Tag Archives: huron county museum

A kaleidoscope of colours, patterns and textures

10 Nov

spinners3

By Diva Shari Parsons

GODERICH – The Huron County Museum played host to the Huron Tract Spinners and Weavers Guild’s annual show and sale this past weekend. The museum was also the location for the Goderich Quilter’s Guild first show and sale.

The museum’s foyer featured a variety of small weaving looms along with other spinning and weaving tools and materials. One spinners11lady was in the process of threading warp threads onto one of the looms. It all looked very confusing and complicated to me but she assured me that it was not. Then she explained how different patterns were achieved by the way that the machine was threaded, the sequence in which the foot peddles were pressed and the way in which the weft (right to left) thread was used. I nodded my head like I understood but my brain was as knotted as my threads would have been if I had tried to weave!

Another young lady, Alana Maaskant, was demonstrating how to spin wool using a spinners16foot-pedal operated Louet spinning machine, which is also known as a Dutch spinning machine. With the finished spun wool, she makes slippers with sheepskin lining and leather soles. Sounds cozy and warm.

I thought one of the most interesting and unique machines being used was an antique sock-knitting machine known as “the cranker”. Yarn is threaded onto pins on a circular metal tube and then a handle is “cranked”, which somehow spins and threads the yarn into different sized tubes. Monika Kropf was making a thin tube called an I-cord using leftover sock wool. The I-cord will then be used to weave rugs. Apparently these types of machines were often used in the home to make socks for the men who were in the wars overseas.

Along with the interesting demonstration of the use of various spinning and weaving machines, there were also a wide variety of spinners9hand-crafted articles for sale. Rugs, pillows, bags, scarves, slippers, blankets, jackets, vests and yarn, all in a variety of colours and textures were available. One of my favourite clothing accessories was a lovely cream and brown felted alpaca wool collar. I also loved the stunningly beautiful jewel-toned, hand-dyed, hand-woven, silk scarves. For the cuteness factor there was a felted penguin ornament and kits that you could make your own felted ornaments. The most unique product had to be the hand-felted goat’s milk soap bars – whoda thunk??

Along with the spinning and weaving, there were also demonstrations of quilting. Two ladies were hand-quilting a lovely rainbow coloured quilt that was stretched in a floor frame. Another lady was using a sewing machine to piece together coloured squares for a 9-patch quilt.

The walls of the exhibition room were hung with a wide variety of quilts in a kaleidoscope of colours and patterns. My 18-month-old granddaughter is known as a little monkey so I was spinners17particularly drawn to a crib quilt decorated with cheerful monkeys swinging from the trees. I was also amazed by the work that went into creating a lovely reversible quilt with Fall colours on one side and Christmas colours on the other.

The Quilt Guild had created a beautiful quilt featuring different piecing and applique techniques. The quilt was being raffled off with a percentage of the proceeds to be donated to the Huron Women’s Shelter.

All the wonderful hand-crafted items were certainly a feast for the eyes and a temptation to the pocketbook.

Advertisements

2015 Halloween activities in Huron County communities

29 Oct

spooktacularBy Diva Claire Carter

The leaves are falling and the days are getting shorter. While this usually doesn’t excite me much, Halloween changes my tune for a few days at least. It seems that there is more festive fun happening around the county for 2015 than usual. Here’s a roundup of Halloween activities for all ages.

Bayfield

Bayfield Witches Walk

Oct. 30, from 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. 34777 Bayfield River Road. Admission and hotdogs by donation.

Explore the 19 spooky acres of woods behind The Ashwood, and check out Spook Stations set up by local businesses! This fund-raiser for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of North Huron promises to be a blast! Kids enjoy treat bags. Rain or shine.

The Albion Annual Halloween Party

Oct. 31, from 8 p.m. to close. 1 Main St., Bayfield. Admission free.

Prizes for best costumes, awesome drink specials & Live entertainment by the Cheap Shirts.

Exeter

Poe in the Park

Oct. 30 (6 p.m.) and Oct. 31 (8 p.m.) at McNaughton Park (from Main Street (Hwy. 4) turn east onto MacNaughton Drive, Follow Andrew Street and turn east on Hill Street). Admission – $5.

Arrive in MacNaughton Park and take a stroll along the trails, accompanied by spooky Edgar Allan Poe stories brought to life by local spirits. Presented by Libro Imagine Huron and Him & Her.   Dress for the weather, and bring a flashlight or lantern.

 

Goderich

Pumpkin Carving

Oct. 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Huron County Museum (110 North Street). Free with regular admission or with a canned food item for the Huron County Food Bank.

Decorate a pumpkin for Halloween! Try a variety of carving techniques. Pumpkins are free with regular admission.

Tales for Tots

Oct. 30, 10:30 a.m. and noon, Huron County Library, Goderich Branch (52 Montreal St.). Free.

Looking for something to do with your preschooler? Visit the Goderich Library for Halloween themed songs, stories and crafts. Contact Helen (519-524-9261) for more information.

Spooktacular Halloween

Oct. 31, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Downtown Goderich

Visit your favourite stores in costume for a trick or treat! Children must be accompanied by an adult. Over 51 retailers participating.

Halloween Main Street

Oct. 31, from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Huron County Museum (110 North St.). Free.

Trick or treat at the Huron County Museum, and explore the History Hall all dressed up for Halloween. Enjoy cider, popcorn and candy. This family friendly event is hosted by the Friends of the Huron County Museum.

The Haunted Halls of the Bradley Building

Oct. 31, 3:30 pm and 8 pm, 55 Hamilton St. Free.

The Bradley Building is being transformed into a haunted house! Enter at 55 Hamilton St., and exit at 59 Hamilton St. Note: this event is accessed by a set of stairs and is not stroller or wheel chair accessible.

It’s Halloween at the Legion

Oct. 31, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Goderich Legion (56 Kingston St.).

There’s really something for everyone at the Legion! Meat draw begins at 6 p.m., with prizes for best costume at 8 p.m. Entertainment by Sunset Hotel.

If you need a hearty breakfast after a weekend of Halloween fun, the Auburn and district Lions Club is hosting a breakfast to fund-raise for the Huron County Christmas Bureau on Sunday, Nov. 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Auburn Memorial Community Hall. The cost for adults is $7, and maple syrup is supplied by Robinson’s.

 

Ladies on Leave – or LOL – create a weekend getaway in Huron County

22 Oct
Ladies on Leave (LOL) find a weekend getaway in their own backyard.

Ladies on Leave (LOL) find a weekend getaway in their own backyard.

By Guest Diva Darlene Empey 

Eight ladies set out on their annual Mystery Tour get away recently (Sept 11, 12 & 13). The theme of the weekend is to see some things we haven’t seen, participate in some new activities and, generally, just have a nice three-day weekend away.

This year the planner (me) wanted to discover or rediscover attractions in our “own backyard”. Only the planners know where the tour is taking the group, making the element of surprise part of the fun.

We started out in Goderich and here’s what we did:

Sometimes fun comes in the simple things - like mini-golf.

Sometimes fun comes in the simple things – like mini-golf.

First stop, Jillian Walden opened her at-home studio to us, for an hour of simple yoga poses, healthy eating tips (plus a healthy drink and snack) and advice on a host of topics raised by our 50/60-something group.

Jillian energized us for our busy day ahead.

Next we went to the Huron County Museum. It is amazing how much local history is contained here. Most of us had not been to this museum for years, we won’t say how many, but, suffice it to say that the two-headed calf was my most vivid memory.

By the time we were finished at the museum we were hungry. Pat and Kevin’s, on Court House Square,welcomed us for lunch. Everything was ample and delicious, and we all had a complimentary side of Mayor Kevin’s wit.

We then went to the Huron Historic Gaol. Again, a great history lesson and a sobering glimpse into the past.

I have lived in Huron County all my life and had never visited the gaol.

Now, to add a little culture, we visited Sharon Johnston who gave us a lesson playing the harp. Sharon patiently introduced us to an instrument that sounds beautiful no matter what you play, and, even if I do say so myself, our rendition of Three Blind Mice sounded pretty good. But, it paled in comparison to the solo Sharon played for us that sent musical shivers down my spine.

We dined at Beach Street Station, in its private room; the food, service and the view were delectable.

Off to Samuels, in Saltford, where we stayed for the night…beautiful rooms, cheery staff, nice continental breakfast and complimentary cupcakes!

Saturday morning we headed to the beach to see the newest attraction in Goderich. The Inuksuk display is impressive and a monument to the community spirit within Goderich, “Pretty Strong Town”.

We picked up our deli sandwich lunch at Shanahan’s, on the Square, and headed north on 21 to do something we hadn’t done for years….we played mini-golf at Point Farms Market.

Then we visited Susanne and Bill Robinson, at Robinson’s Maple Products. We sampled maple butter, fresh from the spout and toured the facility. This family operation has grown from a maple bush, supplying the neighbourhood with maple syrup, into a business providing dozens of maple products locally and internationally. It was clear from our visit that their secret ingredient is “passion”.

A tour of Blyth Farm Cheese was one of the weekend highlights.

A tour of Blyth Farm Cheese was one of the weekend highlights.

Next stop was Blyth Farm Cheese. Most of us didn’t even know that this award winning cheese plant existed just outside of Blyth. Paul VanDorp gave us a tour of the facility and explained the art of cheese making, the regulations and what he was planning for the future. But, of course, the best part was the sampling. We tasted several varieties of cheese and they were all amazing; my favourite was the “Drunken Goat”.

So, now we were tired and looking for a place to put our feet up. In Blyth? On the Threshers weekend? Yes, indeed. We stayed above the Queen’s Bakery, a lovely, spacious getaway, with a fully equipped kitchen and living room area.

Fine dining is always one of the highlights of our weekend (because we don’t have to cook). Just a few steps from the bakery we enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Part II Bistro, including the chef’s complimentary appetizer.

Then, right across the street, we took in the final performance of the Blyth Festival season; the touching story behind “Mary’s Wedding”.

Sunday morning, we enjoyed not getting up too early and nibbling on the fruit, cheese, muffins and cherry loaf put together for us by Scrimgeour’s Food Market in Blyth.

On the last day of our LOL weekend, we headed off to Brussels. We are kind of worn out by this time, but no worries. Kathy McNeil Nichol and her staff at Solace Spa opened the doors at their beautiful historic location to welcome our group. We spent most of the day being pampered with pedicures, massages and reiki. It was a lovely, relaxing day, including lunch from the Jam Jar.

By the end of our weekend we were all impressed, and maybe a little surprised, to discover and rediscover all the things to do and see in Huron County within such short distances of home (and we barely scratched the surface). Talent, art, history, fine dining, accommodations and successful businesses, all just waiting for you to experience them, right in your own back yard.

Thanks to all the people & businesses that made this a great weekend for us!

Countryside inspires artists in Huron County Art Show

19 Oct

groupshotBy Diva Heather Boa

GODERICH – Cows. It doesn’t matter if they’re Jerseys or Holsteins. Just cows.

It seems those four-legged cud-chewing creatures figure prominently in the imaginations of artists here along the Lake Huron shoreline. Why else would curators of the Huron County Art Show have to strategically arrange the exhibit to separate paintings of cows, relegating one to each wall? They are separated by barns, trees, wildlife and all sorts of other pastoral scenes captured in a variety of media in this 15th annual show, with this year’s theme: Our Creative Countryside.

David Taylor

David Taylor

“It was a great pleasure to jury this show and I was very impressed with the high standard that you’ve developed here,” said David Taylor, during the show opening at the Huron County Museum this weekend. Taylor served as curator of various public art galleries before retiring in 2006 and now volunteers to assist the curator of collections at the Tom Thompson Art Gallery in Owen Sound.

In front of a crowd of artists, family and friends, he announced six honourable mentions along with the first and second prize winners, whose artwork is purchased by the County of Huron and becomes part of its art bank for display in county-owned buildings.

The exhibit features 36 artists from across Huron County, including 11 new artists.

farmallFirst prize went to Scott Ramsay for Ole Faithful, an acrylic “portrait” of a ’58 Farmall H.

“Each well-earned wrinkle and blemish is creatively reproduced to express the love, use and reuse by the owner,” wrote Ramsay in his description of the artwork.

Second prize went to Julie-Anne Lizewski for Field of Promises, an encaustic on wood panel.

“This painting was inspired by a recent tour of a friend’s Huron County farm, overlooking a field, with a feeling of great joy and hope for the future.

fieldencousticThe art show is funded by the County of Huron, which recognizes culture as one of the pillars of economic development.

“Aristotle once said, the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance,” said Paul Gowing, the county’s warden, during the opening ceremony. He said the art in the show highlights the inward significance, putting a different light and frame on subjects.

happyfarmLater in the evening, Lynn Haygarth’s liquid acrylic piece, Happy Farm – Plough, was announced as the winner of the People’s Choice Award, based on ballots cast by those attending the opening evening.

A final award winner – the one that will make the poster of the 2017 International Plowing Match Rural Expo – will be announced during the summer of 2016.

The Huron County Art Show runs until Dec. 20. Entrance is free with museum admission.

Mouth-watering exhibit at Huron County Museum

11 May
A 25-minute is chock full of interesting recipes, cookware and tips.

A 25-minute is chock full of interesting recipes, cookware and tips.

rachellynnBy Diva Rachel Lynn

When I first heard the Huron County Museum was going to hold a Delicious exhibit I was very excited. Why? Because it’s about food. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love food; I love eating, cooking, baking. I love sweet, salty, savoury. I. Love. It. All.

The Delicious exhibit combines a look at favourite foods from our ancestors with cookbooks and kitchen items from the Huron County Museum & Archives Collection. Will Kernohan, acting assistant curator, told me they wanted to create an exhibit that added a community engagement piece. In all, 70 people have donated recipes for display.

20150502_155844As soon as I walked into the front doors on opening day I could smell the coffee, sweets and delicious spread of cheese wafting down from the second floor. Scattered in the mezzanine were round tables covered in adorable red and white checkered table clothes where visitors could sit and enjoy the food spread provided. But where was the food?! I found the source in a separate room on the same floor; a sampling of locally produced foods. Included were coffee (Coastal Coffee), maple syrup (Robinson Maple Syrup), donuts, cheese 20150502_152704(Pine River and Blyth Cheese), bread (Burdan’s Red Cat Farm & Bakery), salamis (Metzger’s), preserves (Bayfield Berry Farm) and apples (Laithwaite Apple Park). The sampling of local products was only available opening day.

DSC_0095Huron County Museum Registrar Patti Lamb advised me there are 200 artifacts and cookbooks on display. The oldest ones are the wooden “Bread and Dough Mixer and Storage—Made by William Johnston in 1860”; the silver tea services circa 1840s; the hand egg mixer circa 1881; and the pink Victorian furniture circa 1880.

DSC_0081There is also a wonderful display for children to come and interact with. The original cookbook was provided by local resident Rhea Hamilton Seeger: Fun to Cook Book (1960).

Will showed me around the exhibit and shared some wonderful stories from people who submitted their favourite family recipes, memories and food related photos. Here are a couple of my favourites:

DSC_0100

Photo on left side of this is a picture of local Goderich mother making Christmas pudding, photo on the right is a picture of grandmother who developed the Christmas pudding recipe. I love the picture blown up as it shows how well used it is with the stains on the corner. That’s my kind of recipe.
Here is a snap shot of some of my favourite family recipes:

20150511_150024

One of my other favourite pieces was watching the 25-minute video that was compiled of all the different types of recipes, cookware and famous people like Julia Child providing tips. At the end of the video there is a special appearance (you’ll have to watch to see who it is) and a recipe is made from one of the ones found at the Museum. The recipe originates back to 1890 created by dispensing chemist F. Jordan.

DSC_0107There is still lots of time to submit your own recipes. You can email it, or my suggestion is to visit the exhibit and while you’re there add your photocopy of the recipe on the recipe board.

There was so much history in that room, it’s too hard to share it all with you. You’ll have to go check it out yourself. The exhibit is ongoing until Sept. 13 so you have plenty of time.

Huron County Museum & Historic Gaol
110 North St
Goderich ON N7A 2T8
www.huroncounty.ca/museum

Click here for details of admission fees and hours.

Open
Click here for a detailed list of their exhibits for 2015

Thursday night at the movies at Huron County Museum

8 Apr

movieconnections3

claireheadshotBy Diva Claire Carter

HURON COUNTY – The Huron County Museum just launched a new temporary exhibit called Movie Connections.  Artifacts from the collection and archives have been selected based on themes of movieconnections2popular classic movies.  Some were easy guesses (an awesome classic jukebox and cheerleading uniform), while others were less obvious (an old-fashioned wheelchair comes to mind).  The exhibit has been beautifully decorated, with objects in big, old wooden cases, and film reels on the walls.  Movie Connections seems like a great way to feature different objects and tell interesting local stories.

You may make the guessing game a little easier for yourself by taking a look at the list of featured films.  I’m told many of the films were selected from top 100 lists, and the collection is aimed to represent different decades in film-making.  There is a great variety, from serious to upbeat (Grease sing-along anyone??).

Films are included with the price of admission, and free for members of the Huron County Museum or any of its partner sites (Grey Roots, Bruce County Museum and movieconnections1Cultural Centre, Waterloo Region Museum and Simcoe County Museum.)  Popcorn will be served, and you can also bring in your own snacks.

Titanic (1997)– April 9

The Pianist (2002) – April 16

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – April 23

Citizen Kane (1941) – April 30

The Green Mile (1999) – May 7

The Young Victoria (2009) – May 14

Grease (1978) – May 21

The exhibit runs from April 7 through May 23.  Films will be shown in the Huron County Museum Theatre each Thursday evening, starting at 7 p.m., with an extra showing of The Young Victoria on Victoria Day Weekend.

Admission: Adults. $7.50; Seniors aged 65+, $6.50; Students aged 11+ & in school, $5.50; Children aged 6 to 11, $4; Family living in same residence, $25; Pre-schoolers up to age 5, free, and; Members, free. HST extra.

The Huron County Museum is located at 110 North Street, Goderich.  For more information, call 519-524-2686, or email museum@huroncounty.ca

movieconnections

Ten Great Things to do in Huron County this March Break

13 Mar

 

File Photo.

File Photo.

  1. Families can spend every day of the week at Huron County Museum, where there’s always something going on. There’s the Drop-In Family Games Room, with oldies like Atari, Nintendo, crokinole and vintage crafts. Or Movie Madness, complete with popcorn. Follow the clues on a self-guided quest for answers then enter a draw for an iPad Mini or dinner & movie night for the whole family. And, finally, there’s a History Hall App Launch Party preceded by a showing of vintage footage from Huron County main streets.
  2. Get outdoors for Maple Magic Sugar Shack at Samuels Hotel on Saturday, March 13. Come out for horse drawn sleigh rides, Robinson Maple Products maple tours, activities, heated patio, hot alcohol and non-alcohol drinks all day, and a maple-themed dessert extravaganza.
  3. The Municipality of North Huron has a week of day camps, with bowling, tropical games, candy sports, skating and swimming. As well, there are daily swimming and skating times.
  4. Catch the Peter Mennie’s Abra Kid Abra Magic Show at the Blyth Festival on Saturday, March 21 at 1 p.m. You and your kids will get a big laugh. Then afterwards, head across the road to Queen’s Bakery for a hot chocolate and a treat.
  5. Spend a few hours on the lanes at Little Bowl in Goderich. They’ve got specials on two games and shoes package and two hours all you can bowl package.
  6. Strap on the skates for free ice time at the Central Huron Community Complex, courtesy of the local Optimist Club. There are time slots for figure skating, shinny and public skating.
  7. Travel through ancient Egypt, the Wild West, the Medieval Times, and even back to the future during March Break activities for the whole family at the YMCA in Central Huron.
  8. Bingo, martial arts, shinny, a walk on the McNaughton-Morrison Trail, and plenty of other activities are on the slate of events during March Break in the Municipality of South Huron.
  9. The warm weather makes it a great time for an outdoor hike. The Watershed Outdoor Club hosts a Signs of Spring and Hiking Smart on Thursday. This event is part of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority’s programming.
  10. For the 66th year running, Goderich arenas will be the battlegrounds for some of the best Pee Wee hockey around, with the Goderich Lions’ Young Canada Week. Watch boys and girls team compete through the week.