Friday, October 31, 2014

Foodie Friday- Maple Butter Tart Filling

Maple Butter Tart Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
Bring all ingredients to a boil. Cook until raisins are cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Add 2 beaten eggs and 1 tsp of vanilla. Put in unbaked tart shells. Bake at 450 for 8 minutes and then at 350 until they are done.
Kelsey Conway
Backus-Page House Museum

Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Love the 50's- Halloween Traditions

Halloween Traditions
In the 1850's pumpkins and gourds were grown on the farm. People did carve these pumpkins and gourds, however, the main reason they did was to provide a source of light. This is much the same as the jack-o-lanterns we carve today.They were used as lanterns during the fall months.
By the 1950's Halloween had evolved into a holiday. This holiday was intended for young children, however, everyone enjoyed celebrating it. Halloween parties were the most common way of celebrating. People would play games, eat seasonal foods and dress in costumes. The idea behind 'trick-or-treat' was families could prevent tricks being played on them by giving candies to children. This is very similar to how we celebrate Halloween today!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

World War Wednesdays: Canada Strong

World War Wednesdays: Canada Strong

A photo I took and edited of the center block at Parliament
     When Canada entered the First World War, the majority of its citizens sprang into action, eager to defend their beloved country against foreign aggressors. A hundred years later, it is often thought that if the circumstances required it, people today would not be as willing to volunteer their service. When  a class of second year history students at the University of Ottawa was asked if they would be willing to enlist if a war broke out today, only two raised their hands. However, after the events of last Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, you would be hard pressed to find someone who was not affected, and fully devoted to our beautiful country and its defense.
     The thing is, none of the brave men and women of history had ever thought that they would be in the position to do what they did. They lived normal, everyday lives just like most of us. They experienced events that were shocking and frightening, and shook to the core the sense of peace that they had known previously. Suddenly, the things that they loved and had taken for granted were in danger, and for that reason they would do what it took to preserve them, without thought.
     Personally, and I am sure I'm not alone in this, this was exactly how I felt on October 22nd when a gunman ravaged my beautiful home, Ottawa. I watched the news that day in utter disbelief. On the screen, I saw the places I love most in this world surrounded with police tape and armed officers. Parliament and the area around it is somewhere I like to go to remind myself of why I moved here, and that old feeling of complete awe of its beauty never fails to return. There is a point, just past the corner entrance of the Rideau Center, where you can look ahead and see the Parliament buildings, the War Memorial, and the Chateau Laurier altogether at once, and it is one of my favorite views in this world. To think that somewhere so sacred and perfect was the setting of an act so dark and horrifying is something that will take a very long time for me to grasp, as I'm sure is the case for most Canadians.
A picture I took last year of the War Memorial with Christmas lights all around
     As soon as the evening of the 22nd, there was an outpouring of love and support not only for the family of the brave guard who lost his  life that day, but for the country that we all call home. Canada has always has a reputation of being the peacekeeper, a free and accepting land that is growing more and more so with every news story from our neighbors to the south. We hear of atrocities in other countries and overseas, but never has something hit so close to home. It was just so shocking in its raw, deliberate nature. Disbelief seemed to be the common feeling, and still is.
     What has really stood out to me is that despite all that has happened since our last major conflict, despite government scandals and criticisms of Canada's foreign policies, every single Canadian joined together with pride and love for their country that day. It is an amazing testament to our armed forces that when the chips are down, the entire country will rally behind them with nothing but support and admiration-- just as it was in 1914.
     Last night, the night before Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was laid to rest, I visited the National War Memorial. Where I had once stood as a tourist on vacation four years ago, and again on Remembrance Day of last year, had become the place where a Canadian soldier had lost his life. The entire area had been turned into a memorial, and it was one of the saddest and most sobering things I have ever witnessed.



The tomb of the unknown soldier, covered in poppies

The Memorial with the Peace Tower in the background, flag at half mast
Flags at half mast across from the Memorial, with Chateau Laurier behind
     This post is dedicated to the memory of Nathan Cirillo, a national hero and protector.
            Thanks for reading,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Media Mondays

Harvest Party

This years Harvest Party took place on Saturday October 25th from 1-8pm at the Backus-Page House Museum. It was a great success for the second year in a row!
Activities we had include a Haunted Trail Walk, Spooky Tours of the Museum, Halloween Themed Crafts and Activities, Treats and Refreshments.
We really enjoyed giving our spooky tours of the museum this year because we had lots of interesting experiences that happened throughout the season in regards to ghosts. We had a variety of clairvoyants and paranormal investigators out to the museum and we really enjoyed sharing their findings and our personal experiences with our guests during the Harvest Party!
Overall, we really enjoyed hosting the Harvest Party this year and we hope to do it again next year!
If you did not get a chance to come out we hope to see you during the Christmas Season!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Foodie Friday- Lemon Cordial

Lemon Cordial
  • 6 fresh lemons
  • 1 1/2 quarts of milk
  • 1 1/2 quarts of French Brandy
  • 3 pounds of powdered loaf sugar
  1. Cut the lemons into thin slices, put them into the milk, boil it until the whey is clear. Pass it through a sieve.
  2. Add the French Brandy and powdered loaf sugar to this whey.
  3. Stir it until the sugar is dissolved. Let stand and then bottle it. You may also add lemon rind.  
Kelsey Conway
Backus Page House Museum

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World War Wednesdays: Wartime Photography

The Images of War: Famous and Rare World War Photographs
     One of the greatest technological advances of the 'modern wars' is that of photography. The images of war could be captured and presented to a wide range of audiences, eliminating the barriers of space and time in relaying the details of events. During both world wars, there were photographers specially commissioned to capture major moments in history, and they remain to this day some of the most valuable resources in studying and making connections with world war history. I have decided to compile some of my favorites, borrowed from various Twitter accounts devoted to sharing these photos. If you are on Twitter, I highly recommend following these accounts!
World War One

Trench warfare photo taken by an official British photographer, 1914 courtesy of @HistoryInPics

Christmas in the trenches, 1914 courtesy of @TheHistoryBook
Portrait of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson formed by 21,000 soldiers at Camp Sherman, Ohio, 1918 courtesy of @CombinedHistory
A woman gives flowers to a German soldier leaving for the front, Berlin, August 1914 courtesy of @HistoryInPics
A British soldier "shaking hands" with a kitten in the snow, Neulette, France, 1917 courtesy of @HistoryInPics
World War Two
An American soldier replaces 'Adolf-Hitler-Str.' sign with a 'Roosevelt Blvd.' one in Berlin, Germany, 1945 courtesy of @HistoryInPics
The staged photo of the milkman during the Blitz, October 9th, 1940, by Fred Morley courtesy of @HistoryInPics
Churchill sits on one of the damaged chairs from Hitler's bunker in Berlin, Germany, 1945 courtesy of @HistoryInPics
Bike messengers leaving the White House on December 7th, 1941 (the day of the Pearl Harbor attack) courtesy of @HistoryInPics
The liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, January 27th, 1945 courtesy of @TheHistoryBook
A German soldier giving bread to an orphaned Russian boy, 1942 courtesy of @CombinedHistory
Readers browsing through the bomb-damaged library of Holland House, London, England, 1940, courtesy of @HistoryInPics
Dresden, Germany, 1945 courtesy of @CombinedHistory
Three little girls peer through the binoculars of an American soldier after the liberation of Normandy, 1944, courtesy of @CombinedHistory
August Landmesser, a German who was engaged to a Jewish woman, refuses to give the Nazi salute, Hamburg, 1936, courtesy of @HistoryInPics
     These are just a few examples of photographs that have become symbols of major times in world war history. Thank you for taking a look!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Toolbox Tuesday - Hoof Knife

Hoof Knife

     A hoof knife is just one of many tools that is used by a farrier. A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care including the trimming and balancing of horses hooves. Their job also includes that placing of shoes on their hooves. Farrier's are a combination of blacksmithing skills (making and adjusting of metal shoes) and veterinarian skills ( understanding the anatomy of the hoof) to care for the horses feet.
     Historically farrier's and blacksmith's were practically synonymous. In colonial America farrier's work included shoeing horses as well as the making and repairing of tools and the forging of agricultural pieces. In comparison, today farrier's focus their time on hoof care, and for this reason farrier's and blacksmith's are considered to be separate, although related, trades.
     A hoof knife is a strong, slightly curved knife with it tip turned in on itself to form a tunnel. The flat part of the blade is used to trim the bottom of the hoof wall and the curved part makes grooves or cut holes.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Media Mondays

Harvest Party

The Harvest Party is going to take place here at the museum on October 25th from 1-8pm.
Come on out for spooky tours of the trail and the museum as well as a variety of crafts and games!
We have had a variety of paranormal explorers visit the museum over the summer and we are gearing up to share their stories (as well as some of our own scary experiences) during a spooky tour of the house! Come and learn about the ghosts that reside in the museum and what they have been up to this year!
Also we will have on display our new QR codes for the month of October so don't forget to bring your smart phones to scan them! We plan to pick our more "creepy" items for this month!
Hope to see you all on October 25th!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Foodie Friday- Date Squares

Date Squares
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp. salt
Date filling:
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups dates
  • 1 tsp. grated orange rind
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice (or lemon juice)
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1 cup water 
Mix and cook until thick.

  1. Mix dry ingredients. Add melted butter and blend well. Place half of the mixture in a buttered pan and pat down. 
  2. Spread date filling over mixture and then cover with the rest of the mixture. 
  3. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. Cut into squares while still warm. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I Love the 50's- Tractors

In the 1850's farmers relied on manual labour, animal power and limited simple tools. Many hours of labour was needed to plant, maintain and harvest any crops. Some methods that were used are walking plows, harrows and hand planting.
Before the 1950's the use of machinery in agriculture was very rare. In 1954 for the first time the amount of tractors was higher than the number of horses and mules on farms. With the use of tractors farmers were now able to spread commercial fertilizer on the crops.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Upcoming Events in Dunwich

Here are some of the upcoming events in Dunwich:

Dutton-Dunwich Horticultural Society

Monday, October 20, 2014
7:30pm - General Meeting
Mesh Ribbon Wreath Making
$17 - members, $22 non-members 

Dunwich United Church
Corner of Mary and Nancy St. 

Everyone Welcome, Bring a Friend

Backus-Page House Museum

Harvest Party
October 25, 2014

$6 for children, $2 for parents

29424 Lakeview Line, Wallacetown, ON

Everyone Welcome!

World War Wednesdays: A Bear at War

A Bear at War: The Story of Lt. Lawrence Browning Rogers
     For anyone who visits the Canadian War Museum, there are countless exhibits and objects that cause one to pause and be overwhelmed at the magnitude of human conflict. There is an entire floor dedicated to showcasing tanks, vehicles and large weaponry, a section of the Berlin Wall, and a mock D-Day landing craft. However, there is one tiny little item located in the Canada and the First World War section which can be considered to be the most evocative. It is a dirty, mangled little teddy bear, and the story behind it is one that touches the hearts of historians and visitors alike.
     Before we explore the bear's story, it is important that we first get acquainted with the people involved in it. Lieutenant Lawrence Browning Rogers, born December 17, 1878, was the son of the late Maj. John and Hattie Duncan Rogers, of Montreal. He was married to Janet May Weaver Rogers, with whom he had two children, Howard and Aileen. According to his enlistment information, he was a farmer from Montreal, Quebec. He enlisted with the Canadian Mounted Rifles in Sweetsburg, Quebec on February 11, 1915. He was 36 years old at the time. He was sent to serve as a medic with the regiment in Belgium and France.
Lieutenant Lawrence Browning Rogers in uniform
      Before he made his journey overseas, ten-year-old Aileen gave a teddy bear to her father as a good luck charm and a memento of home. He promised to take good care of it, and to keep it with him always.
The little bear

      The family exchanged hundreds of letters during Lawrence's time at war. Below are a few examples of their correspondence.
Lawrence's wife, May feeding the chickens at their farm
Oct. 17, 1917
Dear Laurie
Think of it. I have sent you Christmas boxes already. What they said is we must do so early to ensure delivery. There will be such a lot. I had to pack in two boxes I marked them 1 & 2.
There are a couple of little gifts for Dan, they are marked from children and from me. Aileen made a sweater herself…excuse some uneven places. There is a lot of love and devotion knit into it. Howard saved up his money and that is hard, and bought your present himself and we did enjoy purchasing it.
I have been pretty sick for a week. Was not able to go out. Had to get what I could on Victoria Avenue. Have not been out for a week. Terrible pain in back across shoulders.
I guess it must be my age is breaking me up. Oh Laurie, I am so afraid it may make an invalid of me as it does of lots of women and the children need me. Pray for me to be spared that.
Children are working hard at school… Poor Aileen struggles along. I did not send her to dancing. Cost too much and she did not seem to want to go much.   So I want to give her music and can’t do everything. I have all the money I need. Don’t send me any. You may need it.
If only I could see you again I think it would make a different woman of me. Loneliness is eating my heart out and yours probably too.
I must go and get dinner for kiddies, love from us all and hoping for your leave.
I am always yours,

Lawrence and one of the horses, before the war
Sept. 3, 1917
Dear May
My how I dread the thought of putting in another winter in the trenches but I suppose it must be done for we have to win before we come back.
Russia may not be much use just now but she is coming along and the U.S. are doing fine, then Canada will buck up and there will be something doing. I would not be surprised if the actual fighting ceased this fall or early winter.
Wish I could just drop in for supper but suppose like a lot of things it will have to wait.
Tonight is almost a full moon over here but usually we do not appreciate moon-light nights. I don’t think you are getting very sentimental for I sure feel that way myself. I did not think you had gotten over it years ago but just perhaps fed up for a while and I sure don’t blame you for I was anything but good company at times.
Don’t worry dear about a cake although I like them, still it is an awful lot of work and I don’t want you to do it when you are not feeling well. I am glad that Aileen is able to ride her bicycle also Gray but she wants to be careful with him in case he should stumble and throw her.
However I am sure it will do her the world of good learning to ride and then Gray is such a quiet beast to learn on. Glad to hear that you are feeling better but do take care of yourself for my sake.
Dan is going to write to you about his money as soon as he can get time. I heard that Major Hewson was over in England again but could not find out when I was over there.
I am just as anxious as you to see all again and I am hoping and trying all I can to get at least a furlough to come home but cannot tell yet if I can get it.
Well dear there is nothing very much to write about so will close and go to bed.
Lots of love for you all
Yours always
Aileen's Christmas report card

May 4, 1917
Dear Aileen
I received a letter from mother today enclosing a copy of your Easter report. It was fine and Dad was so proud of it. He showed it to all the boys and Dan came in and of course I  had to show it to him, he was almost as pleased as I was.
I received the Easter parcel yesterday so was able to give Dan his bunny card also the bunch of grapes, which he and I are eating now. He had never seen anything like them before so was very pleased with them.
I would liked to have had Howard’s report too. It must have been fine and I am very much stuck up about you both.
The weather is sure lovely just now and the sun is fine and warm and as you know I like warm weather. It looks good to me.
I want to enclose a letter to Howard and so will finish this one.
Lots of love for you all from
The teddy
Sept. 25, 1916
Dear May
I am awfully glad you decided to go to town for the winter and feel sure you will not regret it. First, there will not be so much to worry about, only the cooking for yourselves. Second you will be nearer to family should anything go wrong.  Thirdly you will be much nearer to your friends and will not get out of touch with civilization and last but not least, the kiddies will have a chance to go to school…
The weather here is very nice but for a while it was terrible, cold and wet and lots of mud. For two days we had to sleep out in the rain and mud and the consequence of that is most of us have colds and are full of rheumatism.
Tell Aileen I still have the Teddy Bear and will try to hang on to it for her. It is dirty and his hind legs are kind of loose but he is still with me.
Good night dear. Love to all. Hope you are all well.
Yours lovingly,
Aileen feeding the chickens
Aug. 13, 1916
Dear May
I received a letter from you dated July 25. You are not the only one who is having a hot time for it is very hot over here but the nights are cold in fact it is necessary to have a blanket to sleep under.
Why does not Clinton try to get into the Canadian Army Medical Corps. I think it would be just the job for him and in my opinion is the best work in the whole army.
I had a nice letter from Harry Jackson the other day. He would like to come over but cannot, you know their little one has been in a plaster cast for a long time and he said that he could not come…the kiddie had to come first and I guess he is right.
How were you so lucky, or should I say successful, with the sweet peas this year. I never could make a success of them, perhaps Jan got them in earlier than I did and took more care of them. If you get anything like a decent offer for the hens let them go. It will be so much less work for you to do.
How did those apple trees come on, that I planted and was so proud of. They ought to have been in pretty good shape this year.
I can sleep on the floor or anywhere else for that matter now but would like to see a good, clean bed again for a while.
I have been put in charge of the dressing station for this trip and do not have to go into the frontline, which is something but don’t think it is all a picnic here for it certainly is not.
However, it is safer than the line. So we should be thankful for even that.
We had one busy day and then things seem to have quieted down, but one can never tell just how soon things will happen over here.
Tell Howard to write me a letter even if he does not like to write the practice will do him good and the letter will do me good. Also tell Aileen I am anxiously looking for another letter from her and some more cookies. The last were fine.
Well there is nothing much to write about, and as there are a few shells going overhead which makes me jumpy, will close. Love to all and hope you all sleep well.
"The little ones", Aileen (10) and Howard (7)
Aug. 2, 1916
Dear May
I have just washed up my supper dishes – one plate, a cup and a spoon, so feel that I deserve a little leisure and cannot employ it better than writing home and letting you know that I am well.
There are two of us on this job in the medical hut and we get along fine. We have a little gasoline stove and cook our meals on it. We had some eggs, bread and butter and tea, then we managed to get a can of strawberry jam and our M.O. had a parcel sent him the other day and there was a tin of preserved cream in it, which he gave to us and we had that so we did not fare so badly.
Mind we don’t always live that way and there are times when we have to hustle for our grub. I got your parcel all okay and we were very glad to get it. The cake and candy was very acceptable.
I don’t know just when we are going to move again but I suppose it will be soon and then it will be to a new position but at present we cannot say for we don’t know.
I hope you can get an apartment in Westmount so the kiddies can go to school there. Things will right themselves. You know we have always put great faith in the Lord and everything has turned out all okay and I feel sure if we do the same now the Lord will take care of us.
It is wonderful to me to think of how well I have been and what I have gone through in these last 10 months and it’s certainly because a higher power is looking after and taking care of me.
All we can do now is to still put our faith to him and trust that all will come out all right. Kiss the little ones for me and lots of love for all from Daddy.

     Some of these letters were sent by Lt. Rogers while he was stationed at the legendary battle of Passchendaele. According to the Narrative of Operations 29-31 October 1917, 5th CMR War Diary, "At the battle of Passchendaele, the Regimental Aid Post with Capt. Ireland as Medical Officer, and Lieut. Rogers in charge of Stretcher Bearers was established in a Pill Box near the Advance Battalion Headquarters at Kron Prinz Farm." Sadly, the deaths of Lt. Rogers and Captain Ireland are reported on the subsequent page of the Narrative of Operations:
11.20 amReport from Advance Bn. H.Qs., timed 10.30 a.m., that Capt. IRELAND, M.O. and Lieut. ROGERS were killed and only two of Stretcher Bearer party left.
Request made immediately to A.D.S. to send up another M.O. at once. This was quickly responded to.
It was estimated at this time that our casualties (5th CMR) are about 300.
     It was said that he was tending to a wounded soldier, and was killed by enemy fire. His wife May received this letter:

Nov. 3, 1917
Dear Mrs. Rogers -
Words written or spoken would fail to express to you our sympathies with you in your sad bereavement.
Mr. Rogers was more than a comrade to both. Dan and myself and I can assure you we both feel the loss of such a comrade deeply.
We have at least one consolation. His sacrifice will not have been made in vain.
His medical work will be remembered by many who have been attended by him in the field and many a poor fellow has departed this world with little pain thanks to the untiring efforts of Mr. rogers.
Our Empire and our God I am sure cannot forget such deeds.
In your sorrow remember that our God knows best what is good for us, and I am sure it is God’s will that our comrade should be called to higher service.
Mr. Rogers died serving his God and Country, what better and nobler death could a man die.
In closing kindly permit Dan and myself to again offer you our sincerest sympathies.
Yours sincerely,
J.M. Wright
     Lieutenant Rogers was awarded the Military Medal, and was buried at Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial, Belgium.

     Amazingly, when Rogers's body was found, the teddy bear given to him by Aileen was still in his pocket. It was battered and dirty, but it was there. It was returned home to his family, making its sad journey home without its carrier. Eighty-five years later, Lawrence's granddaughter found Teddy, the letters, and other war memorabilia packed away in a briefcase.The bear is now on display at the Canadian War Museum, along with a letter from Aileen. It remains one of the most moving historical objects in Canada.

The bear and letter display at the CWM

  The story of the bear has since been turned into a children's book called A Bear in War by Stephanie Innes, Harry Endrulat, and Brian Deines. " Accompanied by family photographs and Brian Deine's poignant art, A Bear in War is more than one family's testament to a brave soldier. It is a gentle introduction to war, to Remembrance Day, and to the honor of those who have served their countries." (Amazon)

     Thanks for reading about this sad but meaningful story. I consider it to be a timeless one, and powerful for all audiences.


Thanks to the following sources for supplementary information:

The Canadian War Museum
The Canadian Great War Project
Pajama Press

Monday, October 13, 2014

Media Monday

Media Monday
Happy Monday :)

This Media Monday post will focus on some of the interesting books that I have come across while working at the Backus-Page House Museum. We have a variety of books in our library here at the museum that the public can have access to during our regular operating hours. 
If you are interested in any of the books for longer periods of time we also have a 
check-out program that you can do as well. 
At the present moment I am really interested in:
"How to be a Victorian" by Ruth Goodman
This book is really neat and breaks down the life of a victorian into what they do every day. The chapters include things like the midday meal, personal grooming etc. One of the most interesting facts that I have learned so far while looking at Ruth Goodman's book is the commonly deformed rib cage that resulted from wearing a corset. (p. 71/back cover). The book provides fantastic imagery from the time period and helps to explain all the concepts more clearly. 
Another book that I have been really interested in is:
"Victorian Farm" by Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman
This book is very similar to the "How to be a Victorian" (written by the same author) and that could be why I enjoy this book as well. This book focuses more on the rural setting of the time period which is a nice contrast to the more city setting that the other book seemed to emulate. The "Victorian Farm" provides sections on farm animals, machinery, crops, crafting and holidays. Similar to the other book I have been looking at the illustrations and diagrams are very detailed and helpful. 
Both of these books would serve as perfect research aids for students taking any sort of pioneering history or writing a paper considering the time period. 
As well as for any teachers who would like some extra information on the time period for any Canadian or pioneer history they may be teaching this year!  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Foodie Friday- Black Cherry Cookies

Black Cherry Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. dark brown sugar 
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese 
  • 1 cup black cherry jam
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts 
  • To toast walnuts, bake them in a shallow pan at 375 F for 5-6 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and the sugars. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the cheese and toss to combine.
  • Remove 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside. Press the remaining mixture evenly into the bottom of a greased 8 inch square baking pan. Spread the jam evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the nuts over the jam and top with the reserved crumb mixture, pressing the crumbs gently into the jam.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan, then cut into bars. 
Makes 32 cookies 
Recipe from "Marcia Adams' Heirloom Recipes". 
Kelsey Conway 
Backus Page House Museum 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

World War Wednesdays 4

     2014 has been a very exciting year for people across the world as we join in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the First World War. It has provided the opportunity for us to reflect on the past century, and to think about what has changed and what has remained. Without a doubt, the global conflict has impacted every area of life for a great majority of people. As a result, this anniversary year is the time to gain perspective on its magnitude.

     Last week, renowned Sociologist, speaker, and CEO of the Vanier Institute of the Family Nora Spinks held a lecture with my second year Sociology class at UOttawa. She spoke of a recent event at the Vanier Institute where a time capsule was dug up which had been compiled by a group of Sociologists one hundred years ago. In this capsule, they expressed some concerns which faced the families of their time which they hoped to be solved in a hundred years, and posed three questions which they hoped to be answered. For their concerns, they worried that young people would not be able to improve beyond the living standards of their parents, that young people would be safe and secure in their families, and that people could find meaningful work for meaningful pay without affecting family time. What is startling about these concerns is that none of them has been resolved, and they are still highly prevalent problems in the families of today.

     For their three questions, the Sociologists asked: Have you discovered and explored the North Pole? Have you perfected the flying machine? And, have you developed the ability to communicate with family members who are far away? Clearly, we have done all of these things and more since 1914. Not only have we perfected the flying machine, but it is now a major form of everyday transportation. We have the ability to communicate across long distances even face-to-face, which would be a real shock and fascination for the Sociologists.

     If we were to really look into it, the First World War is a major contributing factor to these advancements, especially in the case of the flying machine. The arms race against Germany caused Great Britain to develop planes that could fly faster and for longer, naval vessels that could withstand the demands of time, combat and transportation in foreign waters, and sophisticated telegraph systems to allow communications along the lines. While a major, terrible loss occurred as a result of the Great War, there were significant technological gains which have a legacy in everyday life a century later.

     I was able to further explore the legacy of the First World War when I interviewed Dr Andrew Burtch, acting director of research at the Canadian War Museum, as part of my research position with the UOttawa Central and Eastern European Studies Research Group. He said that this year of recognition for the hundredth anniversary is less about commemoration, and more concerned with acknowledging the history. The museum itself, for example, has focused on highlighting different aspects of the war throughout the year. For instance, they had an exhibit featuring wartime art by Canadian artist A.Y. Jackson and German artist Otto Dix, which showed the different artistic interpretations of the wartime experience. They also launched a new exhibit this week which focuses on the internment of Ukrainian Canadians during the war, a topic which has only recently been explored. In the years to come, they plan to continue these spotlight events, which will allow people to experience all aspects of the Great War, such as the war in the air and individual battles.

     "[The First World War is] one of the most written-about subjects of all time", said Dr Burtch. "It's the First World War internationally... the United States has the Civil War... This is a defining conflict." In terms of establishing our identity as a new nation, as well as creating groundbreaking technological advances, this war directly paved the way for a great many modern concepts. We should be keeping them in mind as we honour it's hundredth anniversary.

        Thanks for reading,

           Delany Leitch

-What would you write in your time capsule? What questions would you like to have answered?

-If you've ever been to the Canadian War Museum, I'd love to hear about your visit! Join the conversation!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Toolbox Tuesday- Scythes


    A scythe is an agricultural hand tool that was used for mowing grass or reaping crops. A scythe consists of a long handle that is either straight or curved that is called a snath (sometimes it was also referred to as a snid or sneath). The scythe has either one or two handles that are at a right angle to the snath. There was always one in the middle of the snath and if there was two it would be at the top of the snath. These handles were referred to as nibs. A long curved blade was then mounted at the lower end of the scythe perpendicular to the snath. Using a scythe is called mowing, or often called scything. It is a skilled take that can be preformed with relative ease by an experience mower. Beginners often struggle using a scythe not holding it at the right angle or trying to cut too much at once. Another version of the scythe is called a cradle scythe, which is a agricultural tool that was used to reap grain. This form of scythe had an arrangement of fingers attached to the snath so the cut (or reaped) gain would fall upon the fingers and could be cleanly laid down in the row for collection. The above picture is an example of a scythe and the below picture is an example of a cradle scythe.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Media Monday

Happy Monday Everyone!

October already - wow... This past month flew by as well as the beginning of this new month!
We have started to reorganize the storage room in the museum for all of our accessions.
We have new shelving being installed which will help us immensely to organize our materials. Therefore, Angela and I have spent that last week removing all materials from the storage room so we can freshen the room up and prep it for shelving.
Once the shelving is completed we will rearrange the accessions back in the storage room in an organized manner which will make life so much easier to find specific objects in the future. Altogether - Angela and I LOVE to organize so we have fully enjoyed the process of the project and look forward to the end result!