Merrickville-Wolford – The North Grenville Times http://www.ngtimes.ca The Voice of North Grenville Thu, 12 Jul 2018 22:33:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Upper Canada Invaded: The Battle of the Windmill http://www.ngtimes.ca/upper-canada-invaded-the-battle-of-the-windmill/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/upper-canada-invaded-the-battle-of-the-windmill/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:59:22 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13597 by Michael Whittaker The Battle of the Windmill, east of Prescott, in November 1838 was the penultimate cross-border attack from the United States during the yearlong Patriot War, which brought locals to the defence of Upper Canada. On Sunday, July 15, at 2pm in the Merrickville Royal Canadian Legion, Rene Shoemaker from Prescott, an expert […]

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by Michael Whittaker

The Battle of the Windmill, east of Prescott, in November 1838 was the penultimate cross-border attack from the United States during the yearlong Patriot War, which brought locals to the defence of Upper Canada.

On Sunday, July 15, at 2pm in the Merrickville Royal Canadian Legion, Rene Shoemaker from Prescott, an expert on the Battle of the Windmill, will discuss how this attack and the Patriot War arose from the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion.

Many rebels fled to the United States, to be joined by American sympathizers in a new attempt to overthrow British rule in Canada. On November 12, 1838, 190 men seized the windmill and nearby buildings. Soon, 2,000 militia from the counties, and regulars from Kingston, with naval support, besieged the mill. The insurgents, having no escape, surrendered on the fourth day. Eleven were executed, and 60 exiled to Australia.

The talk by Mr. Shoemaker is one of 15 presentations sponsored by the Merrickville and District Historical Society to commemorate Merrickville-Wolford 225. Visit www.facebook.com/MerrickvilleAndDistrictHistoricalSociety.

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Local Scientist given one of Canada’s highest honours http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-scientist-given-one-of-canadas-highest-honours/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/local-scientist-given-one-of-canadas-highest-honours/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:57:53 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13559 A long-time resident of Merrickville-Wolford has been made a member of the Order of Canada for his work studying reptiles and amphibians across the country. Francis R. Cook was born in Nova Scotia, but moved all over the country with his father’s job. He always had an interest in herpetology (the study of reptiles and […]

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A long-time resident of Merrickville-Wolford has been made a member of the Order of Canada for his work studying reptiles and amphibians across the country. Francis R. Cook was born in Nova Scotia, but moved all over the country with his father’s job. He always had an interest in herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians), but what really solidified his decision to dedicate his life to the field was a conversation with scientist Shelley Logier at the Royal Ontario Museum when he was only ten years old. “He told me how little was known about reptiles and amphibians,” Francis remembers.

After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Acadia University, Francis was lucky enough to secure a position as one of the curators in the Zoology section of the Canadian Museum of Nature. “At the time, there were only two jobs in museums in Canada studying herpetology,” Francis says. He worked for the museum, conducting research across the country, for 32 years, with only a short break to get his PhD from the University of Manitoba. “I did my thesis on two different species of toads interbreeding in Manitoba,” he says. “It was great fun.”

Throughout his career at the Museum, Francis also served as the editor of the scientific journal, the Canadian Field-Naturalist. In 2010, he was honored as the Member of the Year of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists Club for his work on the publication and his “exceptional effort to bring the journal up to date.” In 1984, Francis published his first book, an “Introduction to Canadian amphibians and reptiles”, which is still available on Amazon. A true Canadian at heart, Francis has always focused his research on the reptiles and amphibians that live in Canada. “I feel very strongly about this country,” he says.

After his retirement from the Museum in 1993, Francis continued to work as an associate with the Museum of Nature, and was an honourary Curator Emeritus. He maintains contact with all the leading scientists and researchers in his field, and has been working on a number of books that he hopes to publish, one of which is being illustrated by local artist and naturalist, Aleta Karstad.

Francis says that, when he heard that he was being made a Member of the Order of Canada, he was stunned. “It was the last thing I would have thought,” he said. He attributes his success in his field to all the people he has met throughout his lengthy career. “I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way.”

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Peggy Holloway named Senior of the Year http://www.ngtimes.ca/peggy-holloway-named-senior-of-the-year/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/peggy-holloway-named-senior-of-the-year/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:55:46 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13564 Merrickville-Wolford resident, Peggy Holloway, was honoured on Canada Day with the municipality’s Senior of the Year award. The Ontario Senior of the Year Award is given by a municipality to recognize an outstanding senior who enriches the social, cultural, or civic life of the community. Peggy is a dedicated volunteer and has been a part […]

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Merrickville-Wolford resident, Peggy Holloway, was honoured on Canada Day with the municipality’s Senior of the Year award. The Ontario Senior of the Year Award is given by a municipality to recognize an outstanding senior who enriches the social, cultural, or civic life of the community. Peggy is a dedicated volunteer and has been a part of many organizations and events in Merrickville-Wolford over the years.

A Merrickville native, Peggy left the municipality for a few years to pursue a degree in pharmacy at the University of Toronto, but eventually returned to the Village to continue raising her daughter and be close to her family. Her father was the founder and owner of Grenville Castings, which was the primary employer in the community for many years. She inherited her family home from her parents when they passed away, and now has the pleasure of living in the same house she grew up in. Peggy says her mother paved the way for her community activism, winning the same Senior of the Year award in 1999.

Her lifelong friend, Gail Telford, says Peggy has been involved in many organizations, including the North Grenville Concert Choir, Singin’ Seniors Choir, Fair Board, and Christmas in Merrickville. She and Peggy also started the Beach Buddies, and lobbied council to clean up and take care of Merrickville’s beach, so it could be used by residents. “She always sets really high standards for herself and those that she works with,” Gail says.

Through all her volunteering and involvement in the community, Peggy’s greatest achievement is the Merrickville Jazz Festival. “I was looking for something to do in retirement,” Peggy says about spearheading the Festival. “It was something completely different from what I was doing.” It started in 2011 as a very small festival, drawing about 200 people to the Village for the live jazz. Now, in its 8th year, the Merrickville Jazz Festival draws between 3,000 and 4,000 visitors annually to Merrickville. “It helped put Merrickville on the map for music,” Peggy says.

Gail says Peggy is a community advocate and great friend. “Peggy gets everyone together,” she says. “She keeps up with every friend she has ever had.” Peggy is very modest about her work in the community. “There are so many people that do so much,” she says. “One never does anything on their own.”

That being said, it is clear from the enthusiasm of those around her that Peggy is a true leader and a staple of the Merrickville-Wolford community. “I have the utmost respect for Peggy and whatever she wants to do,” says Merrickville-Wolford resident and friend Wendy Stokes-Earl. “[She] loves the village she was born in, and loves to promote it whenever she can.”

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A visit to Rideauwood Farm http://www.ngtimes.ca/a-visit-to-rideauwood-farm/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/a-visit-to-rideauwood-farm/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:19:36 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13552 courtesy Leeds Grenville Economic Development eNews Rideauwood Farm is a multi-service equine centre for the sport of dressage in Canada. This picturesque farm, located just outside of Merrickville on the Rideau Canal, is an acclaimed Dressage Training Centre, a warmblood horse breeding facility and home to the largest equine semen importation business in Canada. “The […]

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courtesy Leeds Grenville Economic Development eNews

Rideauwood Farm is a multi-service equine centre for the sport of dressage in Canada. This picturesque farm, located just outside of Merrickville on the Rideau Canal, is an acclaimed Dressage Training Centre, a warmblood horse breeding facility and home to the largest equine semen importation business in Canada.

“The three sides of Rideauwood are all very complimentary,” says Doug Woywitka, who
manages importation of European equine sperm. Partner Susanne Dutt-Roth, a Grand Prix rider who has been listed many times as a Canadian National Dressage Team member, trains dressage riders and horses at their Merrickville facility and in Wellington, Florida, during the winter show circuit. Their daughter, accomplished rider Yanina Woywitka, has successfully represented Canada at the North American Young Rider Championships.

This is a banner year for the family. Susanne and the talented five-year-old Hanoverian mare named “Londoncrown” will represent Canada at the 2018 World Breeding Young Horse Championship in Ermelo, The Netherlands, in August.

“These are the best young horses in the world,” says Susanne, who is thrilled to be competing with the stunning mare she has been training. Susanne and “Londoncrown” scored very high in front of a panel of international judges at the Ottawa Dressage Festival in May to qualify for the Ermelo competition. “This is a great outcome and very exciting for us,” says Susanne.

Rideauwood, in Susanne’s family for many years, is aptly named. It overlooks the Rideau waterway. The 118-acre property includes an island, a kilometre of waterfront with trails, rolling hayfields and scenic pastures.

It was Susanne’s many contacts in the sport of dressage which led to getting into the semen importation and distribution business.

“It’s growing every year,” says Doug. Representing over 70 of the best dressage and jumping stallions from top European breeding stations, Rideauwood has made it easier for North American breeders to access equine semen and produce top quality sport horses. With its first class training, as well as established avenues to market horses, Rideauwood has become a key player in advancing world-class equine sport in Canada.

Learn more about Rideauwood Farm by visiting their website, email Susanne and Doug, or call them at 613-269-3837. Rideauwood is located at 3531 Burritts Rapids Road.

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New CAO appointed http://www.ngtimes.ca/new-cao-appointed/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/new-cao-appointed/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:15:24 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13570 The Village of Merrickville-Wolford is pleased to announce that Douglas J. Robertson has accepted the position of CAO/Clerk/Economic Development Director and will commence employment on July 5, 2018. Mr. Robertson has an MBA From Wilfred Laurier University and is currently pursuing the Municipal Administration program and his Certificate of Economic Development. He has over 25 […]

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The Village of Merrickville-Wolford is pleased to announce that Douglas J. Robertson has accepted the position of CAO/Clerk/Economic Development Director and will commence employment on July 5, 2018.

Mr. Robertson has an MBA From Wilfred Laurier University and is currently pursuing the Municipal Administration program and his Certificate of Economic Development. He has over 25 years of progressive municipal work experience including seven with the City of Ottawa in a senior management role. He has worked both as a CAO/Clerk for a small municipality and as an executive officer to the CAO in a major Ontario city. He lives in Stittsville with his family and has agreed to a one-year contract.

“I am please to join the Village of Merrickville-Wolford and have the opportunity to collaborate with Council, staff and the community in furthering their strategic vision” noted Mr. Robertson.

On behalf of Council, staff and the community I welcome Doug to this important and challenging role” stated Mayor David Nash

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Merrickville 225:Those were the days http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-225those-were-the-days/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/merrickville-225those-were-the-days/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:05:44 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13567 With talk of municipal amalgamations being heard in various quarters today, it is always interesting to look back to a time when the Township of Wolford was at the centre of a large amalgamated area. The Minutes of Council from 1802 until 1846 were set down in a “Town Book…for the Use of the Township […]

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With talk of municipal amalgamations being heard in various quarters today, it is always interesting to look back to a time when the Township of Wolford was at the centre of a large amalgamated area. The Minutes of Council from 1802 until 1846 were set down in a “Town Book…for the Use of the Township of Woolford [as the Clerk spelt it constantly] and the Townships Incorporated therewith, Viz., Montague, Marlborough & Oxford”. It seems the Minutes were kept on separate sheets of paper, until the book itself was “Purchased by Mr. Joseph Haskins” in 1809 for the princely sum of 20 shillings, or £1; quite a lot of money in those days.

The very first Town Meeting was held on March 1, 1802 at the home of James Lakes, and Henry Arnold was elected Clerk for that year. Names that are still familiar today appear in the minutes of that first meeting, as what now sound like very exotic positions were filled. Daniel Burritt was appointed as one of the pound keepers that year. He was also appointed to a few other positions, such as Assessor and Overseer of Highways. Joseph Easton was named as Town Warden, along with William Brown.

They may not have had sign bylaws, and no-one was told what colour they could paint their front door, but some of the laws passed in 1802 were equally specific. For example, all fences had to be four feet, six inches high, and there had to be a space of five inches between the four bottom rails. This had to do with keeping animals from wandering, but an exception was made for hogs. “That all Hogs are to run at large in free but that those which do the people of the Neighbourhood damage, Shall be yoked with a sufficient yoke, or shut up, provided that the fences are Lawful.”

Some of the entries in the early years are a little obscure. In 1803, for example, it states that: “Ordered That Horses, Horned Cattle, Sheep and Swine Stand voted according to the Acts of the Province”.

One of the more interesting aspects of Council Minutes is the recording of births in the Townships. The population was small enough to make each birth a matter of interest, and it was clear that some couples were doing their part in adding to the community. William and Chloe Brown, of Wolford, had a son, Erastus, born in 1791, one of the earliest births in the region. Then, in 1792, they had another son; and yet more sons in 1794, 1796 and 1799. Daniel Burritt and his wife Electa, had a son in 1798, a daughter, Urania, in 1802, and Daniel jnr was born in 1804.

Finding unusual names for your children was something parents liked to do back then, just as they do today. But some of those names… We’ve come across Urania and Electa Burritt, but there was also Shankful Olmstead, Arethusa Powers, Orra Pamele, and Axy Waller. Jabez was a popular name, along with the more usual Hiram, Ira, Truman, Caleb and Erastus. It was a close knit community, where neighbours depended on each other for so many things. Wolford’s population in 1802 was 165, and Oxford’s was just 14, the Harris family who lived just outside what would become Burritt’s Rapids.

By 1815, just before significant immigration arrived after the War of 1812, Wolford’s population had grown to 322, but Oxford’s had only reached 25. That wave of immigration was soon to radically alter the character and make-up of the Townships. Two years later, in 1817, Oxford had 71 residents, while Wolford’s population remained almost unchanged. But the laws remained consistent. “Ordered that Sheep shall be free Commoners Except Rams for which the Law has made Provision”. It’s a brief insight into life in our locality a century ago, at a time when roads were primitive, at best; when a rural lifestyle of subsistence and labour was about to be transformed by the building of the Rideau Canal, and a whole new era would dawn.

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Canal Fest set for first weekend in August http://www.ngtimes.ca/canal-fest-set-for-first-weekend-in-august/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/canal-fest-set-for-first-weekend-in-august/#respond Tue, 10 Jul 2018 18:23:48 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13556 The Rideau Canal is being celebrated once again at this year’s Canal Fest in Merrickville. The festival, which has been running for over 20 years, is spearheaded by the Lions Club and celebrates the beauty and history of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. “It’s a community event which has passed through many […]

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The Rideau Canal is being celebrated once again at this year’s Canal Fest in Merrickville. The festival, which has been running for over 20 years, is spearheaded by the Lions Club and celebrates the beauty and history of the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. “It’s a community event which has passed through many hands,” says Steve Hurndell, Chair of this year’s Canal Fest.

There will be lots happening over the weekend of August 4/5 in the Blockhouse Park. History will be at the forefront, with 18th century naval boats tied up along the lock wall, and French colonial soldiers (1740-1760) parading around in period costume. The Town Crier will be there with one of his old boats on display. There will also be a small artisan craft show as part of the festivities, and a display of antique cars courtesy of the European & British Classic Car Show, which is set for September.

Parks Canada will be playing a role in this year’s festival by running a two-day symposium on paddling techniques on the Canal. A blacksmith from the historic blacksmith’s shop in Jones Falls will also be on hand for demonstrations.

Activities and entertainment for kids will be available all throughout the weekend, starting with Dr. FourFace Science and Variety Show at 10:00 am on Saturday. At 10:00 am on Sunday, another kid’s entertainer, Lee Serviss, will be on the main stage. The Bug Lady will be around on both days to provide nature education to the children; and face painting and other games will be running. Steve says it will definitely be a family-friendly event.

The Mayor and Town Crier will be on hand on Saturday at 12:45pm to officially open the festival. Steve says that organisers are going to try and find somewhere for the re-enactors to fire their muskets to signify the start of the weekend. The opening ceremonies will be followed by music from local four-piece band, K-town, in the afternoon. The music will continue on Sunday, with the Andrew James Review, and swing band, Django Fet.

“We’re a heritage site, and it’s important that we give as much homage to the Canal as possible,” Steve says. Canal Fest runs in the Blockhouse Park from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is free.

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Visitor Information http://www.ngtimes.ca/visitor-information/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/visitor-information/#respond Sun, 08 Jul 2018 18:36:42 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13493 submitted by Chuck MacInnis Very shortly, several businesses within Merrickville will be displaying a small blue and white sign in their front windows to help guide visitors to points of interest in and around the village. The sign simply says le boat, le Welcome in blue lettering and on the bottom is a lowercase “i” […]

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submitted by Chuck MacInnis

Very shortly, several businesses within Merrickville will be displaying a small blue and white sign in their front windows to help guide visitors to points of interest in and around the village.

The sign simply says le boat, le Welcome in blue lettering and on the bottom is a lowercase “i” in a circle, the international symbol for information.

The information sign campaign is an initiative of the Merrickville and District Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber of Commerce president, Karl Feige said the project is intended to be a welcome for boaters and other tourists from the Merrickville business owners.

He said the business owners posting the signs have indicated to the Chamber of Commerce they are willing to answer any questions visitors might have about facilities within the village and are willing to give directions to such places as restaurants, washrooms, accommodations, the bank or the LCBO.

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Wolford Public School hosts Farewell Celebration http://www.ngtimes.ca/wolford-public-school-hosts-farewell-celebration/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/wolford-public-school-hosts-farewell-celebration/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:53:09 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13484 Wolford Public School and its Parent Council hosted a Farewell Celebration last Friday which was attended by approximately 300 people. “It was an opportunity for staff and students to come together and celebrate their time at the school,” said Principal Jeff Curtis. “Members of the community who attended Wolford over the years were able to […]

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Wolford Public School and its Parent Council hosted a Farewell Celebration last Friday which was attended by approximately 300 people.

“It was an opportunity for staff and students to come together and celebrate their time at the school,” said Principal Jeff Curtis. “Members of the community who attended Wolford over the years were able to get involved and celebrate the life of the school.”

Wolford will be closing at the end of the school year. Next year, students will continue their education at Merrickville Public School and Duncan J. Schoular Public School.

The evening began with a song created and performed by students called We Are Wolford, sung to the tune of We Will Rock You. Following the performance, organizers played a slide presentation detailing the school’s history by decade based on pupil interviews of former staff and students. It offered stories about school train trips, turkey luncheons, visits by area wildlife, sporting successes, and other activities at Wolford.

Afterwards, families were invited to tour memorabilia rooms, and to visit on the playground while children enjoyed activities outdoors

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Chamber of Commerce Adopt-A-Bench program http://www.ngtimes.ca/chamber-of-commerce-adopt-a-bench-program/ http://www.ngtimes.ca/chamber-of-commerce-adopt-a-bench-program/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 18:44:35 +0000 http://www.ngtimes.ca/?p=13481 The Merrickville and District Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded a program allowing people to adopt commemorative benches in the Village. The Chamber first approached the municipality last year with the idea of having an Adopt-A-Bench program in the Village. Although it was well received by the municipality at the time, they felt that they did […]

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The Merrickville and District Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded a program allowing people to adopt commemorative benches in the Village.

The Chamber first approached the municipality last year with the idea of having an Adopt-A-Bench program in the Village. Although it was well received by the municipality at the time, they felt that they did not have the resources to run such a program. Therefore, the Chamber offered to run the program if the Village would be willing to be an active participant. “Such programs are very popular and profitable for municipalities,” says Chamber of Commerce President Karl Feige, adding that the Chamber got advice from the program coordinators at the Central Park Adopt-A-Bench program in New York City.

The cost for bench adoption is $2000, up to $500 of which will go to the municipality to help fund upkeep of the benches on municipal property. Council officially received an email from Karl at the last council meeting outlining the program and approved the arrangements made in the report. Karl says they have chosen to use the wording “up to $500” to be given to the municipality in case of unforeseen circumstances where they may need to use some of that money to fund the bench and commemorative plaque. “In most circumstances the Village will receive the full $500,” he says.

The benches are cast-iron or aluminum, with wooden slats, in keeping with the historic look and nature of the Village. Each bench will also have a dedication plaque with the name of the person it is meant to remember. “The adopter will also receive a certificate signed by the mayor,” Karl says.

Karl says that the program has been very well received in it’s short life. Six benches have already been adopted in the Village. “The first bench was placed in the beach area last year,” Karl says. “A bench in honour of Brenda Carter is to go in the bird sanctuary and a third bench near the library is in the works.”

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