The Glengarry News - - The Classiifii­eds - JAMES JOYCE 613-527-1201 [email protected] tam- creek. ca

GPM news

This com­ing week­end, Sept. 24-25, is when the sleepy ham­let of Dun­ve­gan turns back its col­lec­tive clock - by nearly 1.79 mil­lion hours - to the year of 1812. A time when Con­fed­er­a­tion was but a dream and the Union Jack flew proudly o’er this great land. Yes, it all re­quires a sus­pen­sion of dis­be­lief, but the Glen­garry Pi­o­neer Mu­seum’s sev­enth an­nual Re-en­act­ment Week­end is an out­stand­ing op­por­tu­nity for residents and vis­i­tors alike to step back in time.

His­tory on steroids

The power of ‘liv­ing his­tory’ be­gins on Fri­day, when 359 grade seven and eight stu­dents from St. Fin­nan's Catholic School, Iona Academy, Char-Lan High School, St. Jude Catholic School, Rus­sell High School and Pleas­ant Cor­ners Pub­lic School will de­scend on our lit­tle mu­seum to sam­ple life back in the early 1800s.

This unique ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­nity is made pos­si­ble through the gen­eros­ity of a num­ber of com­mu­nity-minded re-en­ac­tors who agreed to take time off from work to share their knowl­edge of Cana­dian his­tory. Jim Mullin, chair of the mu­seum’s 1812 Reen­act­ment Com­mit­tee, told me, “… there will be 17 sta­tions of hands-on ac­tiv­i­ties and pre­sen­ta­tions cov­er­ing dif­fer­ent as­pects of ev­ery­day life in Up­per Canada, circa 1812.” The plan is to di­vide the stu­dents into groups and have a reen­ac­tor guide them from one sta­tion to the next.

Please note that the only way to take ad­van­tage of this amaz­ing ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­nity is to be a grade 7 or 8 stu­dent from one of the six par­tic­i­pat­ing in­sti­tu­tions. The Glen­garry Pi­o­neer Mu­seum will be closed to the gen­eral pub­lic for the day.

Back in time

While the Glen­garry Pi­o­neer Mu­seum is off lim­its on Fri­day, its doors are wide open on Satur­day and Sun­day. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, re-en­ac­tors from across On­tario, Que­bec and the United States will recre­ate civil­ian, busi­ness and mil­i­tary life as it was in Up­per and Lower Canada around the 1812 time frame. Event or­ga­niz­ers as­sure me that this year’s ‘liv­ing his­tory’ spec­ta­cle will have some­thing for ev­ery­one.

All around the mu­seum site, tented en­camp­ments will sprout up of­fer­ing be­hind-the-scenes glimpses of mil­i­tary life dur­ing this piv­otal time in our na­tion’s his­tory. You’ll have a chance to com­pare cam­paign liv­ing ar­range­ments… from the lux­u­ri­ous multi-room tents of the aris­toc­racy to the rudi­men­tary pup tents of the com­mon foot sol­dier. You’ll feel the earth shake through the soles of your boots as the thun­der­ing horses of the 19th Light Dra­goons prac­tice their tac­ti­cal ma­neu­vers. You’ll have a chance to visit a one-room school­house and learn how the three Rs (read­ing, ‘rit­ing and ‘rith­metic) were taught back be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion of Dis­cov­ery Math. You’ll hear tales of a Pri­va­teer’s life on the St. Lawrence River when you tour the McCaw’s Pri­va­teers en­camp­ment and check out their new boat. You’ll wit­ness the re­turn of the ex­tremely pop­u­lar Mil­i­tary Sur­geon as he brings prim­i­tive bat­tle­field medicine to life be­fore your eyes. And, as I men­tioned last week, you’ll be able to work up a sweat try­ing your hand at swords­man­ship us­ing harm­less, foam-rub­ber swords.

The 1812 Reen­act­ment Week­end is also a great chance to ex­plore the worldly won­ders of Sut­ler’s Row, a sort of 19th cen­tury Rideau Cen­tre. There, ven­dors will be of­fer­ing for sale an im­pres­sive ar­ray of wood oven breads, maple syrup, fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, hand­made gourmet choco­lates and con­fec­tions, his­tor­i­cal re­pro­duc­tions, pe­riod cloth­ing, leather goods, cast-iron cook­ware and much more.

When you’re ready for a break from sight­see­ing and shop­ping, the Dun­ve­gan Re­cre­ation As­so­ci­a­tion’s fa­mous food tent will sat­isfy your hunger. And the his­toric Star Inn Tav­ern will slake your thirst with two va­ri­eties of Cas­sel Brew­ery hand­crafted ale on tap and pre­mium non-al­co­holic cider from Sarah Cole Cider house.

Of course, the high­light of this week­end event is the mock bat­tle staged each day (3 p.m. on Satur­day and 2 p.m. on Sun­day). As the reper­cus­sions from these melees (i.e., pres­sure waves from the can­non blasts) have been known to shat­ter wind­shields, or­gan­is­ers are ask­ing that you park only in the des­ig­nated ar­eas… and never along County Road 30. Re­mem­ber, just as in real life, the event will be held rain or shine. Daily ad­mis­sion is $10 per per­son ($5.00 for Mu­seum mem­bers) or $25 for a fam­ily of four. Chil­dren un­der 12 are free.

1812 spirit

For the past few years, the Kenyon Pres­by­te­rian Church has come down with re-en­act­ment fever, and 2016 is no ex­cep­tion. They’ve even spruced things up with newly painted tin roof that fairly glis­tens in the sun and much-needed re­pairs to the church in­te­rior.

Once again, a pa­rade of 1812 re-en­ac­tors will am­ble down Dun­ve­gan Road to wor­ship at the ham­let’s kirk on Sun­day, Sept. 25 from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. There, they will join reg­u­lar parish­ioners for what has be­come an an­nual event: the 1812 Old Time Ser­vice. Even if you’re not a reg­u­lar church­goer, you are more than welcome to at­tend.

Duchess takes tea in Dun­ve­gan

Im­me­di­ately on the heels of the church ser­vice, ev­ery­one is in­vited to take part in a Re­gen­cy­era Tea Party be­ing hosted by the Glen­garry Pi­o­neer Mu­seum un­der their Wil­liams Pav­il­ion rom 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. For $10 per per­son, you’ll sam­ple a va­ri­ety of teas that were com­mon in Up­per and Lower Canada at the time.

Tea party or­ga­nizer, Linda Burgess, also tells me that she’s as­sem­bling bowls of home­made lemon curd and trays of de­li­cious sand­wiches, fresh-baked scones and other baked goods… ex­actly the type of treats that would have com­ple­mented tea par­ties such as these back in the day. “Even the in­gre­di­ents will be au­then­tic,” Linda told me. “No bleached flour. No ar­ti­fi­cial any­thing.” As an added at­trac­tion, the Baronne de Kip­pen­ross will be on hand in her 1812 fin­ery to re­count the his­tory and tra­di­tions of the English tea party.

1812 Chair pro­moted

I would like to con­grat­u­late Jim Mullin, chair if the GPM’s 1812 Com­mit­tee, on his re­cent pro­mo­tion to the rank of Cap­tain in the new Glen­garry Light In­fantry Reg­i­ment. Jim was awarded this honour this past July dur­ing the Bat­tle of Crysler's Farm Re-en­act­ment at a re­cep­tion with the en­tire Crown Forces staff present.

While this pro­mo­tion is won­der­ful news for Jim and his fam­ily — it will mean a higher stan­dard of bat­tle­field ac­com­mo­da­tions (i.e., fancier tent) and more pound notes in his imag­i­nary pay packet — it’s also great news for his­tory buffs in the district. One of Jim’s new re­spon­si­bil­i­ties will be the re­cruit­ment of liv­ing his­tory en­thu­si­asts here where the Glen­garry Light In­fantry Reg­i­ment was originally raised.

Fly the Union Jack

My last Re-en­act­ment Week­end ref­er­ence will be brief. If you live in the Dun­ve­gan area and have a Union Jack flag, dis­play it proudly. It’s a great way to set the tone for this liv­ing his­tory week­end. You can be as­sured that mine will be fly­ing. I also hope one will be hoisted at the mu­seum it­self. In fact, given the time pe­riod the Mu­seum’s man­date cov­ers, I think a wooden flag­pole with Union Jack flut­ter­ing at the top should be a per­ma­nent fea­ture… declar­ing to one and all that this place re­flects a dis­tant point in space and time.

Fes­ti­val ad­den­dum

In last week’s col­umn, I be­moaned my fail­ure to cap­ture the name of the tal­ented mu­si­cian who bor­rowed Steve Mer­ritt’s banjo and jammed with “Spi­der” to the de­light of nearby Fes­ti­val­go­ers.

I’m happy to re­port that a former Glen­gar­rian and loyal reader, Marc Ouimet, emailed me to straighten things out.

Ap­par­ently, the mys­tery mu­si­cian was Marc’s nephew, Justin The­o­ret from Lochiel. Justin was on hand that day to play a gig in the En­ter­tain­ment Tent with the Doug MacPher­son & Co. group. Thank you Marc.

I also for­got to men­tion one other en­hance­ment that oc­curred to me as I wan­dered the Fes­ti­val grounds. While it was great to see the re­cently re­stored Fer­gu­son Thresher, the dis­play was a bit too static for my taste. I don’t know if the con­struc­tion of the de­vice would have al­lowed it, but it would have been nice to be able to peek in­side the ma­chine. If the thresh­ing unit has ac­cess pan­els for main­te­nance and re­pair ( and I as­sume it must have), it would be won­der­ful if they could have been re­moved so we could see the in­ner work­ings of this revo­lu­tion­ary de­vice. I doubt there are any trade secrets that would be jeop­ar­dized by do­ing so.

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