Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The End of World War Wednesdays?

       Hi there, history lovers! I'd like to start by apologizing for the couple of missed weeks, and for those of you who missed out on links to this summer's posts due to a privacy mishap on Facebook. Ever since I graduated from my undergrad at uOttawa, things have gotten quite chaotic, quite fast!
       Which brings me to a sentence I've long dreaded having to write: this is looking like the end of the road for World War Wednesdays. We have had three full, incredible years together exploring the fine details of the First and Second World Wars each week, and I'm incredibly proud of the personal and professional growth I was able to cultivate through this medium. More than anything, I am eternally grateful to all of you for your continued support and readership and hope it's been at least half as enjoyable to follow along as it has been to write. I also can't thank Angela Bobier and the THS enough for giving me this outlet and allowing me to publish through their platform.

         That being said, by bringing this chapter to a close, I am not ending my entire internet presence! As part of my grad school classes, I've started my own history blog which you can follow here: It's exciting to be able to write about a broader range of subject matter, and I look forward to chronicling my grad school experiences and research. Of course, all of the past WWW posts are archived on the THS blog site, and you can revisit them all through the labels and date options on the right hand side.

       I really do hope to return to this blog someday in a new format and continue to talk about the local histories I love so much. As Winston Churchill said, this isn't the end, nor is it the beginning of the end. It's just the end of the beginning! Thanks again for coming on this journey with me (especially you, Dad) and for all the opportunities you've sent my way.
       Onward and upward,
Delany (@DLeitchHistory on Twitter)

Monday, September 11, 2017

Farm Meme Monday #7

Thank you to everyone who attended, organized, exhibited at, and volunteered at our Heritage Farm Show.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Heritage Farm Show September 9 & 10, 2017

SEPTEMBER 9 & 10, 2017
Throughout the day: antique vehicles and equipment, textile arts,  tours of museum, wood stove cooking, horse drawn wagon rides, demonstrations, kids zone, barn exhibit, market, animals, skills    competition, and much more! 
10:00 a.m.: Gates Open and Barbeque Lunch available for purchase including beans
11:00 a.m.: Threshing
11:30 a.m.:  Skills Competitions
12:00  - 4:00 p.m.: Musical Entertainment Saturday Back Pages and Sunday Pierce Family Band
1:30 p.m.: Skills Competitions
2:00 p.m. Threshing
3:45 p.m.: Children’s Candy Scramble
5:00 p.m.: Saturday Potluck Dinner for Volunteers , Vendors and Exhibitors (donation/person)

Admission $8/person, children 12 and under free.  No ATM on site.  Cash preferred although credit card accepted.  
Food available for purchase, museum gift shop, raffle tickets, carnival games and yard sale items on site in addition to admission.

You can still pre-register your farm equipment at 519-762-3072 or register when you arrive.  All equipment must be in place before 9:30am please.  

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.    Tag us with all your farm show pictures!  

Tyrconnell Heritage Society extends a special thanks to all who make the Annual Heritage Farm Show a success including our society members, exhibitors, volunteers, and visitors.  
Government of Canada
Municipality of Dutton Dunwich 
A.Bruce McCallum
Barb Summers
Beary Blue Acres
Betty McLandress
Brad & Joanne Reive
Brian & Liz Elliott
Cal McMillan
Catie Welch
Corry Bachmeier
Dave Welch
Delany Leitch
Don & Betty Ann Bobier
Don Skipper
Duncan & Eileen McTavish
Edith Richardson
Glenn Ford
Hugh & Joyce McFadden
Jamie & Stacie Littlejohn
Jamie & Tina McCaffery
Jim & Darlene Ford
Jim & Leta West
Joe Casey
John Miller
John & Angela Bobier
John & Beth Goldsworthy
Kaitlin & Sue Crow
Karen Rose
Kelly  Shewan
Larry & Paula Grafstein
Lorraine Vallee-Moczulski
Mike & Ingrid Hentz
Mike Mulhern
Mike Price
Pete Agar
Rob & Janice Ellis
Rob & Laura Hathaway
Shawn Paton
Steve Proctor
Tony Gosnell
W.D. Shaw
 Back Pages Music
Blackmore Auto Parts
Co Trac Ford Lincoln Sales
Conway Automotive Repair
Deland Auto Parts
Dixon’s Feed Services
DJW Mini Backhoe Service
Dutton Food Market
Dutton Variety & Gas
Earl MacDonald & Son Transport
Elgin Poultry Club
Fulline Farm & Garden Equipment
Hair Razorz Salon & Tanning
Hathaway’s Feed Services
Highland Community Healthcare Drugs Inc.
Holland House
IECS Ready Mix Inc.
Knight’s Home Hardware
Lawrence Station Hall
Mel’s Accounting & Tax Service
Melbourne Farm Automation
Melbourne Farm Equipment Inc.
Memories in Wool
Mike & Lynne Brady, Sutton Group Preferred Realty
PJ Gangle Insurance Brokers
New Roots Farm
Pierce Family Band
Queens Line Automotive
Rick’s Auto Repair
Rodney Mini Storage
Rodney Timber Mart
Stan’s Total Tire
T&K Fibres and More
Tasty Sweets Café & Bakery
Wallacetown Agricultural Society
West Elgin Accounting
West Elgin Mutual Insurance
West Elgin Pharmacy
West Lorne Foodland

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

World War Wednesdays: "The Fine Accomplishments Which Have Attended its Growth": Cowal W.I. During WWII

     As a historian of both local history and broader subject matter, I often find myself developing obsessions with certain topics and stories (as evidenced by this blog). One such fascination this summer has been with the community of Cowal, a formerly bustling village between Dutton-Dunwich and Southwold Townships that has been reduced to ghost town status in recent years. I find the Cowal Women's Institute's edition of the Tweedsmuir Histories to be one of the most interesting and exhaustive, and enjoy flipping through and learning about the place it once was. In so doing, I came across an account of the Institute's service during the Second World War, and thought I would share some excerpts in recognition of some outstanding local women.

     "In 1939 War was declared. Many homes were affected and again every woman in the Community did War work of some kind. As well as quilting at the regular Institute meetings, the Community divided into four groups, namely Valley Group, 4th Group, 5th Group, and West Group, and quiltings were held in the homes and Red Cross sewing and knitting done." The Farmers' Club joined with the Institute to sponsor dances, auction sales etc., to raise money for overseas work."

     The Knitting Report for the March Meeting 1940 read that the following articles had been completed: "92 sweaters, 43 scarves, 116 pairs of socks, 43 pairs of 18" socks, 6 pairs of 25" stockings, 35 pairs of mitts, 34 pairs of gloves, 10 washcloths, 4 aero caps, 4 pairs of women's stockings, 2 women's vests, 21 pairs of ankle socks, 15 pairs of women's knickers, 1 helmet, and 1 pneumonia jacket." 
     The Sewing Report from that same meeting accounted for "19 bed gowns, 16 pillow slips, 16 sling bandages, 9 pneumonia jackets, 6 abdominal binders, 5 suits of pyjamas." For May and June: "11 hospital gowns, 2 pairs of pyjamas, 8 pneumonia jackets, 4 pillow cases, and 5 bandages."
     Mrs. Hugh Carroll, the writer of that section, rightly reflects that "The ladies never ceased their sewing and knitting as long as there was a need for it."

     Other volunteer efforts organized by the ladies included selling tickets on quilts, afghans, hope chests, blankets, and other items; salvage drives; door-to-door canvassing; teas at quiltings; and developing "numerous ways to raise money so badly needed to provide the necessities for our boys overseas."

     Mrs. Carroll writes further that "Boxes were sent regularly to our soldiers. 85 boxes were sent overseas in 1943-1944 alone. Total expense was $217.77. We were a very fortunate Community- all our boys returned. In appreciation of their sacrifice, the Institute presented each one with twenty five dollars in cash, or an equivalent gift."

     In addition, "We did not forget the people of Britain who gave so much. Boxes were sent after the war for distribution. In 1940 each member was asked to give 50 cents towards furnishing a Ward in a Canadian hospital in England. In 1941 the Institute was asked to send jam to Britain. It was decided to use the surplus fruit to make jam. A committee of 3 members reported making 96 pounds of jam to be sent overseas through the Red Cross. For several years the Institute sent 100 pounds of honey to England as a food supplement to their tight rationing."

     The last of the account states that "In their busy schedule the Women's Institute still found time once a month for two members to help serve the boys of the Airforce at Hostess House, Fingal Airport... In July 1944 a garden party was held at the Cowal Hall sponsored by the Women's Institute assisted by the Junior Girls and Junior Farmers to raise extra money for the Overseas Bof Fund, and these were continued later as a social event until 1952."

     The incredible contributions made by these women were in not exceptional in relation to those made by Institutes across the province, and they represent just one example of local community organization in support of the war effort. What I find unique is the depth of their records and use of existing social structures to adapt and develop ways of raising funds. 
     Thanks for reading,

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Behind the Scenes Sunday with Sabrina

🌻🐝Behind the Scenes Sunday with Sabrina🐝🌻

                    First off HI , I'm Sabrina Merks, resident of Dutton and I'll be attending St. Lawrence College for musical theatre performance in the fall. You may have seen me in the Elgin County area wearing many hats, such as volunteer at The West Elgin Dramatic Society or have seen me as one of the cashiers at Dutton Foodland, or even possibly as current reining Miss Elgin County Globe. I'm excited that I spent my summer at the Museum as Assistant Manager. Unfortunately though this will be my last behind the scenes blog post. 

                      Tuesday was a pretty quiet day I finished the NOMENCLATURE !!!! 🎉🎉(Happy Dance)!! So now im completing a few other tasks that have to be completed, like change the numbers on some accession items. In 2015, some of our items got wrongly numbered so I went on a hunt to find them and change the numbers luckily all  had to do was change a 1 into a 7 so it wasn't a huge ordeal, but I spent a good hour attempting to find every artifact.

                The rest of the week was quite quiet, we gave a lot of tours and enjoyed our last days at the museum as we came to an end. On Wednesday I had the joy of photographing my parents at the museum and here is a sneak peek of some of them. 

                  We also on Thursday had our last lunch together as a squad, we all ate Tall Tales for lunch and had cake and reminisced about our summer here. Overall we had  a wonderful week, as we all say our goodbyes, little tears form but thats alright because im sure you wont see the last of me here.

Goodbye only for now 
Sabrina Merks

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Saturday Sightings – Goodbye and Species at Risk

Saturday Sightings – Goodbye and Spices at Risk
          What’s up Canada!  You know who it is!  It’s me again, Ben the MNR guy at Backus Page House Museum.  I’m here to give you your last weekly Saturday Sightings.  Wait a second… our LAST Saturday Sightings with Ben the MNR guy! 

What will we do?  How will we get our weekly info on Backus Page House?  How will I find the will to move on without my Saturday Sightings with Ben the MNR guy?  If you are thinking this right now trust me it’s going to be okay.  Just take a few breaths, do it with me now in (breath) and out (breath).  One more time in (breath) and out (breath).  Do you feel better?  Awesome! 

This will be your last Saturday Sighting from me Ben the MNR.  If you have any questions please give us a call at Backus-Page House Museum.  Make sure you come to our farm show on September 9th – 10th.  Let’s get on with the Saturday Sightings.

          My co-worker Sabrina had spotted a Red Headed Woodpecker that has been in the park area.  We always hear it pecking away at and on wood.  This animal is under the spices at risk category; do to it losing its habitats.

          We had our final day camp on Wednesday with our day campers.  Hope you kids have a good school year.  Remember to have fun.

          This is it, thank you all for dealing with these pretty interesting blog posts for the past couple of months.  If you are just starting to follow my blog posts now, Hi and Bye.  Maybe you guys will see me next year.  Just always remember to stay cool.

That is your last weekly Saturday Sightings with Ben the MNR guy.  Hope to see you soon and remember to stay cool.