Thursday, 14 June 2012

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Once again this blog may be more of a photo essay than a narrative.

Black Creek Pioneer Village is located at the northern edge of Toronto on Steeles Avenue West and abutting York University. I have been there twice. The first time was during a salute to Black History - the month dedicated to that subject here is February but this occasion was in July, 2003 and the trees were in full leaf.

My second visit was on Saturday, July 15, 2006 after I heard mention over the radio that the program at the historic site was to be a tribute to the culture of the Metis people. For those of you who have not read the blog about a trip to Winnipeg in the summer of 1968, the Metis - in Canada - are those people who are neither First Nation - Indian - nor Caucasian but a mixture of both. The culture of many of these people has blended into that of their Caucasian neighbors while the remainder still follow the culture of their First Nation forebears. The people whom I saw and heard performing on that Saturday afternoon were of the second group.

                                                               A Drum Dance

        This fellow looks to be a mix of Amerind and Caucasian and he was singing in a tribal language

Leaving the hall where the singing and dancing were going on, I wandered through the rest of the Village. All of the buildings on the site are authentic (right to the furnishings and decor) and were hauled in from other locations - especially where  destruction was threatened by development.

This cabin is what a pioneering family would construct for their first home in a new place.

                       As they prospered, they would build a house like this one to move into

                                              An even more prosperous looking domicile

                                               The village doctor may have lived here.

And all of them would have shopped here - the Village Emporium.

Perhaps they would have worshiped here.

                                                              A Presbyterian Church

                                          The very austere interior of the above church.

                                                                The Village Common

                                  No room for the expected guests? They may stay at the Inn

 Before the Village Garage was the Village Blacksmith Shop. Those people are peering in the door to one.

                                        Central to many a pioneer village was the mill pond.

The primary source of income in many pioneer settlements was agriculture

                                                        Sheep grazing beside the barn

On a Sunday afternoon in July, 2003,a group of us went to Black Creek to witness a Civil War battle re-enactment. The battles were not staged by local people but by a group who were visiting from Kentucky. We visitors stood on the sidelines and watched the skirmishing.

First, though, was a visit to a hall where a Black woman - a part of the visiting group - was lecturing about the American Civil War.

                                            The lecturer - she was a very charming lady.

I stood with other people beside the road while hoping that the 'bullets' were blanks! It was fun - actually - and I found the eagerness of boys in the group to become seriously engaged amusing.

                                                           Union soldiers - the good guys?

                                                      The Rebels - a motley group?

Union soldiers firing at the 'enemy'

Bringing arms to the battle

I have no idea what they were doing at this moment - but I think that they were enjoying themselves! 

                               The battle is over and everybody is retiring - including the narrator!

I have never been fond of guns - nor of battles - but that was both interesting and fun!

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