Martintown Homecoming an emotion-filled event
Postcard perfect weather on Sunday morning and the bright sunshine bouncing off the spanking new metal roof of the Martintown Grist Mill must have been a gladdening sight for the Martintown Homecoming Day committee. But would people show up for the village’s celebration the day after the Highland Games in Maxville?
They did and in such large numbers that organizers had to add an extra guided wagon tour of the village when people kept lining up.
Hundreds of people took a country drive to Martintown for the celebration, stopping in at the historic 170- year- old grist mill, now a museum and art gallery.
The Mill's weekly farmers’ market was in full swing and next door Tammy Myers was set up with a barbecue serving succulent sausage sandwiches and corn on the cob from the Myers farm.
Inside the mill three artists were set up on the ground floor, and outside and across the street more artists showed their paintings and artwork.
Most people travelled in for the event but villagers started their day at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at a special Homecoming service with musical offerings.
At the community centre, people on the hunt for their Martintown and Glengarry roots consulted genealogists and historian David Anderson and auctioneer and antiques expert Flora Dumouchel appraised heirlooms.
At The Grand Hotel there was a barbecue and live music with bluesman Jamie Heath and his band. Coinciding with the Homecoming was the release of the first edition of a two-volume illustrated history of Martintown.
The books cost $20 with proceeds going to the Mill preservation fund. A display based on the book was on view on the second floor of the Mill in the museum.
Love From My Kitchen
Another book was on sale as part of the Homecoming Day. It was the second printing of Sylvia Thomson’s cookbook, “With Love From My Kitchen: Glengarry My Home.”
Mrs. Thomson, a greatly respected and loved Martintown resident with an honoured presence in South Glengarry, died in 2015. She was named 2014 Citizen of the Year of South Glengarry in recognition of her devotion and countless hours of giving back to her community including as founder of the Martintown Horticultural Society.
On Sunday morning, a blossoming crabapple tree planted in the inspirational setting bedside the Raisin River at Martintown Community Park was dedicated to her memory with her husband of 62 years, Donald, and her children, family and friends attending.
The day didn’t end in Martintown. The Homecoming Day wound up in Apple Hill at the 13th annual Munroe’s Mills Barn Dance with two live bands, Hadrian’s Wall and Union Duke, and pipe band The Quigley Highlanders Pipes & Drums.