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HASTINGS ROCKS RCI TRENTON DIGS DINOSAURS THE NEW HOMESTEADERS C O V E R I N G T H E A R T S , O U T D O O R S , H I S T O R Y, P E O P L E A N D P L A C E S


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VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2, SUMMER 2012

Off-Grid Living Solutions • solar systems • propane appliances • wood & gas heating

Contents 8

18

26

32

Sun at work FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

8 WHERE T-REX STILL REIGNS

6 EDITORIAL

Trenton company keeps dinosaur age alive

6 CONTRIBUTORS

18 OFF THE BEATEN PATH

13 years experience Design•Sales Installation•Service www.downundersolar.ca

613-583-0139

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

Everything old is new again!

7 GOING GREEN 16 JUST SAYING

The new homesteaders of Hastings County

26 LET’S ROCK AND ROLL

24 CROSSROADS

Having a rocking good time in old Hastings County

32 SPREADING THE WORD

25 HASTINGS TASTINGS

Twisted Mounty shows marketing savvy

Cottage Envy Revisited Stirling-Rawdon IS Kraft Hockeyville 2012 Summer Savouries

34 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 35 MARKETPLACE 36 COUNTRY CALENDAR 38 BACK ROADS Memorial Gates presented to Canada


Country Roads

discovering hastings county

Country Roads

discovering hastings county

CR Country

CO-PUBLISHER & EDITOR Nancy Hopkins 613 395-0499

CO-PUBLISHER & EDITOR John Hopkins 613 discovering 395-0499 hastings county

Roads

SALES DEPARTMENT Jennifer Richardson jennifer@countryroadshastings.ca 613 922-2135 ART DIRECTOR Jozef VanVeenen CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Orland French Angela Hawn Gary Magwood Michelle Annette Tremblay Shelley Wildgen CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jozef VanVeenen

HOW TO CONTACT US Telephone: 613 395-0499 Facsimile: 613 395-0903 E-mail: info@countryroadshastings.ca Website: www.countryroadshastings.ca For written enquiries you can reach us at: PenWord Communications Inc. P.O. Box 423, Stirling, ON K0K 3E0 COUNTRY ROADS, Discovering Hasting County is published four times a year by PenWord Communications Inc. Copies are distributed to select locations throughout Hastings County including the ­communities of Bancroft, Belleville, Madoc, Marmora, Stirling and Tweed. Copies are also delivered to select homes within southern Ontario. SUBSCRIPTION RATES: 1 year: $14.69 2 years: $27.13 3 years: $35.03 All prices include H.S.T. The contents of this publication are ­protected by copyright. Reproduction of this ­publication in whole or in part without prior written permission of PenWord ­Communications Inc. is prohibited. The advertising deadline for the Fall 2012 issue is August 10, 2012. COVER PHOTO: Photo by Ika Duprass Made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation

Summer 2012 • Country Roads

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e d i t o r i a l

Everything old is new again!

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As we read this issue one last time prior to sending to the printer it occurs to us that an overriding element seems to have weaved its way to the forefront. The feature stories seem somehow connected by the sentiments of that which is old and that which is new. Obviously dinosaurs qualify as pretty old but our article on Trenton’s Research Casting International also talks about their work on the exciting molds from Newfoundland and its collection of 550 million-year-old fossils, some dating back to an era before animals and plants went their separate ways. They’re so old, no contemporary relatives can be found. And Rocks of Hastings – well Bancroft’s moniker as The Mineral Capital of Canada is the result of a collision of tectonic plates floating on the earth’s magma that occurred over a billion years ago, give or take a few hundred million years. Of course, old can mean one billion years ago, or just one hundred years ago. Living in the ways of old is the theme of our ‘homesteaders of the north’ article. A growing number of young families are choosing to homestead in the ways of old, but they’re a new breed living off the land with a blend of old time practices and modern off the grid systems. On the subject of new – Twisted Mounty is a local hardcore apparel company with old fashioned morally-based business practices, but these young guys are utilizing contemporary social media and other new business trends to grow their business. Perhaps the saying “that which is old, is new again,” does hold some truth. We thank our extraordinary writers for bringing these stories to life and hope that Country Roads readers, new and old will enjoy reading them as much as we have. Happy Summer! Photo: Haley Ashford

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As a journalist, Orland French is always turning up new subjects to explore. A few years ago he began turning over rocks in Hastings County, fascinated by the wide variety of minerals and rock formations in this historic part of Ontario. Until then, rocks had been something to extract from the garden or a shoe. Before developing a talent for creating colourful history books, Mr. French had a journalistic career with The Kingston Whig-Standard, The Ottawa Citizen and The Globe and Mail. He lives in Belleville with his wife Sylvia; together they operate Wallbridge House Publishing. After producing books on Hastings and Lennox & Addington counties, they are working on a new geological perspective on Prince Edward County. Much more information is available at www.wallbridgehouse.com. Michelle Annette Tremblay writes because she’s interested in everything. Interviewing fascinating people and sharing their wisdom and ideas is one of her favorite things and has led her to writing features for newspapers and magazines. After completing a Creative Writing degree from the University of British Columbia she spent many years teaching and writing on the west coast of Canada and internationally. But, a country girl at heart, she gave up the city life to return to her roots in Paudash, ON, where she freelances for multiple publications and is the Creative Director of WordBird Media. When she’s not picking remarkable brains, writing or photographing the wonders of rural Ontario, she’s usually in her garden, running after her kids or cooking up something yummy with her husband.

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

Shelley Wildgen was raised ‘radio.’ Both parents worked at CJBQ in Belleville and by the time Shelley was 14, so did she. Her years have included stints writing and broadcasting at stations as close as Belleville, and as far afield as Kingston, Winnipeg and Bermuda. In recent years, Shelley turned her pen to writing features for magazines and her voice is heard regularly on all ‘2001 Audio Video’ radio commercials in the Toronto area. Now she teaches Media at Loyalist College and spends her off time relaxing in her wee home on the Trent River - watching the beavers, herons, frogs and turtles fight for top billing on the shoreline.


G o i n g

G r e e n

As a follow-up to the Going Green column that appeared in the Spring 2012 issue of Country Roads, we are pleased to report that two community gardens are now part of the Belleville landscape. For the fourth year roughly one acre of land is again being tilled into a community garden through the Community Development Council of Quinte. The land, donated by Deborah Bronson, is ready for weekend gardeners and small-time farmers hoping to grow their own food and get their hands dirty. For info call the CDC office at 613-968-2466.

Come visit our Charming shop and see our timeless & beautiful home déCor, furniture, gift items, lampe berger, & toYs

The Green Task Force is delighted to announce that its pilot community garden project in Ponton Park on Dundas Street West is underway. These are gardens where plots are rented to community members on an annual basis to plant vegetables and flowers. A lottery draw open to all residents of Belleville will determine who will receive one raised garden bed measuring either 4’X8’ or 4’X10’. There is no fee for the 2012 growing season. For info visit www.city.belleville.on.ca or call Melanie Morrish, Green Program Coordinator at 613-967-3200 x.3219.

Sat & Sun 10 – 3 22 mill street, stirling 613.395.6510

Summer 2012 • Country Roads

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BY ANGELA HAWN • PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOZEF VANVEENEN This Tyrannosaurus rex, found in Montana, and Giganotosaurus, located in Argentina, currently reside at RCI Trenton but are destined for the ‘Ultimate Dinosaurs, Giants from Gondwana’ exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Where T-Rex still reigns Trenton company keeps dinosaur age alive

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Country Roads • Summer 2012


I

f you’ve seen the first Jurassic Park movie, you’ve already seen Peter May’s artistic genius with dinosaurs in action. No, his Hastings County-based company, Research Casting International (RCI) did not make the crazed, people-hunting carnivores that run amok, causing the film’s mad scientists to rue the day they toyed with dino-DNA. Which ones were Peter’s? He smiles and describes a scene near the end of the movie where the ‘born again’ dinosaurs go berserk and trample a bunch of skeletons near the park’s entrance. “The dinosaurs that got smashed - those were ours,” he says, the grin growing wider. He can tell I’m impressed. For non-film buffs, RCI’s handiwork is readily on view in a ‘see it at your own pace’ venue only two hours away. Head to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto and go straight to the palaeontology section. This is where Peter got his start back in 1977. Almost 20 years later he would go on to co-edit a book about the subject (Vertebrate Palaeontological Techniques: Volume 1) with Patrick Leiggi, outlining the entire fossil preparation process from collection to conservation.

Peter reckons there are only three other companies world-wide who do similar work and Trenton’s RCI is the biggest of the lot. So what exactly does RCI do? Its website promises a “complete suite of world class museum services.” These include fossil cleaning, restoration and exhibit relocation. Are your specimens still in the field? RCI can collect them for you. Equipped to chisel these fragile bits of history from their surrounding rock matrix, RCI craftspeople can mount the finished product on a custom-made armature in the location of your choice. Missing some parts? In partnership with DINOLAB, a company begun by Peter’s late friend Jim Madsen, RCI has access to over 170 specimens for casting purposes. Only the identification plaque in front of the exhibit can distinguish the real from the ‘fake.’ Need a dinosaur but have no original bones? RCI can mold and cast an entire specimen for you in a variety of materials. How does bronze sound? If a project requires a particular environment, RCI can build it for you. And it doesn’t just work in palaeontology, either. The company’s experience in custom exhibit fabrication runs the gamut from archaeology to zoology. Peter gestures to-

Peter May and daughter Amelia have been working ­together for the past 13 years. Photo Angela Hawn Summer 2012 • Country Roads

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Peter points out fossil impressions on the wall-sized mold taken from Mistaken Point, NL. RCI’s work represents the largest fossil cast of its kind and displays 4,700 species killed when their deep sea environment was doused with volcano ash.

A close up of one of the fossils found on the massive wall shows the incredible clarity of the imprint.

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

ward the beginnings of a ‘cave’ destined eventually for Ottawa’s Museum of Nature. Still, it’s the dinosaurs that loom large within the RCI facility. The company’s achievements in that department read like a Mesozoic era ‘Who’s Who.’ Among its most famous ‘clients’ is ‘Sue’, the largest and most complete T-Rex ever found. RCI has molded, cast and mounted several ‘Sue’ replicas. According to its website, RCI has worked on 21 T-Rex and over 20 Sauropod skeletons (including five Diplodocus, one Apatosaurus and three Barosaurus, one of which rears up in a frightful five-storey tall defensive pose within New York’s American Museum of Natural History.) And there seems to be a never-ending lineup of dinosaurs to come. Peter shows off pieces of a fossilized Alamosaurus skeleton, still encased in rock matrix and the plaster ‘jacket’ used to remove a specimen safely from the field. The RCI team has been chipping away at this particular dinosaur for over a year. It seems a peculiar business for a fine arts graduate who started out as a sculptor. Peter shrugs when I ask what first led him to the ROM. “I had no idea about palaeontology or dinosaurs,” he claims, but decided to apply to a Globe and Mail newspaper advertisement for a Vertebrate Palaeontological Technician anyway. New boss Gord Gyrmov was reassuring; Peter had what the ROM was looking for. To this day, a

strong working relationship continues between the museum and the company Peter went on to open in 1987. But the path between the ROM and setting up shop in Trenton five years ago was by no means a straight one. There were a couple of interesting forks along the way. While on a month-long internship at the British Museum of Natural History in 1980, Peter encountered the earth sciences curator for the Provincial Museum of Alberta. Phil Currie was looking for someone to help set up a brand new museum in the Canadian West and Peter fit the bill. Newly married and used to Toronto as home base, he and wife Teresa initially hesitated to make the move. But Currie’s generous salary offer eventually convinced them to head for Alberta’s fossilrich badlands and Peter spent the next few years running the extensive field program for what would later become the world renowned Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller. Summer of ‘85 saw the Mays, now with two young kids in tow, back in Toronto and Peter resumed work with the ROM. Around the same time, the beginnings of RCI started to evolve. Pe-


An Ouranosaurus, found in Niger, Africa, will also find a home at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, as part of the ‘Ultimate Dinosaurs, Giants from Gondwana’ exhibit.

ter rented some space just outside Toronto’s Princes’ Gates and spent evenings developing his own molding, casting and mounting business. During the day, he continued to work at the ROM. Word in the museum world spread fast and calls started to come in from places as far flung as Japan. From there, Peter says, things snowballed. He had to hire a crew to run things for him during the day. Soon business was going so well, Peter was able quit his own day job.

Constant expansion prompted the first of a series of moves. For a while, the team operated out of the old Planter’s Peanut Factory at Bathurst and Dupont. Next RCI relocated to Oakville and then to Beamsville, where they stayed put for 10 years. When the company outgrew that facility, Peter started looking eastward, where a 45 000 square foot building was available on the Bay of Quinte. Hastings County also appealed to both Peter and his staff on a personal level. When he polled his employees, 80 percent of them decided to follow the company to Trenton. “The cost of living was lower and the quality of life higher,” explains Peter. “When you live here, you’re not tied so much to the city.”

Summer 2012 • Country Roads

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RCI’s collection of dinosaur teeth includes one from one of the largest T-rex’s ever found in East End, SK.

skeleton measures 27 metres in length and the actual animal, when alive, probably weighed in at 15 tonnes. Peter proudly points out casts identical to another series of incredible ROM installations. We are looking at three enormous, wallsized pieces created from molds taken at Mistaken Point, NL. Nominated for UNESCO

Yet in some ways, the city remains tied to RCI through ongoing projects with the ROM. Recent assignments have included the installation of the world’s only Sauropod, a giant long-necked Barosaurus, consisting mostly of real fossils. If you’ve ever been to the ROM’s dinosaur galleries, you know the one I mean. It’s so big you can’t fit the entire thing in a solitary photograph. Acquired in a trade with the Carnegie in 1962, the bones spent several years locked away in various storage drawers due to inadequate display space. The opening of the ROM’s Crystal in 2007 changed all that and RCI was called in to reunite all of the Barosaurus bits and pieces. The entire

World Heritage status, the area is under constant threat from water erosion. RCI’s work represents the largest fossil cast of its kind and displays over 4 000 species killed when their deep sea environment got doused with volcano ash. Even more impressive, the 550 million year old fossils come from an era before animals and plants went their separate ways. They’re so old, no contemporary relatives can be found. Selections of these priceless casts were also sent to Queen’s University and Oxford and the ones we’re looking at now will eventually make their way back home to Newfoundland for display in St. John’s.

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This original fossil Duck Billed dinosaur from Alberta will be part of a museum collection in the future.

Then there’s RCI’s latest project for the ROM. ‘Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondwana’ features some dinosaurs that usually don’t get much press up here. Slated to open June 23, the exhibit showcases dinosaurs from Madagascar, Africa and South America. Peter explains these dinosaurs from south of the equator took entirely different evolutionary paths from their northern counterparts. Included in the show is the largest ever meat-eating dinosaur, aptly named the Giganotosaurus, as well as one of the largest land animals to walk the earth, the 85-foot long Futalognkosaurus. You’d think all these museum projects would keep Peter busy enough, but about four years

ago RCI diversified and got into an interesting sideline as part of its cement and concrete work: playground construction. Of course, these aren’t just any kind of playgrounds. RCI’s sister company, Exploration Playgrounds specializes in kid-sized ‘dinosaur and archaeological digs.’ Imagination stations like the one at Batawa Ski Hill incorporate structures made from casts of real fossils. If you want to crawl inside a dinosaur egg or make ‘rubbings’ of ancient fossil forms or perhaps just give a baby dinosaur a hug, this is the place for you. More of their dinosaur handiwork can be spotted at Trenton’s Centennial Park. And if dinosaurs aren’t what make you tick, Exploration Playgrounds does

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A close up of the Duck Billed specimen shows the rare fossil find of dinosaur skin; a pebbly texture of a ­Hadrosaurus, identifiable in the middle right side of the photograph.

custom work to make the playground of your dreams. “But museum overhaul is still the biggest part of the job,” Peter says, explaining an ‘overhaul’ involves going into a museum, dismantling specimens, getting rid of the aging adhesive holding things together, making repairs as part of the conservation process and then remounting everything. It can be a lengthy process, often done on site. One job for a German

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Feel the Gentle Breeze off Beautiful Deer Creek… Enjoy our freshly-cooked meals, washed down with a delicious glass of wine or an ice-cold beer - we have 11 on tap!’ At the Barley, our Menu has something for everyone. From our Fish n’ Chips, made with real Atlantic cod and home-made fries, Liver n’ Onions and Cottage Pie, to a more eclectic fare like Chicken Feta, elegant Salads & freshly made Soups - it’s all good! For full information on our Menu & Services, check out our website: barleypubandeatery.com Open Mon-Sat, 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Open at 11:00 a.m. on Sundays 40 St. Lawrence St. W., Madoc, ON • p: 613.473.1800

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Isobel and Maddie experience just how large a dinosaur egg is at the Batawa Ski Hill Imagination Station created by RCI. For the past four years, RCI’s sister company, Exploration Playgrounds has specialized in kid-sized “dinosaur and archaeological digs.”

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museum lasted two years. Members of Peter’s team (along with their families) actually picked up and moved overseas until the job was done. This is starting to sound like the coolest company in the world. Dinosaurs AND travel opportunities? RCI’s client roster lists customers from New Zealand to New York and the company’s fame goes well beyond museum circles. Some recent projects were documented on the

History and Discovery channels. How can I get my resume to the top of the pile? Although RCI’s website notes it isn’t hiring at the moment, the company does keep job applications on file for future reference. RCI looks for skills as diverse as blacksmithing and metal fabrication. There’s even a foundry on site. Knowing your way around fossil preparation certainly couldn’t hurt. Like Peter, several employees have


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a fine arts background. Of course, showcasing your flexibility is always a good idea. Peter introduces me to Stephen Lee, who recently got pulled off his regular job mounting specimens to fill a gap in the IT department. Be prepared for a steep and ever-growing learning curve. Peter points out what he calls the future of the business: a five-axis router, a 3D scanner, as well as

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a 3D printer that looks like it came straight out of a Star Trek episode. Technology is bringing change to the way RCI does things. As we make our way out of the fossil room, past shelves stacked high with bins of molds, Peter introduces one last employee. Her name is Amelia and she’s Peter’s daughter. While siblings Alex and Jaqueline pursued other interests (though both science-based!) Amelia has been working with her dad for the past 13 years. What’s it like to work with your father every day? Both Mays look at each other and shrug matter-of-factly. “Amelia started ‘fibreglassing’ (casting specimens in fibreglass) for me when she was 16,” says Peter, looking to his daughter for a nod of confirmation. Father and daughter chat briefly about some yardwork Amelia has waiting at her house in town and she heads off. The place is starting to empty out. Anxious to get back to his own home in Warkworth, Peter has begun to make pointed references to the time and the amount of work still left to do. A load of Argentinean dinosaurs arrives tomorrow, along with a Cineplex film crew shooting footage for a ROM movie trailer. The RCI team are busy people; I am apologetically but firmly ushered to the door. In my car and homeward-bound myself, I’m halfway there before I think to ask: did Peter ever get to meet Steven Spielberg? Next question: where can I get my hands on a copy of the movie Jurassic Park?

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I 15

6


JUST SAYING

BY SHELLEY WILDGEN

G

rowing up in Belleville, there were certain distinct lifestyles that became clear from an early age: you didn’t want to be a kid from the wharf; you did want to reside in Old East Hill; and the luckiest families had cottages. A lot has changed since the seventies. Those kids on the wharf, for example, are now sitting on prime waterfront real estate, parked on their front lawns, rubbing their eyes as the former Old East Hill residents hire fancy schmancy moving companies to transport all their worldly wares into whatever condo development has most recently rooted itself on the wharf. The bucolic image of cottage life though, that’s here to stay. Strictly based on kind invites and occasional rentals, I’ve been fortunate enough to lodge myself onto some spectacular lakes -- Jamieson Lake, L’Amable Lake, Lake Skootamatta, Georgian Bay, Moira Lake -- an endless list of impressive waterside retreats, each one more fantastic than the last, and always belonging to someone else, all contributing to my decades old case of cottage envy. For a couple of summers I was invited to my friend Susan‘s cottage on Mazinaw Lake (or Lake Mazinaw, depending on what rolls easiest off your sunburnt tongue). We were assigned to a tent planted on an old raft in the backyard, and we loved it! It had beds and dressers, just like a real room and best of all we could talk ALL night and not bother anyone. Susan’s family cottage was the best! A real brown cedar exterior with a big stone fireplace and back then, in the peace, love, dove days of the early seventies, no indoor washroom. All the cottagers policed each other to keep their lake clean. One day Susan even scolded her neighbour, Marg for washing her hair in the lake. Marg just yelled back, “Environmentally-friendly shampoo,” like it was a morning salutation. Although we were never part of the cottage-owning contingent, there was the cottage my family rented on Papineau Lake. It was spectacular! It had flagstone floors, a sleeping

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

Cottage Envy Revisited

loft, a big ol’ fireplace, crayfish at the shore, a cliff to climb up to, and a thunder pot at the front door for night time emergencies -- no environmentally-friendly notions, mind you, mostly just fear of bears. Bears, bears, everywhere bears, or that’s what all cottagers will have you believe. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ evening entertainment can’t hold a Hefty Bag to post-dinner bear-viewing at the dump. In my experience, however, the bears clearly avoided bellying up to their buffet between 5 and 7pm, but the

“Look at me – I’m a large-mouthed bass!” spectator sport remains strong generation after generation. One of my favourite cottage invites was just a few years ago. We were all middle aged adults, eking out fairly respectable livings, raising kids and muddling in or out of various marriages, but once we arrived at one of the employee’s family cottages north of Bancroft, all illusions of maturity evaporated with the morning dew. Every one of us on the wrong side of 35 reverted to tumbling about like kids. While one of the cottage guests dug ruts in the sand so well-endowed females could sun themselves lying on their stomachs, the proud cottage owner flew into the lake yelling, “Look at me everyone. I’m a large-mouth

bass,” and within seconds of hurling his corpulent self this way and that, smacking and slapping the water with every landing, he did indeed transform into a big bit o’ fish. It was a welcome respite from the pressures of everyday life and one that is only available at a cottage. I have always relied heavily on the generosity of cottage owners I’ve encountered over the years, for they remain my only entry into the world of the eat-anything-youwant, dressing-down-or-not-at-all, vintagemagazine-owning, board-game-loving, living-on-cottage-time elite. I admire their ability to let it all go and say things like, “Nothing precious here. We want people in wet bathing suits to feel free to sit on the furniture.” These are not words you’ll hear south of Highway 7 and they are heartfelt. If only it could be bottled and sold: Pine and woodsy, fishnets of the fisherman kind pinned to the wall, water lapping 10 feet from the front door and not a trace of granite or stainless steel anywhere! When you own a cottage, you have attained the best of life’s offerings. I now live in a small, comfortable home on the Trent River and I love it. But I shall always harbour a pocket of jealousy for those who have old, seasoned family cottages that can’t be bought because they’ve been earned by years of shared maintenance and fond memories. They are the richest of folk. There is quiet comfort in knowing that others feel as I do. Nineteenth century historian Thomas Babington Macauley once said, “I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without the desire to read.” OK, maybe he was really harping about reading but he said “cottage,” didn’t he? And king of all movie actors Johnny Depp was quoted once as saying, “I’m an old-fashioned guy...I want to be an old man with a beer belly sitting on a porch, looking at a lake or something.” Really? Johnny Depp, beer belly? About as likely as a 40-year-old, 300-pound largemouth bass living la vida loca in a lake just north of Bancroft.


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Off the Beaten Path The new homesteaders of Hastings County BY MICHELLE ANNETTE TREMBLAY

The majestic landscape of Hastings Highlands is ideal for homesteading, with equal parts water, lumber and fertile land. Photo: Michelle Annette Tremblay

T

here’s a peace that settles over you while driving the winding backroads of Hastings Highlands. You can’t go too fast, partly because of the curves, partly because of the loose gravel, partly because of the magnificent views. Hills rise and fall in graceful waves. The expansive flatness of the lakes reflect whatever magic happens to be present in the sky on any given day, and in summer the foliage of the forest filters the sunlight so that it sprinkles down like golden confetti. It’s not hard to imagine why people choose to build their lives here. “It’s a dream come true,” says Claire Tonack. We are sitting in the kitchen of her open-concept off-grid log home that overlooks Baptiste Lake. At each window seedlings stretch themselves up to meet the afternoon sun. Soon Claire will move them to the greenhouse that she and her husband Scott Laundry built, or outdoors to their expansive garden. “I feel very fortunate,” she says. “I feel a strong connection with nature. I feel like everything’s okay - like I’m taken care of.”

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

The logs for Claire Tonack and Scott Laundry’s off-grid home were cleared from Scott’s family’s land in Hastings Highlands. Photo: Michelle Annette Tremblay


What sort of people choose to live off the land, off-grid, or build sustainable houses? Among the three families profiled in this story the overwhelming trait by far is honesty. All of them ask themselves, and each other, big questions. Deep down what do they really value? What kind of lifestyle do they truly want? How would they raise and what would they teach their children? How hard were they willing to work to achieve their goals? And what were they willing to give up? Perhaps in the asking and answering of such basic but often overlooked questions an overall honesty evolved. Maybe that’s why each couple welcomed me into their home, let me see the untidy imperfections of their lives, and talked so intimately about the struggles and triumphs of going their own way. Claire and Scott tell me all the things you’d expect them to divulge: how many jars of cider they get from their wild apple trees; how Scott cut the logs for their house off his family’s land; how much energy they get from their windmill and solar panels. Claire speaks proudly about the 10 varieties of tomatoes she is growing this year, and the orchard they are starting. Scott describes how on stormy nights when other families in the area lose their hydro, he and Claire listen to their windmill, spinning like crazy in the night sky, and fall asleep content,

Jami and McKenzie Neilson-Jolly scoop up their two energetic kids for a photo in front of their off-grid stackwall house that they built themselves.

Claire’s greenhouse is full of seedlings that will soon be moved to her giant garden. These young tomatoes are just one of ten varieties she is growing.

Photo: Michelle Annette Tremblay

Photo: Michelle Annette Tremblay

knowing their batteries will be full in the morning. But then they open up about personal things. Claire tells me the most challenging part of building their own home, apart from the complex financial cha-cha they danced to get the project off the ground, was their relationship. They were still a relatively new couple, with a baby on the way, when they bought the land. While beginning the huge task of building their own home they were simultaneously figuring out the dynamics of their life together. Everything was happening in a whirlwind. Their first child was born the same week they put in the driveway. They refer to the next year as ‘the roughing it year.’ They built the basement and lived in it with the new baby, without electricity, while they worked on the rest of the house. “It felt like a trial that could make or break us,” Claire says matter-of-factly, with Scott looking on, quiet and thoughtful. There is no embarrassment or hushed-ness like she’s confessing a secret – just an open description of the sometimes bumpy path they’ve traveled together. “It’s made us,” she adds. “Synchronicity married Scott and I to this piece of earth – and to each other.” Claire admits adjusting to being a new mom while living without modern conveniences was hard, but if anyone was up to the task it was her. She was raised in the bush. In the 1970’s, during the back-to-the-land movement, her parents moved from the city to Hastings Highlands. They found an affordable 100-acre piece of property well off

the road and homesteaded there. They cleared land and built their own house, barns, and gardens. They had no electricity, no telephone and no running or hot water. “I walked literally a mile to the main road every morning to go to school until grade 7. I think it took that long for the township to believe we were actually going to stay,” recounts Claire. The township then fixed their road so the school bus could travel it. Her childhood was different than most of her classmates. There were many things she and her siblings went without, but she’s thankful for it. “I know how to make do.” She affirms. She pauses, contemplative. “I think it’s sort of a gift our parents gave us – not even just the skills, but the mindset – the vision to create a homestead for yourself.” Now she and Scott are committed to gifting that same vision to their two boys, who come and go throughout the interview. Sometimes they pause to listen, and the eldest gives me a tour of the pantry - full of Claire’s homegrown spices and preserves - but mostly they run outside to ride their bikes around the property and play with their dog. They seem care-free. Unburdened. “A good friend of mine once told me, when you have children it’s good to have a base that doesn’t change,” Scott says. A solid unchanging home base - it was something he’d grown up with. Like Claire, he speaks openly about things close to his heart. It is important to him that the logs to build the house came from his family’s land. He is grateful for his family’s help while they were Summer 2012 • Country Roads

I 19


Kids love kids. Abe and Lisa’s eldest son cuddles his favorite baby goat. Photo courtesy of Abe Drennan and Lisa Keegan-Drennan

building their home. His father, specifically, was a source of wisdom and support. Scott is fourth generation Hastings Highlands. His family’s history runs deep through the region, and he knows the stories. He is proud that his sons have the opportunity to grow up confident in the security and sustainability of their home. The boys run back into the house momentarily and then we all go outside and marvel at the garden. A large area of land had to be cleared (and must remain clear of trees) to accommodate the windmill. Claire explains that there needs to be enough of a set-back that if the tallest tree were to fall it wouldn’t hit the windmill or the support cables. “But it’s perfect,” she sings, explaining that the cleared land is ideal for their garden, which is well established. Their home is one of synchronicity and abundance. “We don’t go without the things I didn’t have as a child. Although we use alternative energy we don’t go without power – we use power as we wish,” says Claire. Indeed they have all the usual appliances in their home. Scott says when he and Claire first started talking about the life they wanted to create together it was easy to make plans because they were honest with each other about what they wanted, and it turned out they had a shared vision. And while there is more to do - for example, Scott wants to delve deeper into organic farming, running cattle like he used to with his dad - they’ve basically realized their homesteading dreams. “We have a sense of pride and a sense of peace,” says Claire. “I think the next decade will be easier.” Her eyes meet Scott’s and they both laugh. “I mean, it’s got to be easier,” Claire chuckles. “The hard part is done.”

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

It is important to Abe Drennan and Lisa Keegan-Drennan to raise their sons in a natural environment, with the knowledge of how to be self-sufficient. Photo: Michelle Annette Tremblay

Not far down the road is the home Abe Drennan and Lisa Keegan-Drennan share with their two boys. They are still in “the hard part” of their homesteading dream but are enjoying the ride, despite it being - in Abe’s words – “crazy.” Abe’s history is similar to Claire’s. His parents also left the city to homestead in Hastings Highlands in the Seventies. “My parents say, ‘you’re doing the same thing we did; are you crazy? Why would you put yourselves through that?’” laughs Abe. He acknowledges there are some huge challenges. In addition to raising their boys, working on their home and farming, he and Lisa both work full-time outside the home. “I feel overwhelmed sometimes,” says Abe, “like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. But there’s a peace we’re starting to feel as we get the systems in place.” He shows me the chicken house he made. It was the first thing he ever built.

“It’s not like chickens need a palace,” he says, laughing at the structure. He built it on the cheap, out of scrap materials donated by friends or salvaged at the dump. His next project, a gate for the goat’s area, shows increased skill. “You master one thing just in time to move on to the next,” says Lisa. Although Abe grew up on a small farm in the bush with a strong emphasis on hard work, he says he didn’t really have any specific skills that suited him to homesteading, and neither did Lisa, who grew up in the city. They have learned everything as they’ve gone along, doing things bit by bit, as they can afford to. Lisa says their dream is to eventually be selfsufficient, living off the land (preferably off-grid), and either not have to work or to have the freedom to choose the work they want. She and Abe agree that right now they are taking a series of small steps to achieve their dreams.


Claire Tonack and her eldest son give a tour of their pantry, full of home-made preserves and home-grown herbs. Photo: Michelle Annette Tremblay

Boys will be boys. Abe and Lisa’s youngest son spends most of his playtime outdoors and isn’t afraid to get dirty. Photo courtesy of Abe Drennan and Lisa Keegan-Drennan

“It’s incremental,” says Abe, as one of the goats prances over to him and sniffs his hair. The goats have free range, and one of them - who is very interested in the boys’ skateboard - even sneaks into the house while we talk. Abe chases him back outside. “You can easily get overwhelmed, but I think, if I can just get that gate built then I can move onto clearing those trees, and then I can move on to the next thing. If you try and think of everything you become immobilized.” Four years ago, just after their eldest son was born, Abe and Lisa bought their house at an af-

fordable price knowing it was a major fixer-upper. Immediately they installed a more efficient heating system and put in a septic. Since then they’ve been plugging away at making the home more energy efficient while learning to farm. “Shipping organic food from California is not sustainable,” says Lisa, pointing to the amount of fossil fuels used in the process. “And buying organic is a luxury most people can’t afford.” So far they are having success with goats and chickens, but growing produce has been trickier. This year they’ve moved their garden for the third time. Finding a spot with the right kind of earth

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that gets enough sunlight has been problematic. They have cleared trees and moved outbuildings to accommodate the new layout. “I want our kids to know where their food comes from,” says Lisa, as she and her eldest son gather eggs, “and to know how to live off the land if they ever want to or have to.” Of course in order to teach them, she has to learn it herself first. “Right now we’re learning how to harvest our own chickens so we can kill them and process them ourselves and not have to rely on anyone else to do that for us,” she says. “But I do think there’s a really important value in needing to be interde-

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Different types of chickens lay different coloured eggs. Abe and Lisa say their hens’ eggs range in size and colour but taste almost identical. Photo courtesy of Abe Drennan and Lisa Keegan-Drennan

Abe and Lisa’s sons were delighted when their first batch of baby chicks arrived, and helped care for them, keeping them warm and dry. Photo courtesy of Abe Drennan and Lisa Keegan-Drennan

pendent with other people. If we’ve got eggs and cheese we can offer, then other people can offer us other things. That’s a big part of sustainability.” “There’s a vibe going on in this area,” adds Abe. He talks about the sense of community and the surprising number of like-minded people he knows in Hastings Highlands and surrounding municipalities. “There’s this community of people who hold these values and have an intention around sharing and supporting each other. It’s not like we’re alone in it – we’re learning how to be independent, but we’re doing it together,” he explains. This is something Claire and Scott touched on too, saying there are plenty of knowledgeable people in the area who are happy to share wisdom. If someone really wants to homestead, even if they have few skills, they can do it. They just have to ask for the help and take a leap of faith. That’s exactly what McKenzie and Jami NeilsonJolly did when they built their home. They chose stack wall design because the materials were readily available (they got the cedar logs from a neighbour) and the construction was simple enough to do themselves. To be fair, McKenzie had experience working with concrete and setting up sustainable greenhouses, but other than that the couple embarked on the project with little more than a dream, a how-to book, and the help of friends. “They didn’t know what they were doing,” says McKenzie of his crew of helpful friends, “and neither did I. I told them, this wall just has to be inconsistently consistent.” The couple started their journey in a yurt that they bought as a kit. They lived in it while building the house, and then connected the two structures (the yurt is now their master bedroom). Jami was pregnant with their daughter at the time, and isn’t shy about talking about the inconveniences and challenges of being pregnant in the bush with

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

no power. She was fresh from the city. She was only 20. “It was hard,” she confesses to me, solemnly. “But you did a great job,” says McKenzie from across the room. The charmingly efficient house, warm in the winter and cool in the summer, certainly doesn’t look like it was built by first-time home builders. Outside there is still work to be done - grass and gardens to be planted, and more solar panels to be installed - but inside the home is complete and beautiful. McKenzie gives me a tour of the utility room, pointing out where the power from the solar panels comes in, and how it’s inverted and stored. While he may not have known much about building an off-grid home when he started, he is a fountain of wisdom now, and is happy to share his knowledge. He rattles off statistics about how much excess energy various appliances use (flat screen TV’s, conventional water-pumps, even toasters!) and explains how most homes gobble up energy. In contrast, their home only uses a fraction of the energy the average Canadian home uses – about 3%. Unlike Claire and Scott, the Jolly-Neilsons don’t have the freedom to use as much energy as they please, and they carefully monitor and plan their usage. Their location is not suited to a windmill and they don’t yet have enough solar panels to bring in that kind of wattage. They plan to install more panels eventually, but Jami says she’s happy using less and will likely never go back to consuming the amount of energy she used to. Using less makes her more conscious of what her lifestyle really costs, and how other people in the world live. “I was really bad!” Jami says of her past energy consumption. She grew up in a typical suburban environment and never thought about how much energy she used. “I was the worst for long hot baths – with the water right up to my chin.” Although she has

changed her ways she’s anything but pious. “Oh I miss them,” she readily admits with a giggle. She says she still enjoys baths, but pumping and heating water takes a lot of energy so they tend to be shallower and not very hot. She doesn’t want to use more energy than she can produce. “Living within your means is so important,” says McKenzie. The couple agrees this is something they want to instill in their two kids. The kids wander in and out of the house as we chat, climbing on this and that, playing pretend. They are muddy. Some kids are dirty from neglect – but these kids are dirty from a healthy relationship with the outdoors. Jami and McKenzie are intent on them having plenty of imagination and outside play. “I want them to be balanced, independent thinkers,” says McKenzie. That’s his main goal, and his motivation for the life choices he’s made. He says he doesn’t want them to be afraid of life or of following their own paths. It’s a sentiment that echoes throughout the interviews. All three couples say any sacrifices they’ve made, or inconveniences they’ve lived through, have been worth it to lead more sustainable lives and to set an example for their children. They’ve all looked themselves in the mirror - asked the hard questions about how they want to live and what they want to teach their children - and stared back without flinching at their answers. They confess it hasn’t been easy. But they agree the rewards are great. As I make my way back down those dreamy winding roads - now with a dozen eggs, and a jar of cider next to me - I hear Claire’s voice in my head. “Intuitively, sustainable choices feel right,” she says. “There are opportunities every day, and they add up. Invariably they tend to be choices you can be proud of. My advice to those who want it is to choose it, then do it.”


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I 23


C r o s s r o a d s

Stirling-Rawdon IS Kraft Hockeyville 2012 BY NANCY HOPKINS • PHOTOS COURTESY STIRLING-RAWDON KRAFT HOCKEYVILLE COMMITTEE

Former Toronto Maple Leaf Darcy Tucker seen with Edith Ray. Later that evening Tucker presented the winner’s cup to Cindy Brandt, Stirling-Rawdon Hockeyville Committee Chairperson.

It was called the ‘Highway to Hockeyville’ – a parade of thousands en route to the Stirling & District Arena as part of the Kraft Hockeyville 2012 celebrations.

Music was very much a part of the evening festivities. “Where the Ice is Your Home” by Paul Brogee, is performed live by Paul, Mike & John Brogee.

It formally began with a One Mile Walk. Six months later thousands paraded through downtown ­Stirling once again headed for the same destination – the Stirling & District Arena – prior to the final ­announcement of the voting results for the Kraft Hockeyville 2012 competition. “It was never about people standing on the sidelines, it’s always been full participation and active engagement,” said Cindy Brandt, Chairperson of the Stirling Hockeyville committee. This mantra held true with an infectious spirit that went ‘viral’ as they say, and in the end on March 31, through a live CBC broadcast across Canada, Stirling-Rawdon was announced the winner of Kraft Hockeyville 2012. The motivation for the quest to become Kraft Hockeyville was to further minor hockey in the

community as a tribute to Stirling’s long time and much loved arena manager, the late Barry Wilson and Wayne Brown, a popular minor hockey and ball coach, The reward for all the hard work - $100,000 in much needed upgrades to the arena and an NHL game featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets, to be held at the Belleville Yardman Arena this fall. That a community of 5,000 posted 3,986,769 votes is head shaking. But perhaps a key to the

overwhelming spirit lies in the words of the popular youtube video – The Stirling Hockeyville Song by Millpond Moe & the Dave Mudd Singers. Based on ‘The Hockey Song’ by Stompin’ Tom Connors, the Stirling version included a memorable segment of rap music and dance – targeted they say at the “younger demographic.” Support for Stirling-Rawdon Kraft Hockeyville definitely came from all ages and in the end those caught up in the fever were all young at heart.

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Country Roads • Summer 2012


HASTINGS TASTINGS

Summer Savouries J& B Asparagus Farm, on scenic Fish & Game Club Road south of Stirling is a family affair. Twenty years ago, as a retirement project, Jack & Betty began harvesting asparagus. Today, ages 89 & 93 they harvest three acres.

ASPARAGUS, SALMON, AND RICE Marsh Hill Farm, south of Stirling, is producing their first crop of local organically grown garlic this summer. The bulbs will be available in late July from the farm or Saturdays at the Trenton Farmer’s Market. You’ll need 4 bulbs for their Roasted Garlic Soup recipe.

ROASTED GARLIC SOUP 4 bulbs garlic (the whole bulb…not just a clove) 1/4 cup olive oil 6 tbsp unsalted butter 1 leek, chopped 1 onion, chopped 6 tbsp all-purpose flour 4 cups chicken broth 1/3 cup dry sherry 1 cup 5-10% cream 1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste salt to taste 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives • Cut off top 1/4 inch of each garlic head. Place in a small shallow baking dish. Drizzle olive oil over. Bake at 350°F (175°C) until golden, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Press individual garlic cloves between thumb and finger to release the cloves. Chop garlic roughly. • Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, chopped leek and onion; saute until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add flour and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in hot chicken stock and sherry. Simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. • Puree soup in batches in a blender or food processor. • Return soup to saucepan, and add cream. Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and white pepper. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with chives.

4 tbsp butter 1 small onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 tbsp flour 1 - 1/2 Cups low-fat milk 1/2 cup dry white wine (or milk) 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill 2 tsp grated lemon rind 2 cups cooked brown rice 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and halved 4 fresh skinless salmon fillets (4 to 6 oz each) 3/4 cup fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs • In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cook until softened. Stir in flour, cook without browning for 1 minute. Whisk in milk, wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and cook, stirring, until thickened. • Remove from heat; stir in dill and lemon rind. Set aside. • Spread rice in an 8-by-11-inch baking dish. Top with a single layer of asparagus, laying spears crosswise. Drizzle with half of the sauce. Arrange salmon fillets over asparagus; drizzle with remaining sauce. • Melt remaining 1 tbsp butter and toss with breadcrumbs; sprinkle over top of salmon. • Bake in a 375F (190C) oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and bubbly. • Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving. 4 to 6 servings

Tim and Susan Vanden Bosch and their sons Justin, Luke and Ben are a ‘growing’ family. Their Willow Creek Farms stand at Tucker’s Corners is a busy place. Gardening since 1991, produce can also be purchased at their farm gate on Frankford Road, Frankford.

BALSAMIC BAKED TOMATOES WITH PARMESAN CRUMBS

Did you know?

3 3

A sparagus is one of the oldest recorded vegetables, considered a delicacy in ancient Greek and Roman time. Very low in calories, the shoots contain good levels of dietary fibre. G arlic (Allium sativum) belongs to the Alliaceae family, the same family as onions, shallots and leeks. Many growers in Eastern Ontario mulch for the winter. This helps moderate soil temperatures, protecting roots and shoots from fluctuating temperatures.

4 large tomatoes 1/2 tsp Salt 2 tbsp bread crumbs 3 tbsp parmesan cheese 1 tbsp olive oil 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp light brown sugar 2 tbsp water • Core tomatoes and cut horizontally • Combine parmesan cheese, olive oil and bread crumbs and sprinkle on top of tomatoes. • Cook on BBQ until browning • Meanwhile combine balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and water in a saucepan and boil over high heat until syrupy. Drizzle over cooked tomatoes.

WANT TO GET FRESH?

Visit your local Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings and checkout www.harvesthastings.ca for a full list of local producers. Summer 2012 • Country Roads

I 25


The Eagle’s Nest dominates the town of Bancroft. A geologic feature known as a balolith, this mound of harder rock was once buried 10km below the surface of the earth

Let’s Rock P and Roll

Have a rocking good time in old Hastings County STORY AND PHOTOS BY ORLAND FRENCH ack your lunch, grab your sturdy walking shoes and power up your GPS device. It’s time to explore the rocks of Hastings County. G o o d n e s s k n ow s H a s t i n g s County has a lot of rock, most of it punching through the landscape north of Highway 7. Rocks contain minerals, and if the plethora of minerals found in Hastings County could be scattered like gemstones on a jeweller’s countertop, what a treasure you would see. Bancroft considers itself to be the Mineral Capital of Canada. It can do this, with unchallenged confidence, because it lies at the heart of one of the greatest collections of minerals in the world. It also lies in the middle of a gigantic collision centre. Over a billion years ago, give or take a few hundred million, tectonic plates floating on the earth’s magma collided in the area we know now

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Country Roads • Summer 2012


Hastings County Map

LEGEND 1 - 45° 04’ 23.51” N, 77° 51’ 24.89” W (ELEVATION 444M). EAGLE’S NEST. 2 - 44° 59’ 32.09” N, 78° 00’ 57.25” W CARDIFF (BICROFT) 3 - 45° 04’ 17.75” N, 77° 48’ 30.76” W PRINCESS SODALITE MINE 4 - 45° 01’ 56.28” N, 77° 49’ 14.40 W. MARBLE LAKE 5 - 44° 32’ 35.10” N, 77° 19’ 32.28” W. MARBLE CHURCH IN ACTINOLITE. 6 - 44° 51’ 37.13” N, 77° 50’ 01.71” W. COE HILL

1 3 2

4

7 - 45° 02’ 48.39” N, 77° 38’ 15.06” W. BESSEMER

7

8- 44° 35’ 18.71” N, 77° 31’ 08.64” W. ELDORADO

Andy Christie, owner of the Princess Sodalite Mine, shows some of his sodalite samples from his rock shop at the mine site east of Bancroft.

6 as eastern Ontario. These plates brought with them a large number of various minerals. Imagine a giant parking lot collision, with all the vehicles in Bancroft crushed together in one huge unfortunate accident. You’d have bits of Hondas, Hyundais, Fords, Chryslers, Chevvies and maybe even a Mercedes bumper scattered all over. The same random dispersal of minerals took place. You’ll find a pocket of corundum here, feldspar there, gold over yonder and uranium just beyond the hill. But continental collisions don’t stop with a crunch and a bump. They continue on for millions of years, creating great heat and pressures which produce new minerals and rock formations. They pile rock layers on end, rippling them up in huge folds like your foot pushing against the edge of a rug. This is what is forming the Rocky Mountains today, and this is what produced a range of mountains in Eastern Canada that would tower over Everest. So, fire up the SUV, set your GPS*, and away we go. With this article we’ve provided the GPS locations for all of our visits. If you want a real sense of 21st-century exploration, don’t look at the map or Google the co-ordinates; just follow your GPS directions and see where they take you. Note: This tour starts in Bancroft and works its way south, so plan your time accordingly. We’ll begin with the Eagle’s Nest in the Mineral Capital of Canada, Bancroft. This is your highest point on this trip. The large hill is known as a balolith, which began as a large intrusion of granite into the earth’s crust about 1.25 billion years ago. At one time it was about 10km below the surface of the earth. Did it push its

8 9 9- 44° 30’ 36.44” N 77° 37’ 22.01” W. DELORO

12 10

10 - 44° 28’ 55.81” N, 77° 39’ 33.06” W. MARMORATON OPEN MINE PIT

11 14

5

13

15

11 - 44° 30’ 09.84” N, 77° 29’ 40.54” W. ROCK CUT 12 - 44° 30’ 14.41” N, 77° 27’ 20.71” W. TALC MINE 13 - 44° 28’ 49.67” N, 77° 28’ 03.78” W. FLUORITE 14 - 44° 28’ 18.96” N, 77° 28’ 18.33” W. CANADIAN SHIELD STARTS HERE

16

15 - 44° 21’ 55.83” N, 77° 25’ 48.17” W. PANCAKE HILL 16 - 44° 08’ 53.80” N, 77° 35’ 25.19” W). THE BLEASDELL BOULDER Summer 2012 • Country Roads

I 27


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A conglomerate of hardened sediment overlays an outcropping of slate in a rock cut on old Highway 7 just west of Madoc.

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

way up? No. The overlying and surrounding rock was softer and eroded away. How high is 10km? Look up and maybe you will see the contrails of a jet aircraft cruising high over Bancroft. If it’s flying at maximum altitude, it is probably about 10km up. That’s how much mountain has eroded around you. Go to 45° 04’ 23.51” N, 77° 51’ 24.89” W (Elevation 444m). You can drive to the parking lot atop the Eagle’s Nest. There’s a beautiful view of the York River winding through the valley below. If the wind is right, you might even catch the scent of doughnuts wafting up from Tim Horton’s way below you. Bancroft was also a major uranium producing centre for a brief time during the Cold War. Uranium was in demand for production of nuclear weapons and as a fuel for nuclear reactors. Four mines were developed in the late 1950s: Bicroft, Canadian Dyno, Greyhawk and Faraday/Madawaska. Although Faraday/Madawaska produced uranium until 1982, the others shut down in the early 1970s. The cost of extraction here was high and cheaper uranium was found elsewhere. Go to 44° 59’ 32.09” N, 78° 00’ 57.25” W for a visit to the Cardiff (Bicroft) townsite west of Bancroft. Sodalite is one of the prettiest minerals mined in the Bancroft area. It has been used to make jewelry and decorate buildings. About 130 tons of rich blue Bancroft sodalite (sodium aluminum silicate with chlorine) were shipped to England in 1906 to decorate Marlborough House in London. You can also find sodalite in the rotunda of the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. Sodalite from this property was shown at the World Exposition in Chicago in 1893; the mine deposit

The former United Church in Actinolite was constructed of marble quarried at a site nearby in 1864-1866. It is now an arts centre.

has been worked intermittently since 1906. Go to 45° 04’ 17.75” N, 77° 48’ 30.76” W which will lead you to the Princess Sodalite Mine on Highway 28 east of Bancroft. You might be able to find your own sodalite souvenir in the rock shop there.


Geology of the Counties From violent tectonic plate collisions to the gentle evolution of community growth, you can pursue the geological development and human heritage of two original eastern Ontario counties in these modern colour-packed hardcover publications.

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Get both for only $100 For more details, sample pages and on-line ordering: www.wallbridgehouse.com A chunk of slate glistens even in the shade at a highway rock cut on old Highway 7 west of Madoc.

A fading sign marks the entrance to the Bicroft ball diamond at Cardiff, townsite of the Bicroft uranium mine.

From its humble origins in Faraday and Dungannon townships, marble has found its way into some of the most prestigious structures in Canada: the Parliament Buildings in both Ottawa and Toronto, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Vancouver Courthouse and various other gov-

ernment buildings. For a look at a marble-producing area, take a drive to 45° 01’ 56.28” N, 77° 49’ 14.40 W. That’s Marble Lake south of Bancroft on Highway 62. If you would like to see a real marble building in Hastings, go to 44° 32’ 35.10” N, 77° 19’ 32.28” W. There you will find the Marble Church in Actinolite. The white marble building material was quarried right next door, where the parking lot is now. Actinolite, first called Troy and later Bridgewater, earned its present name from the mining of an asbestoslike mineral nearby. Iron deposits are found frequently throughout north Hastings. A major deposit at Coe Hill (44° 51’ 37.13” N, 77° 50’ 01.71” W) sparked the construction of the Central Ontario Railway from Trenton and the construction of a depot in Prince Edward County to ship the ore to the United States by boat. Unfortunately, the ore proved to be unsuitable and only one shipment was made. Iron ore was also mined at Bessemer, east of Bancroft (45° 02’ 48.39” N, 77° 38’ 15.06” W) and shipped out via a spur on the COR. If you want to see impressive evidence of an iron mine, save your curiosity for the Marmoraton site (below). The first gold rush in Ontario was sparked by the discovery of gold on the Richardson farm near Madoc. Gold was also found at Eldorado and Deloro, whose names were inspired by the aura of the mighty oro. You can find Eldorado on Highway 62 at 44° 35’ 18.71” N, 77° 31’ 08.64” W. It’s a little hamlet now but it was a bustling community when prospectors were scrambling through the bush searching for gold. There must be still gold in them thar hills, because min-

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A fluorite mine shaft is capped with concrete at this site beside Highway 62 south of Madoc. The round pipe provides a vent for gases in the shaft.

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

ing exploration companies are still taking out rights to them. But it’s not a good idea to go poking around looking for old gold mines; some of the shafts were never properly secured and you might disappear forever. Deloro provides a fascinating study of the true price of mineral extraction. Since 1980 the Ontario government has been struggling to clean up the environmental mess left behind by gold and arsenic production at Deloro. So far it has spent in excess of $30 million and expects to spend much more to contain the arsenic which has been leaching out of the site. This is extremely important to all the people who live downstream and drink their water from the Moira River or the Bay of Quinte. Find Deloro at 44° 30’ 36.44” N 77° 37’ 22.01” W. You can’t get onto the mine clean-up site, but you can see it from the road. And the village of Deloro is worth a look as an old mining town captured in time. From Deloro you are only a few kilometres from Marmora, site of the Marmoraton open pit iron mine at 44° 28’ 55.81” N, 77° 39’ 33.06” W. You can view it quite safely from a public platform. The hole is huge – 850m long, 220m wide and 460m deep. It doesn’t look that deep, because it has been filling up with water since the mine was closed. The ore body was discovered in 1950 by diamond-drilling a prominent magnetic anomaly which had appeared on an airborne magnetometer survey map. Thirty-three meters of limestone cap had to be removed before the iron ore could be reached. Mining operations continued from 1955 to the closing of the mine in 1978.

A few kilometres east of Marmora, you will find some interesting mineral attractions at Madoc. On the way into town, search out an old highway rock cut at 44° 30’ 09.84” N, 77° 29’ 40.54” W. You’ll discover some attractive slate outcroppings. This is a favourite exploration site for geology students. On the east side of town, at 44° 30’ 14.41” N, 77° 27’ 20.71” W, you’ll find the former site of a talc mine. Commercial production of talc began here in 1896 and continued uninterrupted for more than a century, until it closed in 2011. Talc is used as a base for talcum powder and other cosmetics, as well as a filler for paint, rubbers and insecticides. A fault in the bedrock, running northeastsouthwest south of Madoc, has produced a number of fluorite mines. Fluorite is a beautiful material and is used in jewelry; in Hastings County it was also used as a flux in iron smelting. At 44° 28’ 49.67” N, 77° 28’ 03.78” W, there is waterside parking lot next to Highway 62. Look for a large concrete slab in the brush at the north end. Mind the poison ivy. That’s the cap on a fluorite mine shaft. Fluorite was discovered around Madoc in 1904. About 50 deposits were found but only about 20 came into production. Production ceased in the 1960s. Just south of the fluorite mine, you’ll find Highway 62 winding its way up the steep face of a hill overlooking Moira Lake. At the bottom, the road passes through granite rocks. At the top, there’s a layer of limestone. From here on southward, lower Hastings County rests on layers of sedimentary rock laid down by ancient seas. This convergence is called a cuesta and it


A sign carved in sodalite welcomes visitors to the Princess Sodalite Mine east of Bancroft.

Trenton at Glen Miller (44° 08’ 53.80” N, 77° 35’ 25.19” W). The Bleasdell Boulder is one of the largest known erratics in North America, almost three storeys high. You’ll have to walk along an easy trail of 1.4km to find it. I hope you enjoyed your tour. For further reflection, here are a couple of afterthoughts: Although we have a lot of rock in Hastings County, sometimes we import it from outer space. One of the largest meteorites ever found in Canada, weighing 167.8kg, was found just west of Madoc in 1854. If you want to see it, you’ll have to go to the Geological Survey of Canada office in Ottawa. Hastings may be one of the few counties which can claim its own official rock. Hastingsite was discovered in Dungannon Township and named after the county, although it has been found in many other parts of the world. It resembles glass and is black or dark green. Trace amounts of several other minerals were also first discovered in Hastings County, although they are scattered elsewhere around the planet.

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clearly defines the meeting point of the limestone layer and the harder rocks of the Canadian Shield. There is a sharp, cliff-like edge on the north side and a long, gentle slope on the south. For north-bound travellers, there could easily be a highway sign that says, “Canadian Shield Starts Here.” See this location at 44° 28’ 18.96” N, 77° 28’ 18.33” W. Time to get out your sun lotion and your bathing suit. We’re going to the beach. A little further south on Highway 62, you can find Pancake Hill at 44° 21’ 55.83” N, 77° 25’ 48.17” W. Turn left at West Huntingdon (44° 21’ 12.95” No 77° 28’ 46.15” W) and drive east. Pancake Hill is not a rock formation but a glacial beach atop a hill. You can tell it is a beach because of the rounded, water-worn rocks. This is a beach of old Lake Iroquois, the large lake that was dammed up behind the retreating glaciers 14,000 years ago. Look towards the west and imagine looking out over a vast body of water, its waves lapping at your feet. You are at 213m above sea level here, or 122m above the current level of Lake Ontario at Belleville. A lot of water has drained away. Pancake Hill is so named because it resembles a stack of pancakes; each pancake represents a beach level as the lake receded. As the glaciers bulldozed their way across the landscape, they brought a lot of debris with them. When they melted, they left behind some large rocks which were hundreds of kilometres from their point of origin. They are called erratic rocks. Not like your Uncle Charley – he’s just weird, not erratic. A very large example of an erratic is waiting for your inspection north of

Summer 2012 • Country Roads

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learWater Desi g n

Canoes, Kayaks & Stand Up Paddleboards

*The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system. Originally intended for military applications, GPS has been made available for civilian use. Many people enjoy having GPS units in their vehicles for serious journeys and for pleasure jaunts. The co-ordinates provided in this article were obtained from Google Earth. They may not match exactly the co-ordinates displayed on your GPS, but they’re very close.


Spreading the word Twisted Mounty shows marketing savvy BY JOHN HOPKINS • PHOTOS COURTESY GREG MEENS & PHIL KERR

I

t’s about as recogchange when Kerr developed nizable a logo as cancer in his spine. anything you’ll “It started with back pain,” find in Hastings he recalls. “Then I started County – this argetting a funny feeling in my ea’s version of legs, numbness. I went in for the Nike “Swish”. an MRI and the next thing I The stick man knew I woke up in a hospital wearing a Mountie hat design in Toronto and I couldn’t feel adorns t-shirts and ball caps; anything.” it’s plastered in shop windows After fairly intensive cheand on car or truck windmotherapy Kerr was confined shields. If you haven’t seen to a wheelchair, a tough blow the Twisted Mounty logo in for an active teenager. But he your travels through the area, soon found a new outlet for you simply haven’t been payhis energies. In 2004 he and ing attention. Meens started making clothTwisted Mounty is the ing in their basement. brainchild of two Stirling “We were spraypainting tentrepreneurs, Greg Meens shirts and cutting out stickand Phil Kerr. Since 2004 ers,” Meens explains. “We the childhood buddies have started wearing the stuff been making clothing under around school and a coutheir brand name and showple of people wanted to buy ing plenty of business savthem. Things kind of develvy along the way. While the oped from there.” duo, both 24, have scored Friends since childhood, Greg Meens (l) and Phil Kerr used some artistic skill and shrewd social networking A big part of the apa hit with their brand name to create a logo and brand that is quickly gaining national attention. peal was the name, Twisted and that distinctive logo, they Mounty, and that logo – an also represent something of a incredibly simple design but new wave when it comes to selling their prodthey don’t need to put out a CD, they can just one that became instantly recognizable. ucts. A lot of their recognition has come through put a video on YouTube and people will see it.” “Phil’s more the artistic one,” Meens admits. effective use of social networking technology In many ways Twisted Mounty is creating a “He was always doodling in high school.” like Facebook, giving them ready access to the business model for the 21st century. Indeed, as we sit around the kitchen table talkpeople they want to buy their stuff. The road from childhood buddies to business ing Kerr has pulled out a sheet of paper and pen“We tried to push it one year through a catapartners has not been an easy one for Meens cil and is absentmindedly drawing throughout logue, Kerr remembers ruefully. “Not one person and Kerr, even beyond the financial lessons. our interview. called. We spent $800 and literally made nothing. The pair played minor hockey together, snow“We wanted to keep it Canadian,” Meens conSo after that we changed the way we do things. boarded together and enjoyed dirt biking – prettinues. “And a Mountie was the most Canadian The internet is huge for us. You don’t need to ty normal stuff for a pair of teenagers. Then, thing we could think of. So then we just needed send out catalogues anymore. It’s like musicians, in the summer of 2002 things took a dramatic something to go with it, something badass. We

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Country Roads • Summer 2012


Twisted Mounty has promoted itself through sponsorship of action sports like motocross. Area racers like Stirling’s Dawson Tracey have benefitted from support from the company.

came up with ‘twisted’ – it could mean a lot of different things, like twisting the throttle. It just seemed to make sense. The light bulb went off. Then we chatted about it and said we wanted the ‘T’ and the ‘M’ in the logo, and the Mountie hat. It started very basic and over one afternoon I think we had it picked out.”

As mentioned, effective marketing has helped take the Twisted Mounty name from out of the shadows and into the mainstream. At first Kerr and Meens used an effective network of high school friends to help spread the word. Kerr was a student at St. Theresa Catholic Secondary School while Meens attended Centennial

Secondary School, both in Belleville. They also had friends scattered around other high schools in Hastings County and the recognition and demand for the clothing expanded. “After the first few spraypainting things, once we realized we could move the product, we went out on a limb and spent $1,000 on an order and doubled our money,” Kerr says. “Then we spent $7,000 and it almost backfired on us – just bad timing, things like having shorts in winter – but we got through it.” The pair have also made good use of the extreme sports connection to market the Twisted Mounty label. Last summer they backed 15-yearold Stirling motocross racer Dawson Tracey and a friend who is a top wakeboarder has been spreading the Twisted Mounty logo through Florida. A big break came when Halifax hip-hop artist Classified wore a Twisted Mounty t-shirt in one of his videos. Both Meens and Kerr remain active themselves in the extreme sports community. Meens runs a motocross school from his house while Kerr, despite his battle with cancer, has taken up the sport of sit-wakeboarding.

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A graphic design and screen printing business are the newest elements of Twisted Mounty’s business. They recently took up shop space on the west side of Stirling to make room for the influx of orders.

Meens and Kerr have also been generous in supporting charity events in the area. “We’re playing it cool, not swamping people,” Kerr says. “We have a budget for what we’ll give away and basically we’ll look after anybody who asks, as long as it fits in with the amount we’ve set aside.” “I think the name is recognized across Canada,” Meens says of the networking success. “We have friends out west wearing our stuff, we’ve seen pictures of people wearing our clothing in New Zealand, Costa Rica. We’re just waiting for

our big break. We’re just working on finding the right person to say, ‘Hey, we want to sell your clothes in our store.’” Indeed, growth has been modest for Twisted Mounty, but Kerr and Meens are not stressing about it. “We’ve tried to make the company float itself,” Kerr points out. “We’ve not really made a lot, we’ve been reinvesting a fair bit. Over the past eight years we’ve probably invested $5,000 of our own money each but probably have gone through $100,000 in reinvesting.”

letters Dear Country Roads I thoroughly enjoyed your latest issue, especially the article on Oak Lake (‘The Lure of Oak Lake’, Spring 2012). It’s always a treat to read an article about the places and people you know. It was great to be reminded of Gilaine Mitchell’s book ‘Film Society.’ I had the pleasure of reading it when it first came out and could not put it down. It was the topic of much discussion in the community and you know it’s a good book when readers “swear” they know the fictional characters in the book. Having lived in Minto during the era in which the novel takes place it was easy to paint images as I went along. That’s why I love reading Canadian authors. Having a local author do such a superlative job makes it all the better. It’s also good to know that Donna Bonin has finally gotten a well deserved showing of her work in New York City. We have some wonderful artists in this community (another of my favourites is Terri Horricks) and I applaud the

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

to

the

“It hasn’t been a fast rise,” Meens adds. “It’s taken a while. Some people think we’re raking it in but that’s not really the case. We’re still pushing it.” “Our parents have been very supportive,” Kerr adds. “My Mom’s a hairdresser and she sold the clothes at her place.” A big part of the sales mandate is to provide high quality clothing. “We make some of our own stuff but a Toronto company does most of our fabrics,” Kerr says. “We print some of the stuff ourselves. We try to get as nice stuff as we can. We don’t want to sell junk – we went through that one year.” In March the pair opened the Twisted Print Shop in the commercial plaza in the west end of Stirling, where they offer graphic design and screen printing, as well as trailer and vehicle stickering, jersey lettering and numbering. Things may be developing slowly but there’s no question business is going in the right direction for Twisted Mounty. And some eight years after starting their company, the feeling of pride they feel when they see someone wearing a piece of their clothing, or sporting a Twisted Mounty decal, hasn’t left. “It’s a good feeling,” Meens admits. “I don’t think that will ever go away. When I’m in Belleville and I see a Twisted Mounty sticker in the back window of a truck I just think to myself, ‘Look at that. Isn’t that cool?’”

editor

recognition you give their work through your magazine. Keep up the good work. Denyse Mouck Stirling, ON Dear Country Roads The business called the Old Hastings Mercantile and Gallery is really unique and worth the trip to visit. People are very pleasant and willing to help; there is so much to see you cannot do it justice in only one hour. It takes several visits to see it all. Larry Breakenridge Via website Editor’s note: The Old Hastings Mercantile and Gallery was one of the general stores profiled in our story ‘A Taste of the Past’ in the Spring 2012 issue.

Dear Country Roads We thoroughly enjoy your magazine and keep all issues at hand - great coffee table magazines. My husband Tim and I grew up in Hastings County near the Stirling - Foxboro area and returned from our early married years in Ottawa to raise our family here at “home.” I grew up on the vegetable/dairy farm on the Stirling - Foxboro Road so farming is in my blood! My family started in vegetables in 1962 or so. We started our own gardening business in 1991 here at Willow Creek and have enjoyed growing ever since. Our three boys could never say they were bored here on the farm - both with lots of work and play! Thanks again for such a celebration of our culture and history represented through your stories in Country Roads. Susan Vanden Bosch Frankford, ON


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C o u n t r y

C a l e n d a r

Things to see and do in Hastings County

To submit your event listing email info@countryroadshastings.ca or call us at 613 395-0499.

ART GALLERIES/EXHIBITIONS Art Gallery of Bancroft, 10 Flint ­Avenue, Bancroft, 613-332-1542 www.agb.weebly.com

Gallery Two June 7 - July 12 - 20/20 - Twenty Canadian Fibre Artists Imitating Canadian Art. “The Laurentian Foothills” is twenty 12” x 12” fibre panels that are based on the painting “St Saveur” by Canadian Artist Anne Savage. This show will be travelling to France in the Fall. Tweed Heritage Centre Art Gallery – 40 Victoria St., Tweed. 613-478-3989. July -”The Diamond Jubilee of the Reign of Queen Elizabeth II “ - a special tribute of commemoration mounted by the Memorial Hall Aug - “Elvis Exhibit”

JOHN M. PARROTT ART GALLERY, Belleville Public Library, 254 Pinnacle Street, Belleville, 613-968-6731, ext. 2240, www.bellevillelibrary.com Gallery One June 7 - July 12 - Synthesis II - The Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) presents this national travelling exhibition featuring the fibre-based work of about 25 members.

THEATRE/LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Bancroft Village Playhouse, 613332-5918 www.bancroftvillageplayhouse.ca Blackfly Summer Theatre Productions Tickets 1-877-322-4682 or at the Box office, 5 Hastings St. Wed Sat, 2 to 6 pm. Box office open until 7:30 pm on performance nights.. July 10 -28 - Steel Magnolias. Truvy’s beauty shop is an oasis in an otherwise challenging life for six women who come together for a lot more reasons than hair. Tickets $20

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Country Roads • Summer 2012

The IANA Theatre Company, www.ianatheatre.com July 12-14 – Godspell: The Broadway Musical – Marble Church Arts Centre, Actinolite, north of Tweed.

July 31, August 30, August 31. Hypnotist Casey St. James. This acclaimed hypnotist will amaze and amuze you long after the curtain closes. Three shows only. Tickets $25. Proceeds to the Bancroft Community Cupboard. Bay of Quinte Community Players, Trenton Town Hall 1861 55 King St., Trenton , ON

July 4 – 29 - “Seasons of Light” Anna Kutishcheva - painter Opening Reception July 6, 7:30pm, Sponsor: Gertrud Sorensen August 1 - 26 - “Views & Visions III” Diana Gurley - painter Opening Reception Aug 3, 7:30PM. Sponsor: Stephanie Henderson in Memory of Robert C Henderson Belleville Art Association Gallery, 392 Front St., Belleville. 613-968-8632. July & August - 2nd Annual One by One Show & Sale. All paintings are 12” by 12” canvases in a variety of media. All are priced at $100 each.

August 7 – 25 - Early August by Kate Lynch. This fast paced comedy takes the audience into the dressing room of a cast fully immersed in a production. Things however are not going smoothly as the entire cast suffers from various afflictions related to heart and home. Tickets $20.

June 7 - 23 -The Late Edwina Black A Mystery by William Dinner and William Morum. Directed by Len Hirst. Tickets: $15 per person, $12.50 group rate for groups over 10, including Red Hat Ladies, Federal Superannuates National Association. 613-394-3918 or mapabear@cogeco.ca Festival Players Prince Edward County, www.festivalplayers.ca July 10 – 28 - For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again, Mt. Tabor Playhouse, Milford. July 30 – Aug 3 - In the Wake, Fields on West Lake, Wellington. By The Downstage Creation Ensemble, Calgary Aug 7 – 25 - The Man From the Capital, Rosehall Run Winery, Hillier. Book & Lyrics by Colin Heath Music by John Millard

The Stirling Festival Theatre, West Front St., Stirling 613-395-2100 1-877-312-1162 www.stirlingfestivaltheatre.com J uly 13 – ABBA Tribute, All your ABBA favourites including Dancing Queen, Fernando and Mamma Mia. $32.50 July 19-21 – Song will Rise, Senior SFT Young Company presents musical salute to the famous folk trio Peter, Paul & Mary. Adult $15/Youth $10 July 31 – Aug 4 – Old Love Romantic Comedy by Norm Foster. $29.00 Aug 7-9 – Munsch on Stage. Presented by the Stirling Theatre Young Company – Munsch mayhem! $8.00 Aug 10 – Roy Orbison Tribute – All the class hits. $32.50 Aug 22 – Sept 1 – Aleck Bell – New Canadian Pop-Rock Musical chronicles the trials and tribulations of Alexander Graham Bell. Adult $25/ Youth $15

July 1 - Tweed & District Horticultural Society “Flowerama” at Tweed Memorial Park - 10 am - 4 pm. Floral displays, door prize, gardening advice all under the Marquee. July 5 – 8 - 131st Annual Tweed Agricultural Fair, Tweed Fairgrounds. www.tweedfair.net July 7 & 8 – Prince Edward County Quilt Show. Display of Quilts and wall hangings at the Wellington Community Centre, Essrock Arena, 111 Belleville St, Wellington. Admission $5. Demos, judged competition, quilt sales, a merchant mall and featuring young quilter’s. connie.sirot@sympatico.ca or ww.pec.on.ca/quiltersguild July 8 –Doll, Teddy Bear, Vintage Toys & Quilt Show, 10am-4pm, Fish & Game Club, Elmwood Drive, Belleville. Admission $4.50. Further info: Bev 613 966-8095 July 8 – Pasta Tasting & Live Music – The Unconventional Moose, 108575 Hwy 7, ½ km west of Hwy 37, Tweed. 613 478-2562 July 13-15 – 4th Annual Frankford 2011 Island Blues Festival, Frankford Tourist Park. www.loyalblues.ca

EVENTS

July 14 - Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) Belleville & District 13th Annual Town and Country Garden Tour. 10 am - 4 pm. $20 to see 8 spectacular gardens and support the CFUW Scholarship Fund. Ticket info 613.966.5677 or gardentour@cfuwbelleville.ca CFUW scholarships support young men and women in the Quinte area who are pursuing post-secondary education.

June 24 - Strawberry Social – Farmtown Park, Stirling. Entertainment by Wrought Iron Roots and the Tebworth Brothers.. Tickets available at Farmtown Park, www.agmuseum.ca 613 395-0015

July 14 - Trenton Horticultural Society & Garden Club, Flower Annual Flower Show and Tea Room – 1-3 pm $3.00 at Grace United Church, 85 Dundas St. E. Trenton. For info www.trentonhorticulture@yahoo.ca

June 24 – 10am – 4 pm -O’Hara Mill Pre-Canada Day Bash. Celebrate the birth of our nation by taking a look into our past. Arts & crafts, entertainment, coloring and more. O’Hara Mill Homestead Conservation Park, Madoc, On 613-473-1725 or www.ohara-mill.org


C o u n t r y

C a l e n d a r

Things to see and do in Hastings County

To submit your event listing email info@countryroadshastings.ca or call us at 613 395-0499.

July 14 - All Strings Considered, - Free concert on The York River in Bancroft (weather dependent). 2-4pm - The band will play a mix of old time, bluegrass, folk and blues music and paddlers are invited to listen from their boats! Public park to launch 1 oxbow bend south of where the band will be set up. This event is water-access only. Info - drifter.leclair72@gmail.com

July 29 - Garden & Craft Sale, 25 Wallbridge Cresent, Belleville. 8:304pm. Live music, vendors, MEGA Summer Dollar sale with lots of great items. We welcome new vendors to sell their craft during this event. info@gleanersfoodbank.ca, All Proceeds go towards the Gleaners Food Bank to help alleviate hunger. www.gleanersfoodbank.ca 613 962 9043

July 15 - Prince Edward County Rock, Gem & Mineral Show -Showcasing gem and mineral, lapidary and jewellery exhibitors in the historic Crystal Palace, 375 Main Street, Picton. $3 per person, 12 & under free. 10am – 5pm 613-476-5510 http://www.facebook. com/home.php#!/home. php?sk=group_180988188614305

Aug 2 - 5 – The 49th Rockhound Gemboree & Mineral Capital Stone Carver’s Show. www.bancroftdistrict.com 1-888-443-9999

July 19 - Kiwanis Chicken BBQ, Tweed Memorial Park. For lunch or dinner…a popular event every year.

Aug 2 - 6 - Tweed Stampede and Jamboree, Trudeau Resort & Banquet Hall. RAM Rodeo Tour. A great family weekend full of fun and excitement! Aug. 4 & 5 - Bancroft Art and Craft Guild Summer Show & Sale, Millenium Park Bancroft. Aug 4 – 12 - CLIC Eastern Ontario Photo Show, 2nd fl. Gallery, Books & Company, 289 Main Street, Picton, Ontario. Presented by The Prince Edward County Arts Council. www.easternontariophotoshow.com or Susanne Barclay, 613-393-2276 or Erin Johnston 613-476-7183

July 24- Canadian authors, Michael Ondaatje and Linda Spalding will be speaking at the Tweed Public Library, 230 Metcalf Street, Tweed.7pm reading hosted by the Friends of the Tweed Library and funded by a grant from Canada Council for the Arts. 613-478-1066 or www.tweedpubliclibrary.ca.

Aug 16 – 19 - 154th Stirling Fair – Music, rides, crafts and much, much more. www.stirlingfair.com

August 22 & 23- Hastings County Plowing Match. A rural tradition in Hastings County! Hosted by Donnandale Farms, 10620 Hwy 62 North, Centre Hastings. www.hastingsfarmshow.com Aug 24 - 26 – The 2nd Annual Tweed Tribute to Elvis Festival Tribute Artists competitions, winner goes to Memphis in 2013 to represent Tweed & Canada. Showcasing last year’s champion Matt Dowsett and Polynesian Dream, and much more. Tweed Fairgrounds. Contact 613-478-1691 www.tweedelvisfestival.ca

Sept 1 – 3 - 10am to 4pm – 5th Annual Rednersville Road Art Tour Show and Sale. Over 25 visual artists. Artists along Rednersville Road ( County Road # 3) in Prince Edward County open their studios to the public. www.rednersvilleroadarttour.com Sept 1 & 2 - 24th Annual Hastings Highlands Loggers Games, Maynooth. The Hastings Highlands Loggers Parade features BIG logging trucks fully loaded, funny floats, a marching band. Loggers Games , Pancake Breakfast, Church Lunch, Rummage, Bake & Craft Sale ,Fine Arts & Craft Displays. Kids Play Area, Beer Garden, Barn Dance and more. www.maynooth.on.ca/logging.htm Sept 8 -Water Buffalo Food Festival - Food and vendors serving sample recipes using Mozzarella di Bufala cheese and water buffalo meat. Downtown Stirling, Covered Bridge & Mill Street. Go Buff in Stirling - www.stirling-rawdon.com/gobuff

Aug 26 - Queensborough’s Triathlon Run/Walk, Swim, Bike. Start your training early, bring family and friends & join in this great event. Do one component of the Triathlon or all three. Have Fun! Register 9:30 Starts 10:00 am - 3:00pm Sept 1 & 2 -Warriors Day, Coe Hill Fairgrounds, Coe Hill . Dozens of historic military vehicles join marching bands and colour guards for a grand parade through the Hamlet of Coe Hill ending at the Fairgrounds. www.township.wollaston.on.ca 613-337-5731

and children’s workshops, painting, juggling, magic, and more. Experience the healing benefits of the drum. O’Hara Mill Homestead Conservation Park, Madoc On 613243-5460 or www.drumnationfestival.com Sept 9 – Farmtown Park Grandparents Day – bring your children and grandchildren for a fun outing with lots of activities. Stirling. www.agmuseum.ca 613 395-0015

SEASONAL May 21 - Labour Day- Farmtown Park. Open 7 days a week 10 am 4 pm, (last admission 3 pm). Open weekends in September,437 West Front Street, Stirling, ON, 613 3950015 www.agmuseum.ca May 15th – early October - Sunday Night Cruise, 97 Front Street, Trenton - from 5pm. Classic, Vintage and Special Interest Vehicles for show. Selected nights for BBQ’s and Bands. 613-392-9640

Sept 8 – 11am – dark - Drum Nation Festival at the Mill - Exhibits instruments/crafts from around the world, and local artisans. Learning circles on wellness, instrument making,

June – Sept- Tweed Lions Music in the Park Sunday afternoons. Tweed Memorial Park Crowds come from all over to see the great shows.

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Back Roads

Memorial Gates presented to Canada In 1949 RCAF Station Trenton was presented with a set of wrought-iron gates to recognize this country’s contribution to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). Under the BCATP more than 130,000 air crew from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom were trained between 1940 and 1945. So successful was the plan that U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described Canada as “the aerodrome of democracy.” After the war Canada’s BCATP partners wanted to provide a memorial to the host country and chose a set of wrought-iron gates, symbolizing “the gates of freedom” that BCATP graduates had defended. Trenton was chosen as the location for the presentation. The gates were rededicated on July 4, 2009, to recognize the 60th anniversary of the original presentation. Photo courtesy National Air Force Museum of Canada

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Country Roads • Summer 2012


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