Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Upper Canada Village

Today I volunteered to go on my daughter's class trip to Upper Canada Village.


I drove the van down while my daughter rode the bus with her classmates and her teachers (and a couple of parents who apparently like listening to a bus load of screaming kids for 2 hours).

I arrived at the same time as 5 other school buses. None of which contained my daughter's class. Finally the bus arrived and we were all given our pass for the day and the parent volunteers were assigned some extra kids to look after. After getting my spare kid I quickly joined up with a couple of other parents and their kids. All together our group consisted of 3 parents and 5 kids. Not a bad ratio.


First thing we checked out was the bin'o'wool. One small kid from another class took it upon himself to yell at all the other kids and tell them that the wool was just for touching not for taking. Thanks buddy.


Asselstine's Woollen Factory
This guy explained how the wool from a sheep gets made into a blanket. The old machines were up and running and I must say they were impressive.


Spotted this sign as we entered the old mill. I slipped them what I thought to be some useful information but I have yet to see my cut on the reward money.


The breadmaker was a Dutchman. Hup Holland! I chatted him up for a minute or two while my group stared at me rather confused that I was speaking a foreign language other then French. I smiled and told them to get lost in Dutch. The baker and I laughed heartily.


When the wagon arrived to pick up the fresh bread the kids quickly swarmed the horse like it was the UN bringing provisions to some third world village. Lucky the horse did not bite and the driver was unarmed.


Next we hit the blacksmith. He pumped the bellows and hammered away at the hot iron making a hoe for the gardener. One of the mothers asked if he'd ever burned himself. Da?!? He quickly said of course and explained that if you do something like this enough you bound to get some bumps and burns from time to time. He then asked her if she'd ever burned herself cooking in the kitchen. After a lengthy pause I quickly shouted out that she obviously didn't spend enough time in the kitchen. The blacksmith and I laughed heartily. The moms did not.


I think this guy was supposed to be some kind of pioneer day bum looking for lose change. Unfortunately all my change was from the year 2000 and up and would not be considered legal tender in this town.


Group photo op at the church (after all this is a Catholic class).
The Christ Church was built in 1837. Like many of the other buildings in this village, the church was moved from it's original location before they flooded the St. Lawrence River.


These guys demonstrated to the kids how the two horses walking round and round would drive a set of gears that operated a large saw that would in turn cut the logs. Neat but what happens when the horses get dizzy?


The Cabinetmaker. At this point one of the kids in my group asked if she could eat the butternut shavings. Being a fan of the "learn by doing" rule I said sure, but the cabinetmaker guy said no. Too bad, I think it could have been somewhat entertaining.


This was the inside of the Common School house. Complete with a grumpy teacher and a long list of rules. I would have more details to share but I was immediately asked to leave because I was wearing a ball cap.


We hit a number of other hot spots in the village but that wraps up this guy's virtual tour. The rest will just have to be a surprise when you readers actually get off your butts and away from your computers and make the visit yourself.

Click here for a village map.

No comments: