by Michael Whittaker
Historic re-enactors and heritage presenters from Brantford, Ontario to St. Jean, Quebec brought pre-Confederation history to life in Blockhouse Park, June 17-18, for which the Merrickville and District Historical Society is thankful.
Thanks go to the Village of Merrickville-Wolford, Parks Canada, the Lions Club and the Legion, and the Baldachin Restaurant, Cha Tea House, 1840 Guest House, Nana B’s, and Coba Studios for their vital contributions to the weekend. Thanks also to Albert’s Liquid Waste, and Have Tents. Will Travel. All contributed to the success of the season-opening of the Blockhouse Museum.
“We were very pleased to deliver a colourful Blockhouse Festival commemorating Canada 150, looking back from 1867,” said historical Society president, Ann Martin. “At the museum’s brief opening ceremony, special speakers Peyton and Taylor Horning spoke eloquently of the Blockhouse and locks in their personal histories, and the structures’ importance to the village’s heritage.”
Omar and Freddie Symonyi, from Merrickville, played period music on recorders across the camp each day. Librarian Mary Kate Laphen photographed individuals against historic backdrops.
The Saturday evening program involving the audience with Akhwatsire Dance Troupe from Akwesasne, and Ottawa Valley entertainer Ken Ramsden from Barry’s Bay was all and more the historical society had hoped the performances would be.
“The Blockhouse Festival delivered a vibrant mosaic of our history from pre-contact to the Fenian Raids,” said Ms. Martin. “Perhaps we can have as lively a Blockhouse Festival in the future.”