Pioneer Days

Sigh. So much for trying to post more often…

I spent this weekend driving around a corner of southern Ontario just north of Lake Ontario. We lived here for a few years at the other end of my working life, so I was curious to see how much it had changed in nearly 40 years. I was equally curious to see if I could remember enough detail to accurately assess just how much it had changed. Spoiler alert – forty years is a long time.

In spite of my fading memory, I had a great day driving through the rolling countryside of the Trent Hills, even if I couldn’t spot the changes. But the highlight of the day was an almost accidental visit to a pioneer museum – one that I don’t think had opened yet when we lived here. This post focuses on pictures from that museum. It includes several pictures I like, for no particular reason, and one story of the amazing ingenuity  people have displayed in all ages.

First the pictures. Here is a detail from a horse drawn wagon. Ken pointed out the heavy cast iron pieces joining the front wheels to the body of the wagon. I just love the picture.


In many ways, this is an excellent setup for a pioneer museum in general. Yes, they had iron, but it was coarse, heavy, and attached to much larger pieces of wood. Not surprisingly, wood played a much more prominent role in daily life then. Everything from fences…


… to log cabins. A log cabin with an upstairs loft, if I am not mistaken. Well ahead of the times, it would appear.


But to be honest, I often find the close up detail rather more interesting.


And of course, there were many living trees around the grounds as well, creating fascinating, tortured patterns as always.


And then, this – a pruned cedar branch.


But enough pictures – I promised a story. One of the buildings was called the “Honey House”, and one wall was blocked off with yellow warning tape, even though there was no obvious sign of danger. In fact, there was no sign of anything, other than a newly mowed lawn … and this.


Which looked strange, but innocent enough, until I looked a little closer. (Note: this is where a telephoto lens comes in very handy.)


And following the hose down to the point where it entered the building, it was clear the bees were delivering the honey directly into the Honey House, without any need to go out and collect it.


I’m pretty sure clear vinyl tubing was in short supply in pioneer days, but I have to assume this is an modern version of an earlier innovation. Unfortunately, the museum was closed, and we could only walk around the outside of the buildings. I think I’ll need to make a return trip to get the full story.

About If It Was Today

Eat, Drink, Travel, Write...
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