David and Enid Mitchell did a great job of organizing and they clearly have an excellent relationship with the weatherman. Witness the beautiful weather for our recent Fall Tour held in and around Peterborough in early October.
Although a trifle cool (you can see Bob's '37 Limo was feeling the cold just a little) the beautiful sunshine brought out all the wonderful colours of the season.
Heading out on the Saturday morning our route North passed the huge solar energy farm that is under construction in the area. It really was a most beautiful drive through Bridgenorth and Sel-wyn to Buckhorn. Several of our members met with us on this leg of the tour prior to our first stop at the Whetung Ojibwa Centre located in the heart of Curve Lake Indian Reserve. It offers a spectacular collection of Indian crafts as well as fine art, sculpture, masks, leather work, clothing, jewelry, music, and books from across Canada and locally. It would be easy to spend many hours browsing through those rooms.
Some of the group visited Proctor House Museum; a restored mansion built by a local business man in the 1850's and added to around 1869. This house is well worth a visit. They had great docents who had all the information about the families who lived there.
But we had to move on. The Peterborough/ Kawarthas region is home to many of North America's pre-eminent artists. The Gallery on the Lake, with its distinctive octagonshaped cedar-clad structure, is their showplace. This large and prestigious facility is set among the rocks and pines, making a wonderful memory of our visit. A wide selection of originals, prints, sculptures and unique collectibles is available. Perhaps more importantly the facility also has a charming restaurant and since it was around noon by the time we had taken in the displays, it was time for a very tasty lunch.
Part of the festivities included an opportunity to purchase tickets to the "beef and pork BBQ" dinner, which solved the problem of where to eat on Saturday evening. After the parade, we all gathered at Harold and Verna's home for a social hour and a tour of Harold's shops and to see his extensive vintage radio collection. Would you believe he as over 4500 radios?
Then it was off to the nearby Petroglyphs Provincial Park. The fascinating, ancient rock carvings repre-sent the largest known concentration of Aboriginal rock carvings in Canada. They were carved into the white marble rock face perhaps as long ago as 1,000 years. The carvings show turtles, snakes, birds, humans and other images. A most interesting place to explore.
Sunday September 30: We departed on our tour on scenic back roads to Stirling and "Farmtown Park", a collection of buildings filled with exhibits about the local area including the cheese industry, dairy farming, etc. plus a large collection of vintage farm tractors and other farm equipment. There was even a McLaughlin Carriage on display. There is one building set up as a village street with stores, a gas station, a bank and a church. This area can be rented for weddings and parties. We had a great volunteer guide, Jack Rushnell, and he gave us all the history about how Farmtown came to be. It was all done with volunteer work and donations from local people.
Unfortunately the planned visit for the afternoon to Harry Sherry's Restoration Shop had to be cancelled. Well we can save that for another tour. So the first day came to an end. We all made our way back to the motel and another meal.
Thanks Harold and Verna for a great fall tour and thanks also to the members who took the time to drive to Brighton and area.
Sunday lived up to its name with more beautiful sunshine. Once again we were on the road around 9:30, this time heading for Lock 21 on the Trent-Severn Waterway. One of only two hydraulic lift locks on the Waterway, this is the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world. Opened in 1904, it is exceptionally picturesque at this time of year. A truly remarkable engineering feat. The Visitor Centre is located next to the lock and contains interesting exhibits and films.
The next item on our agenda was a visit to the Lang Pioneer Village which was established by the County of Peterborough in 1967. The Village preserves the rural history of the area and hosts thousands of visitors from around the world each year. There are over 25 furnished buildings which were originally constructed in the 1800's.
This was Applefest weekend at the Village. There were lots of interesting displays to view, including a group of Buicks from the McLaughlin-Buick Club of Canada.
The old steam engine and musket and canon displays got my vote for the most interesting. But the whole Village is a fascinating place to visit. A very enjoyable tour.