until the 1950's were steam whistle trains, where as in the 1950's trains began to be fueled by diesel. 
Backus-Page House Museum

Monday, September 15, 2014

Media Mondays

The Heritage Farm Show 2014

The Heritage Farm Show this year went extremely well. 
We had exhibitors, vendors and collections from all across the county 
here at the Backus-Page House Museum.
Exhibits of all different makes and models of tractors lined the back field
as well as a variety of large antique farm machinery!

Please see some of the images below outlining the 2014 Heritage Farm Show!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Service Saturday- Kim Lundberg

This weeks service Saturday features Kim Lundberg from London.  Kim is a member of the Upper Canada Woodland Allies (formerly known as the British Native Allies). The Upper Canada Woodland Allies came to a reenactment in 2001 or 2002 where they camped by the cliff with other indigenous peoples and voyageurs. Kim has been coming to the museum ever since, which means he has been volunteering with the museum for 12-13 years. Kim helps out with reenactments and education days, such as day camp. Kim enjoys the site, the quiet, the morning birds, the flora and fauna, the staff, the organizers and volunteers (who he finds to be very friendly and helpful). He also likes having the opportunity to give input on things such as possibilities to improve events, particularly the length of time spent talking to a group of students, the campsite, the parks etc. The opportunity to help portray history, reenact and talk to various people about indigenous oral history is a major aspect as to why the Backus-Page House Museum is one of Kims favourite sites, he says he loves visiting! 
Thank you Kim for everything you do for the Museum!
Kim giving a presentation at day camp

Backus-Page House Museum

Friday, September 12, 2014

Foodie Friday- Cherry-Pecan Crumble

Cherry- Pecan Crumble
Cherry Pie Filling:
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. minute tapioca
  • 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
  • 6 cups pitted tart red cherries 
  • 1 1/2 cups all- purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans 
Heavy cream, whipped cream or ice cream

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix together the brown sugar, tapioca and nutmeg. Add the almond extract, cherries, combine thoroughly. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes, then pour into a 9 x 13 inch greased baking dish.
  2. Make the topping: In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter with a pastry blender until it resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the chopped pecans and spoon the topping over the cherry mixture, spreading it out evenly. Bake the crumble for 1 hour, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.
  3. Serve slightly warm with heavy cream, whipped cream or ice cream. 
Serves 8-10 
Recipe from "Marcia Adams' Heirloom Recipes". 
Kelsey Conway
Backus Page House  Museum

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Love the 50's - Dances

The 1850's was known as the romantic era for music. The most popular and common dances during this time included the waltz, the polka and the galop. The waltz was a big deal because it was known as a 'closed' couples dance. This meant that the couple would dance arm and arm. The waltz changed the way couples danced together. The polka was most popular in the 1840's and continued its popularity through to the 50's. The galop was also a couples dance, the couple would slide sideways down the dance floor. 

The 1950's had dances that included the cha-cha, swing, and the hand jive. The cha-cha was a very popular dance at night clubs during the 1950's. Swing is one of the dances from the fifties that is still practiced today. The hand jive could be done to any up beat song. The hand jive is one of the few dances you can do sitting down because the dance is a variety of hand and arm movements. This dances was also featured in the movie "Grease". 

The hand jive
Backus-Page House Museum

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Toolbox Tuesday - Hay Implements

Hay Implements 


    There were many different implements that were used to harvest hay, they include a hay knives, hay spades, sickles and reaping hooks. The hay knife was wide and heavy and had a blade on the outer edge of the knife. The hay knife did not reap hay, it was used to cut out portions from the stack. Similarly, the hay spade did the same thing although it was also used to cut pumpkins when they were used as animal food. Pumpkin stalks tended to choke animals therefore the pumpkins needed to be cut from the stock and the stocks destroyed. The reaping hook, which was designed in the late 1700's was used until sickles were created during the later half of the 1850's when the art of cutting gave way to the art of slashing. Reaping hooks were larger and the blade was smooth compared to sickles which were smaller than reaping hooks and had a serrated blade. Sickles were used with the aid of a hay crook.

Hay Fork

Come out to the Heritage Farm Show at the Backus-Page House on September 13th and 14th to see our antique hay implements and other farm tools featured on our Toolbox Tuesdays


Monday, September 8, 2014

Media Monday

Happy Monday Everyone!

This Monday I will be discussing our upcoming event this coming weekend - 
The Heritage Farm Show. 
The Farm Show takes place on September 13th and 14th, 2014. 
Each day over the weekend the grounds are open from 10am to 4pm. 
Admission to the event is $6 per person and children under the age of 12 are free!
We have a variety of vendors, exhibitors, farm equipment and tractors displayed all over the grounds at the Backus-Page House Museum. 
The Pierce Family Band is playing on the grounds for the entire weekend. 
The Barn and the House will both be open for tours! 
New exhibitors are always welcome - if you are interested in having a display at the event or are interested in tickets please call the Carriage House at 519-762-3072!

Below is a video showcasing Work Horses 
from our 2013 Heritage Farm Show!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Behind the Scenes Sundays

Good afternoon!

Sarah, David and I are already a bit lonely now that Catie, Kelsey, Ali, and Melanie have returned to school.  Luckily we have had lots of helpers on site this week completing projects such as Allan and Corey with the new Community Compost bin sponsored by TD Friends of the Environment Fund, Martin putting in a new (old) window for added light in the barn, and Susan who manned the museum Friday morning for us.  Many hands make light work and we appreciate each of you. 

Embedded image permalinkNew window inside the barn. 

Things are shaping up well as we get closer to next weekend's Heritage Farm Show.  See the details of the event below.  Three new pieces arrived this past week for our barn collection.  A corn binder was donated by Marianne Vergeer, a potato digger from Joe Collins, and Doug and Beverly Small dropped by with a washing machine from Thomas Brothers Limited, St. Thomas.  I am looking forward to doing a bit of research on each of these items, but for now here are pictures of a couple of them. 

Embedded image permalink  Corn Binder

 Embedded image permalink side view Thomas Bros. Washing Machine

As you can see the washing machine is in need of a new metal bottom and four legs to display properly and possibly use as an education piece.  If you're somewhat handy, please contact me to volunteer for this project.  Angela Bobier 519-762-3072 

See you all next Saturday and Sunday!  Bring a car full of family and friends to Backus-Page House Museum, 29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown

Admission $6, Age 12 and under free.


Throughout the day: wagon rides, agricultural horse demonstrations, antique vehicles and equipment,  crafter’s, tours of museum, wood stove cooking, saw demonstrations, barn exhibit. “Celebrate Volunteers” Exhibit, market, and much more!  Kid's Quarter Carnival games!

10:00 a.m.: Gates Open
11:00 p.m. - 4:00p.m.: Barbeque Lunch available for purchase, Bean Pot by donation
11:00 a.m.: Threshing
12:00-4:00 p.m.: Pierce Family Band
1:00 p.m. Tractor and Lawn Mower Races
1:30 p.m.: Threshing
2:30 p.m.: Parade of Power
3:15 p.m.: Tractor and Lawn Mower Races
3:30 p.m.: Threshing
3:45 p.m.: Children’s Scavenger Hunt for candy in the straw
4:00 p.m.: Baling Straw
5:00 p.m.: Potluck Dinner for Volunteers and Exhibitors Only


Throughout the day: wagon rides, agricultural horse demonstrations, antique vehicles and equipment,  crafter’s, tours of museum, wood stove cooking, saw demonstrations, barn exhibit. “Celebrate Volunteers” Exhibit, market, and much more!  Kid's Quarter Carnival games!

9:00 a.m.: Gates Open
9:00:a.m. – 11a.m.: Breakfast available for purchase
11:00 a.m.: Worship Service with Bill Denning and Sophie Gowan
11:00 a.m. – 4:00p.m.: Barbeque Lunch available for purchase, Bean Pot by donation
11:30 p.m.: Threshing
12:00 -4:00 p.m.: Pierce Family Band
1:00 p.m.: Tractor and Lawn Mower Races
1:30 p.m.: Threshing
3:00 p.m.: Tractor and Lawn Mower Races
3:15 p.m.: Threshing
3:45 p.m.: Children’s Scavenger Hunt for candy in the straw - Baling straw
4:00 p.m.: Show closes 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Service Saturday- Rob Ellis

This weeks service Saturday features Rob Ellis from Iona Station. Rob is currently the president of the Tyrconnell Heritage Society.  He became involved with the Backus-Page House Museum through a relative and has been volunteering for 3 years now. Rob is always willing to help with whatever task or event that is needed. Rob enjoys spending time at the Backus-Page House Museum because of the location and the beautiful atmosphere. 

Thank you Rob for all of your hard work!
Backus-Page House Museum

Friday, September 5, 2014

Foodie Friday- Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shortening 
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar 
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • Flour to thicken

  1. Mix sugar and shortening until creamed and add beaten egg. Mix in dry ingredients using enough flour to roll out. Cut with medium sized cutter. Bake in quick oven but do not over brown. Sprinkle tops with sugar when cookies are removed from oven. 
Recipe from the "Heritage Cookbook".
Kelsey Conway 
Backus Page House Museum 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Love the 50's- Makeup

In the 1850's women wore makeup that consisted of white lead and mercury. This was dangerous because the lead and mercury eventually led to hair loss, stomach problems, the shakes and could cause death. Women in the 1850's also desired a 'glazed' look for their face. In order to achieve this look they would brush egg whites on their face. Having a 'glazed' face resembled a porcelain doll, which was a desired look in the 1850's. 
In the 1950's women desired a pale skin tone. They would use peachy or flesh coloured powders to help achieve this desired pale look. Lip stick became very popular in the 1950's, it was thought to enhance a women femininity. Orange-red lipstick was common for women with blonde hair, red heads and other medium- dark hair colours wore purple-red lipstick. Women favoured their lipstick and therefore, very little eyeshadow and mascara was used on the eyes. 

Backus-Page House Museum

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Toolbox Tuesday - Saws


        Early American saws can be classified into two different categories; Frame and open saws. Open saws in the 1850's were much the same as its modern counterpart, although previous open saws had a handle that was more like that of a knife and it was long enough to use with two hands. Wood was a popular material used for tools as metal was sometimes hard to come by, frame saws had the advantage of only needing the narrowest of blades because it was support by the frame. The buck saw (which can be found here at the Backus-Page House Museum among our barn collection) is a type of bow frame. Bow frames are characterized by a thin blade stretched between two arms by a twisted cord, the saw blade could be turned by twisting the handles making it easy to saw curved pieces. 
In a buck saw, the blade is stationary and heavier and long handle has been added to one side. The name comes from the term for cutting logs to the proper length or "buck" logs. Buck saws were also collapsible making it for easy storage. 

Come out to the Heritage Farm Show on September 13th and 14th at the Backus-Page House to see our antique saws and other farm implements featured on our Toolbox Tuesday blog posts 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Media Mondays

Media Mondays

Wow how summer has flown by! Tomorrow students will be back to school and a new school year will have begun! We have lots of interesting things happening at the museum during the month of September - the most exciting thing being the Annual Heritage Farm Show which takes place September 13th and 14th. This month we have some excellent items on display with our QR code project. They include: a mandolin slicer, school books, school slates, a bath tub and worm medicine. All  the remaining objects from the summer months are still on display and will be until the farm show. If you haven't had a chance to see some of these interesting objects be sure to attend the farm show and see them all! Below you will see a site map for all 5 new September objects and their whereabouts in the museum.