Exhibit: From ‘The Ark’ - Ancaster 150
Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum presents From ‘The Ark’ – Ancaster 150, an exhibition in celebration of Canada’s Sesquicentennial. The exhibit runs from May 6 to December 23, 2017, with an Opening Reception on Wednesday, May 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Descendants of the Farmer family, who settled in Ancaster in 1860, donated Fieldcote Memorial Park & Museum and the surrounding seven acres to the people of Ancaster to be used as a cultural heritage centre and park.
Join the Farmer family on a journey from ‘The Ark’ of family lore through 150 years of life in Ancaster. Explore how their world changed between 1867 and 2017 and learn about key points in national history.
Discover fascinating characters such as “Flossie” Farmer who was awarded a medal from the Czar of Russia and who helped lead 780 children to safety during the Russian Revolution; and Brigadier-General George Richard Devey Farmer who served under Churchill during World War II.
The Farmer family’s immigration to the New World was unique for its time and perhaps for all time. In 1834 William Farmer chartered an entire vessel, dubbed ‘The Ark’ by descendants, for the voyage to Canada. He brought with him ten families on one ship including a mason, wheelwright, blacksmith, tutor and a lawyer. Forty-two cases of household belongings were placed below decks, and many of these items are still in the possession of the Farmer family today.
William also brought valuable livestock: Clydesdale horses, cows, bulls, sheep, pigs, dogs and hens. During stormy days at sea the big animals were suspended in slings and not a single animal was lost on the voyage. Everything required to set up a new farm in Canada including bags of grain, tools, rope and implements, was loaded onto ‘The Ark’.
Dr. Richard Farmer, who passed away in the fall of 2016, was the son and grandson of doctors. His grandfather served as a Medical Corps Colonel in WWI and his father as Chief of Medicine for the Canadian army in WWII. Dick Farmer’s children are the fifth generation of Farmers to call Ancaster home.
This exhibition focuses on the family’s life in Ancaster between 1867 and 2017. Divided into six “chapters”, each section features a different generation as we follow the lives of this unique family through time.
Presented as a family photo album accompanied by artifacts, the display includes captivating images showing family members with such famous persons as Churchill and Pearson, and fascinating objects such as a gas mask from WWI, and precious items of antique China and furniture that accompanied the family on their voyage. Visitors are encouraged to compare the family’s experiences to key points in national history through a Sesquicentennial timeline.
Fieldcote is located at 64 Sulphur Springs Road in Ancaster and is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Regular admission rates apply; admission to the Opening Reception is free. For more information about Fieldcote, please visit www.hamilton.ca/ fieldcote. For information about more than 100 events presented by Hamilton Civic Museums, visit www.hamilton.ca/museums.
WWII Photo showing GRD Farmer (back row, 2nd from right), with group including Winston Churchill (3rd from right)
Dr. G.D. Farmer with his 1902 Pope automobile, the first auto in Ancaster.