Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 7 - Upper Canada Village

Tuesday, July 19

On Monday night we review the list of options for the next day, the weather looked more favourable and so Upper Canada Village was chosen as our destination for the day.  We were disappointed when we discovered that there was another historical village not far that was from the 1930’s era, instead of the pioneer age.  We would have really enjoyed this since we had done a Pioneer Village last year (see here) … plus this option was a bit cheaper.   Unfortunately Cumberland Heritage Village Museum was only open from Wednesday to Sunday, we had missed our opportunity.

It took just under an hour to get to Upper Canada Village.  Upon arriving I realized that I had forgotten the coupons for the girls to get in free at our accommodations.  They would not give the discount without the coupon.   Having driven an hour to get there and the girls were all excited there wasn’t much we could do but cringe and pay the extra unexpected cost (ouch, Cumberland would have saved us $50).  The Village is costly but we did have a lovely time.  We were busy the whole time and still did not get to all the stops to visit all the places in the village, but we made sure we did the major ones that would be the most interesting or that we had not seen the previous year.

The following pictures are taken from the Telegraph Signal Tower.  This tower was used to transmit naval military codes along the frontier during the early 1800’s.  These types of towers became obsolete when the morse code telegraph was introduced.

St. Lawrence River


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The thing that we liked the most about the Village was that the employees truly played their part.  They were completely in their role, acted their part and stayed their part.  They did all the things a normal person would have done at that time, cooking and baking as they would, getting their milk from the farmer, when they talked about other aspects of the Village they referred to Mr. So-and-so and how they delivered there or picked up there.  The delivery wagon would come and pick up the bread with horse and buggy and deliver it to the gift store.  They would cut and pick up the hay and deliver it with horse and wagon.  The farmers would come in for afternoon tea at 3pm just before milking time each day, they addressed each other as their character names.  When you asked questioned they would answer in the first person, as if they truly had done it.  It was really neat to see.


We had a ride on a tow scow .  The tow scow is a flat hulled barge that is drawn along the canal by a horse walking along the bank. Two villagers (one at the bow, and one at the stern) help steer the scow using long poles. In typical village life, the scow would be used to transport heavy goods to mills and other distant locations.



The kids had a great time at the Family Centre,  especially Matthew who was getting a little tired of just looking and listening.  The kids would gladly have stayed longer, but if we were going to view a good portion of the village then we had to keep going.

Hand Carding Wool.   The girls each hand sewed their own pin cushion


Working hard


Making music


Dressing up


Doing the wash

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There were also various crafts and games to play.  Kids always love hands on learning … I guess us adults do too :)

The piglets get to roam free in the village until they reach an age where they start creating trouble and messes (which is about the age they are here) and then they`re stuck in the pen.  It was really neat to watch the pigs seeing as Rob has worked on a pig farm so we have some basic understanding of how pigs are these days.  You always read and see in books how they love to root in the mud, roll in it and play.  But todays pigs don`t even get to go near mud as they live on concrete slates where all waste falls below them.  The poor animals are out of their natural habitat stunting their natural instincts.  But here the pigs were having a grand old time, rolling around, playing, digging their snots in the ground and rooting around.  Soaking up the mud. They were quite entertaining.



On the farm we waited for milking time so the kids could have a chance to try milking.  I was really thinking Marietta and Rebecca were going to give it a try, seeing as I know it’s a bit more challenging at first then it looks.  The cows were completely tame and not the least bit fazed by all these people walking in and out and around them.  While the farmer came over to explain a bit about the farm, cows, milking, etc.  Matthew was sitting on the stool taking everything in and he walked over to Matthew first and asked him if he wanted to milk.  Matthew wasn’t the least bit afraid of this big animal and with a bit of guidance he was milking the cow.


Checking it out


Giving it a try … no luck!


Demonstrating and practicing …. 


try again … yup, there comes the milk


But … milking with only one hand isn’t very efficient use of time … so Matthew had to learn to do it with two hands.  I was pretty impressed that he managed to do it and he was pretty proud of himself after that. 


The girls also each took a turn.


Various other village pictures:

Tenants Farm:


The following pictures come from a middle class home

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The girls tried out the water pump … they gave up before they even got it primed … thinking it wasn’t working


When the Village closed at 5pm we returned home, had some supper and then went off to check out another splash pad for the evening.  The daughter of our hostess was having a birthday party so we figured it would just be better to get out of the house then staying cooped up in our room or something so that we were out of the way … not that we were required to be out of the way, you just sort of feel obligated to be.  So we went off to CenterPointe Park, a splash pad park not far from where we were staying.  Rob and I came armed with our books and he kids went of to play in the water and sand.

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Matthew found a empty yogurt bucket and this made for great water and sand play … even with the bucket having a hole in it.  He would collect a little bit of water, dribble most of it out on his walk to the playground area, then pour the few leftover drops in his hole and go back for more … whatever keeps him happy



While I try to give my kids some space and freedom to be kids, to explore and have fun, I at times need to look the other way so that I don’t end up become to overprotective and an anxious annoying mom who’s always worry about her kids every step. In this world of having everything legally safe and caution so that people won’t get hurt or sue sometimes I’m surprised they haven’t banned playgrounds since someone might get hurt on them.  Sometimes it surprises me what some of them have considering our over-cautious society.

Most of the time I have no issues with what’s at hte parks, but this ladder made me rather nervous … but as you can see I’m looking and watching since I’m taking pictures.  Matthew was very proud that he could climb so high on a ladder, and the climbing part wasn’t the part that worried me as much as him trying to manoeuvre to get from the ladder to the platform (bear in mind he’s four … you wouldn’t get a minute of rest if you have an energetic two year old here).  The reward for his accomplishment was a nice high slide, which he liked as much as he enjoyed climbing the ladder.


Another day was done and it was time to go back to our accommodations to pack up and gets some rest so we could be up on time the next day for our last day and our trip home.

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