| Feb 12, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - February 12, 2009 Celebrating our past at the Crow Lake Schoolhouse - Frontenac Heritage FestivalBy Julie Druker

Re-enactors Bob Miller (left) and Mike Procter, photo Ludwig Ratzinger

The signs are up announcing the upcoming third annual Frontenac Heritage Festival, which runs from Thursday Feb. 19 to Sunday Feb. 22.

This year the Crow Lake school house will once again be offering a number of activities and events all day Friday and Saturday that are sure to draw a large crowd.

Festival goers can sit around a bonfire outside and be entertained by local historical re-enactors Bob Miller and Mike Procter, who will speak about and demonstrate life as it was 200 years ago when settlers first lived in this area.

Donning traditional garb, they will have on display various utensils and objects used at that time, most hand crafted by Bob Miller himself. They will demonstrate fire building techniques using only flint and steel and will bake bannock, a soda bread commonly eaten back then, which onlookers will be able to sample.

Their other demonstrations will include common throwing games of that time played with traditional knives and tomahawks. They will also be firing off Bob Miller’s hand crafted flintlock rifles (with blanks of course).

Procter is looking forward to the annual event. “It was a great success last year and the kids really loved it.” And why wouldn’t they? It’s a hands-on, real life, educational experience and teaches an important chapter of local history for the 70-80 local school students who will be visiting the schoolhouse on Friday. Procter explained his and Mike’s objective. “ We depict the spirit of the people who explored and adapted to the wilderness and made an as good as possible life for themselves. We try to dispel some of the Hollywood myths about settlers at that time. We aim to show some of the real hardships that people back then had to face and their amazing resourcefulness.”

Inside the school house will be a display of taxidermy and local artisans will be present demonstrating paper and soap making and spinning techniques. Also inside, Ludwig Ratzinger, president of the Crow Lake Community Association will be offering a lunch of wild leek pasta soup on Saturday and there will be pie and refreshments available as well.

Ratzinger is excited to have the Crow Lake schoolhouse as part of the festival again this year. “It brings people out and we get to show off the history of the school house and the historic value of that time period (early 1800s)”.

He added, “It’s a way for local people to get out into the community and see what’s going on and a chance for them to see different parts of the township that maybe they are not aware of.”

Thanks to the slew of local community volunteers organizing and participating in the events, the Heritage Festival should be an enjoyable 4 days where locals can get out, have fun and learn about the history of their community.

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