by Diva Susan Pye
On my way up to Goderich to check out Behind the Bars (see my last post), I stopped at Paddy O’Neil’s on The Square in Goderich for some dinner. O’Neil’s is part of the Hotel Bedford which is the only hotel right on The Square. O’Neil’s has a variety of food, ranging from fresh local fish and pastas to chicken wings. I tried the breaded pickerel ($18.89) which came with your choice of potato and steamed veggies. Very tasty! The service was excellent too. The main dining room was pretty full on a Thursday evening, so I sat on the patio which had a nice view of the Courthouse. Afterwards, I walked around The Square to see the improvements Goderich has made.
By Diva Trista Russell
I think this one of the coolest (and relatively unknown) summer events in Huron County! “Behind the Bars” is an interactive tour of the Huron Historic Gaol in Goderich. On Tuesday and Thursday evenings from July to August, you can explore the gaol and interact with volunteers who step into the role of late-1800s prisoners. I have to confess that I’m not much of a museum fanatic, but I really enjoyed this as it was interactive and entertaining!
The Huron Historic Gaol served as the County Jail from 1842 to 1972 and now is a designated National Historic Site. One thing I didn’t realize before is that the building housed the County Courts and Council Chambers on the top floor. The gaol also held prisoners not only from Huron County, but also from neighbouring Perth and Bruce Counties as well.
Upon entering the gaol, there is an opportunity to sign the guestbook and state your “crime”. After paying the $10 admission fee, I was greeted by a museum attendant who explained some of the faces of the gaol I might meet. There are three floors to explore, as well as the Governor’s House. The cell blocks, kitchen, laundry room, Gaoler’s apartment, surgeon room, courtroom, and holding rooms/cells are all open for viewing. In almost every room there were opportunities to meet and question those who were representing the men, women and children who lived and worked behind the bars. There were also little excerpts on the walls that detailed the background of some of the prisoners. I quickly learned that some prisoners committed serious crimes, and other some very minor offences. I got to meet a young boy, around 13 years old, who was incarcerated for not having a job!
Each one of the prisoners did a wonderful job of representing and staying in character. I had a nice chat with the Governor’s daughter about life in the 1800s, and when I explained why I was visiting, she was was quite perplexed about what a “blog” was. Imagine explaining technology to someone growing up in the early 1900s!
What is truly amazing is that everything in the building is original to that time period and still works. One of the tour guides in the Governor’s House told me that the radiator in the bedroom still works to this day exactly as it did over 100 years ago!
As an extra treat, refreshments were served outside on the court yard. It’s recommended that you allow at least 45 minutes for the tour. I easily spent over an hour exploring the building.
I had never been to the Historic Gaol before so this was a first-time experience for me. The chance to interact with these characters definitely makes this a truly unique attraction, and in my opinion is a great way to spend a summer evening learning about history. Plus, how often can you tell people that you went to jail for a night?
Behind the Bars Gaol Tours
Tuesday & Thursday evenings until August 29, 2013, 7 PM to 9 PM (last entry 8:30PM)
Admission: Adults: $10, Children: $5; Families: $25; Ages 5 & under: Free; Members: FreeLocation: Huron Historic Gaol, 181 Victoria St. North, Goderich
by Diva Karen
I had a few errands to run in Goderich this afternoon so could not miss an opportunity to visit the main beach and have dinner on the patio at the Park House. This is one of my favourite pubs in Goderich as it has good food, a casual and friendly atmosphere, and a wonderful view of the lake – no matter what time of year. I often catch the sunset, but today I was there much too early.
As the storm came in over the lake, my sister and I stood on the banks of Lake Huron and enjoyed the view. It was a very windy day so the dark clouds rolled by swiftly, the sharp bolts of summer lighting dashed through the sky and thunder rumbled overhead. We just made it back to the car when the rain came. A torrential down-pour lasted just a few minutes and then the sun came out so we headed to the Park House for dinner.
The Park House offers great pub food – appetizers and salads, wings, ribs, pastas and fresh fish. My sister, Sherry, enjoyed the yellow fish and I enjoyed the ribs and wing combo – both were specials on the menu this evening. Fresh from the waters yellow fish are mild & sweet tasting with delicious white, flaky fillets. Dinner included five fillets, deep fried, served with fresh-cut fries. Meaty, tender barbeque ribs and honey garlic wings were perfect fare with an ice-cold beer on a Friday afternoon. The wings were especially good as the coating was different than any pub wings I’ve enjoyed before – I can only describe them as flaky which I realize might be an odd description of a deep-fried batter. Caesar salads were served with both dinners as were a potato or rice. Sherry had fresh cut fries with the fish while I enjoyed a baked potato with butter and sour cream. The price was just $17.99 each.
As an added bonus, Matthew Hussey – on the piano – provided wonderful easy-listening music in the background that really added to this evening’s dining experience at the Parkhouse.
History outlined on the Restaurant’s web site (www.parkhouserestaurant.com) tells us that this historical building is one of Huron County’s oldest structures, built in the late 1830’s. Thomas Mercer Jones, the first Commissioner of the Canada Company and his wife moved to Goderich in 1843 and lived in this Georgian-style home, which was once referred to as “The Castle” as a home, it was the centre of lavish dinner parties, balls and garden parties, as the garden beds and spacious lawns were said to be a sight to behold. An impressive residence with 10 magnificent fireplaces – some constructed from imported Italian marble – that heated many bedrooms and drawing rooms. In 1895 an agreement was signed by the Canada Company to sell four of the lots which comprised the company’s property, including the home. The gracious home of Mr. and Mrs. Jones became a railroad hotel, known as Maitland House. On December 9, 1945 a fire destroyed the roof and top floor of the hotel which was then rebuilt with a flat roof. In the spring of 1976 the hotel was purchased and renamed the Harbour Park Inn. It is the oldest building standing in Goderich today, a reminder of the vision of the men of the Canada Company and the early settlers of Huron County. Over the years, this building has undergone many changes but one thing remains, The Park House is a friendly meeting place filled with atmosphere, overlooking beautiful Lake Huron.”
If you’re looking for good food in a casual setting, I highly recommend a visit to the Park House next time you’re in Goderich.
Park House Tavern & Eatery
168 West Street, Goderich, Ontario
By Diva Jenna Ujiye
At almost mid-point between Bayfield and Goderich Ontario there is a wonderful hiking trail called Naftels Creek ( http://www.hikehuron.ca/site/?page_id=53 ). I had been discussing an outdoor fun photo shoot with my friend Dana for a month or so and we finally decided on Naftels Creek trail.
Dana, her husband Dave, their son Cullen and I had a great hike and so much fun searching for lady bugs, fish and other animals! I hadn’t been out to the trail in a while and it seemed a bit different than in the past. Of course, I forgot my hiking guide so I tried to take note of the trail markers along the trail. Well, within about 1 kilometer I totally forgot what colour we were following, so we ended up hiking the whole trail… plus some!
The trail meanders through mixed conifer plantations, hardwood and wetland areas. It is a great length for young families and even strollers would make it through the majority of the trail.
This trail is only one of the 28 that exist in Huron County, so if you are interested in Hiking, make sure to pick up copy of the Ontario’s West Coast hiking guide or visit it online: www.hikehuron.ca
Information about the Trail:
3.2 km loop
Level 2 – moderate, wear comfortable, sturdy shoes
Walking, Skiing, Pets on leash
Poison ivy in wet areas, steep hill on blue trail
Natural surface, some boardwalks
Cost for Using Trail
Located about 7 km south of Goderich on Hwy. #21. Parking is available just off Hwy. #21 at the trail access point – # 79152. Between Union Rd. and Kitchigami Rd.
Goderich had their annual Children’s Festival this past Saturday, June 29, from 10 am-3 pm, at the Goderich Memorial Arena. There was so much to do. I have small children, so I loved that there were activities for all ages. I enjoyed seeing various local businesses and community members get involved by volunteering or having booths, centres or activities. We stopped to play at the B.U.S Toy station, Fincher’s Toy tent and made a bunny using soil and grass seed from the Horticultural Society.
This year’s theme was Air, Air Everywhere. To go along with this theme there was a model air show put on by the Sky Harbour Modellers. There were bubbles far and wide, and they had a bubble blowing activity station. My mini divas love balloons, so we took home several different colours and one shaped like a puppy.
Inside the arena, they had sensory tables, dress up clothes, crafts, face painting, and more inflatables. There were snacks, drinks, BBQ and cotton candy. They had a silent auction fundraiser as well. Our favourite part of the day was watching Erick Traplin, an award winning children’s entertainer. He had the children laughing, dancing, playing music and generally mesmerized. The whole event was free of charge, with bins set up for donations to go towards next year’s activities. Definitely a worthwhile day spent in Goderich!
Goderich Children’s Festival
Goderich Memorial Arena
McDonald Street, Goderich, ON
Tourism Goderich at 519-524-6600
By Diva Jenna Ujiye
Every Thursday from May 29th on Samuels Hotel will be serving sushi and I had to get there on the first day to try it out! I have been making my own sushi for years and was just so happy that chef Kim decided to add this to her forever-growing offerings at the hotel.
The sushi I typically make has whatever leftovers I have in the fridge rolled up with sushi rice and nori (seaweed), so I was happy to see the wonderful menu with local Ontario fish in it! I guess I should say I was getting sick or “leftover roast pork sushi” and “I only have a cucumber sushi”.
When I went in, Sarah and Dunya (staff at Samuels), were ready with a menu for me. There were 10 different sushi varieties – 5 starters, 2 combos and three dessert options! Being allergic to shellfish, I had to stick to fish and vegetable options and ordered the smoked salmon roll and the fushion salmon roll along with wonton crisps as a starter. I skipped out on dessert as I really didn’t have room for it anyway, with 8 rolls in each order I was stuffed after about 12 pieces and half of the wontons!
The prices range from $3.75-$6.75 for starters, $7.95 – $13.95 for sushi and desserts are less than $7.00. Literally you can get a whole 3 course quality meal for $19!
The food, service and experience was excellent and I can’t wait to go back again! Samuels Hotel also offers rooms, lunch and dinner specials and much more. Visit their website here: http://www.samuelshotel.ca and add them on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/samuelshotel?ref=ts&fref=ts
Samuels is located at 34031 Saltford Rd Goderich, ON N7A 4C6
By Diva Jenna Ujiye
A couple of weeks ago I decided to explore the hiking trails in Huron County. There are 29 public trails, so I made a plan to hike sections of three of them. I started off at the Sifto monument at the top of the hill across from the Huron Historic Gaol. This lookout area has a really great view of the Menesetung bridge, the Sifto Salt mine, the Maitland River and Lake Huron.
So you may be wondering why I mentioned a Tiger in the title of this blog, well Tiger is actually a person. William “Tiger” Dunlop was a physician, author, woodsman, soldier, politician and raconteur and one of the founders of Goderich. I hadn’t hiked the Dunlop trail in years so my next stop was the Tiger Dunlop Trail. This trail is 3.2 kilometers and is great for biking, walking, running, and cross country skiing in the winter. It ends at the Tiger Dunlop Tomb, where there are plaques explaining the history of the man.
This trail meets up with the Goderich to Auburn Rail Trail and the Maitland Trail. Seeing as I wanted to finish the trails in a couple of days I decided to drive to a parking area along the 48 km Maitland Trail. I hiked about 6 kilometres along the Maitland River and took in some great views. I even caught a beaver working on his dam, watched two eagles dancing and witnessed a blue heron! I will say I was surprised at the damage that still existed from the 2011 tornado in the area. I know that nature (and the amazing trail volunteers) will take over soon though! If you are in to Hiking, make sure to check out all of our trails in the area at www.hikehuron.ca
By Diva Jenna Ujiye
I’ve never really wondered what went on in the garage when I wasn’t there. My garage seems to be a revolving door of guys coming to hang out, drink a beer or two and fix some item or another. I attended the second night of the newest play currently running at the Livery in Goderich on Friday. This show is called Guys in the Garage and is written and stars local writer and actor Rob Bundy. I don’t want to give away anything on the show, as there are still three more shows that you can get tickets to (which I will post later on!), but I will tell you that it gives you a bit of an insider on what happens in the garage!
Many guys call it their “man cave” and it becomes a place where they have a sanctuary away from all troubles, women or kids! While watching the show I felt a bit like I was invading someones space. Local actors Ben Scholten, Wes Macvicar, Phil Main, Dave Subert and Steve Howard played the characters of the guys. They sure complained about their wives and being married quite often and seemed really concerned that their wives would find out they were having a beer. This is where Margery, played by Blanche Savage, saved the scariness of the show. She knew what they were doing and most of the wives probably did too. The garage is just a place where they could let a load off and get away, they all loved their wives and family!
The show runs may 9, 10 and 11 at 8pm, tickets are available online at www.thelivery.ca or you can call 519-524-6262 or visit the box office at 35 South Street in Goderich – The box office is open:
Tuesday: 10 am – 1 pm
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 3 – 5.30 pm
Rush seats, if available, on sale 30 minutes before performance