Jeff Green | Feb 26, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - February 26, 2009 Looking back: the Heritage FestivalBy Julie Druker
Traditonal log shaping demonstrations with Justin Hilborn and Pat Moore of Gibson Timber Frames
The third annual Frontenac Heritage Festival offered visitors a glimpse back into the past and for many it was an opportunity to gain new knowledge and to share their personal histories, favorite hobbies and pastimes.
Displaying and demonstrating their historic loves at St. James Major Hall were spinners and weavers, willow basket makers, quilters, native crafters, genealogists, antique collectors, cheese makers, and railroad enthusiasts.
Beautiful traditional displays included the inside of the old Sharbot Lake Train Station and a typical cheese-making operation. Surrounded by traditional tools and utensils and capped in a bonnet, Pat Furlong Brownlee of Elphin demonstrated how to make a soft cheese.
Many demonstrators like traditional weaver and spinner Mary Donnelly, representing the MERA Schoolhouse, wore historic costumes and spent the day sharing their knowledge and skills with interested onlookers.
At the Oso Beach outdoor enthusiasts enjoyed various outdoor activities including snowshoeing, skating, smoosh racing, curling, and lassoing with the Cronk sisters. There was the always popular horse drawn wagon rides courtesy of Jake and Pat, Bill Lee’s award winning draft team from Parham. Gibson Timber framers Pat Moore and Justin Hilborn demonstrated log-shaping techniques with traditional Swedish broad axes. There was snow toffee, hot chocolate and spider dogs for those who needed fuelling up.
Demonstrators at the Crow Lake School House were happily swamped with visitors who numbered 250 plus on Saturday alone. Sara Carpenter, branch assistant at the Sharbot Lake Public Library, set up a display highlighting relevant historical materials from their permanent Oso Historical Society collection, which included many items donated and written by local historian Doris Ayers.
Craig Godfrey of Sharbot Lake, who happened into the library, shared some of his family history. He is the great, great, great grandson of the first reeve of Central Frontenac, Warren Godfrey, who was responsible for building the Frontenac Road from Kingston (a.k.a. Road 38). Godfrey pinpointed the importance of festivals like this one. “It’s a great idea. It certainly perks your interest into the past”.
The Heritage Festival is a great opportunity to let the past out of the bag. All day long it seemed people had a wonderful excuse to speak of their own personal histories and share their loves for objects and hobbies that stem from days gone by.Frontenac Heritage Festival Photo Contest
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