Going… going… GONE!

19 Aug

While no longer directly involved, Robin Flockton, one of the key architects of the original Glengarry Wood Fair, still takes an active interest in this unique celebration of all things wooden. He was telling me last week that the 2015 auction will be the largest in the Fair’s seven-year history with well over 100 lots on the block. Dunvegan’s Robert Campbell is even planning to submit a lot or two — wood that has been thoroughly seasoned in the rafters of his drive shed.

From cherry and maple to hickory and ash (and a whole host of other species in between), the auction is the perfect place for woodworkers to find bargains on the raw materials for their next project. Chances are good there will also be an assortment of unusual burls and blocks for wood turners and carvers.

As for the “wood fair” portion of the day’s activities, talented local furniture manufacturers and other wood artisans will be on hand to demonstrate their craftsmanship… and offer one-of-a-kind pieces that could fit so nicely in your home. In addition, you’ll get to see the latest in forest equipment technology for family woodlots and explore the Museum’s rich collection of heritage buildings and woodworking tools.

And that’s not all.

There will be oodles of information on trees, forests, and sustainable forest management, as the Fair is organized by the SD&G Chapter of the OWA (Ontario Woodlot Association) and Boisés Est. Plus… woodworking activities for children, musical entertainment and a full assortment of maple syrup products, including “maple floss.” We got to try maple floss at the Williamstown Fair a few weeks ago and were astounded at how good it was. Not too sweet, with a delicious hint of maple syrup flavor and aroma.

This year’s Glengarry Wood Fair and Auction takes place at the Glengarry Pioneer Museum in Dunvegan on Saturday, August 22nd from 10 AM to 5 PM. It’s an event you don’t want to miss.

When you get a bit puckish, I also recommend you stop by the Dunvegan Recreation food court just north of the Roxborough Hall. Their renowned Oktoberfest sausage and Beef-on-a-Bun offerings will hit the spot… as will their selection of delicious dessert offerings.

Both the organizers and the Museum hope that the event will draw record-breaking crowds this year, as one of the main sponsors is Scotiabank and its marvelous “Bright Future” program. (BTW, it is the MAXVILLE branch of the Scotiabank that is supporting the Glengarry Wood Fair & Auction.)

Calling all Euchre players

It’s amazing how things can change in the space of just 28 years… and how certain things stay the same. Mary MacCaskill’s “Dunvegan” column in the News from August 26, 1987 contains a detailed account of the Dunvegan Women’s Institute’s second Euchre Party held the previous week. The event attracted an impressive 16 tables of euchre players; over threes times the attendance our DRA Euchre Luncheons draw now. And yet, just like today, the players came from all across the region… from Vankleek Hill, Alexandria and Apple Hill to Glen Robertson, Maxville and Dunvegan, of course.

If you’re a card player and would like to help us carry on the Dunvegan euchre tradition, this coming Friday, August 21st is when we’re hosting the next DRA Euchre Luncheon. Volunteers Linda Burgess, Ann Stewart and myself will be on hand to welcome you serve up a delicious buffet of sandwiches and sweets.

The event starts at 12:00 noon and wraps up around 3:30 PM. Just as it was way back in Mary MacCaskill’s time, the event is held at the W.I. (now DRA) Hall, 19053 County Road 24. Admission is only $5 and every one is welcome to join us.

Dunvegan Soccer to end with a bang

I have just learned that tonight, August 19th, is the end of the season for children’s soccer in Dunvegan. But the fun isn’t over yet. DRA Soccer rep, Mona André, is planning a Family Soccer Fun Day to celebrate the end of the season in style.

I’ll have more details next week, but rumour has it the party will take place on Saturday, August 29th and will feature a fun-packed Parents vs. Kids soccer game, as well as hot dogs, chips and other refreshments.

Church in need of a home

When it comes to expanding the Glengarry Pioneer Museum’s collection of historic buildings, there are two main schools of thought: those who advocate adopting every stray square-log building in the Township and those who worry that the Museum can’t afford to look after the buildings it already has.

I must admit that I am more of a pragmatist when it comes to the acquisition of more buildings… enough is (almost) enough. That said, for years, I have maintained that there is a gapping whole in the Museum’s collection. The Museum needs a “church.” Given that churches played such a key role in the everyday lives of pioneers, it would round out the collection perfectly.

It would also open up the possibility of a whole new revenue stream: rental of the church for non-denominational wedding ceremonies. Upper Canada Village and many other living museums successfully offer this service and there is no reason why our Dunvegan museum can’t do likewise.

But where can one find a church? Well, as discussed at last week’s Glengarry Pioneer Museum board meeting, a perfect one might just be available: the Roxborough Baptist Church just east of Tayside on the south side of Sandringham Road. (For those coming from the east, Athol Road turns into Sandringham at the Indian Lands “jog.”) With its Baptist roots, the church is unique in an area that was settled primarily by Catholics and Presbyterians.

The relatively tiny building is of frame construction and dates back to 1865. Which makes it an impressive150 years old. And, for a building of this age, it is in surprisingly good condition. Although services haven’t been held there since 1961, its small, “caretaker” congregation has lovingly maintained it. The interior needs little work. The windows are original. The pews are original. And the pulpit, I believe, is an exact replica; vandals stole the original.

To put things in perspective, if a home for the little church cannot be found it will fall prey to a wreaker’s high-hoe or be burned to the ground for firefighting practice.

Now, moving it would not be inexpensive. GPM Chair, Marlie Tilker tells me they have been quoted a price of approximately $30,000 to move the building. If one adds the cost of a proper foundation, repairs, painting and other minor expenses, the total would be close to $50,000. “We need to look seriously at how to fund this, both through grants and fundraising,” says Marlie. “The financials would have to be carefully considered before the Board makes a recommendation.”

When I asked Marlie where she saw the church going if it all came to pass, she replied, “…I would like to site it facing north at the back of the yard across the path from the Trapper’s Cabin.” There’s a whole lot of ground to cover between now and possible site, but it costs nothing to dream. And sometimes dreams come true.

Here are a few photos of the Tayside church…