Monday, August 2, 2010

North Burgess Heritage Mica Festival a Big Success!

More than 400 people made their way to Murphys Point to take in the North Burgess Heritage Mica Festival on Sunday, Aug. 1!

The festival, hosted by the Friends of Murphys Point Park, celebrated the 150th anniversary of the start of mica mining in North Burgess, which is now known as Tay Valley Township (where the park is located). The event was made possible thanks to a grant received by the Friends from the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Funding Anniversaries program. Other partners include Tay Valley Township and Ontario Parks.

The day featured activities at the Lally Homestead site, including the Lally General Store where ginger beer, candy and a variety of merchandise was available throughout the day served up by volunteers in period costume.
There were crafts for children in the homestead and children's games on the lawn, such as a tug of war, bean bag toss, egg race, sack race and more.
Visitors tested their knowledge at the What Is It? table, where a variety of vintage implements were on display for folks to guess what their uses would have been a century or more ago.
Blacksmith Tony Walsh was on hand to demonstrate his trade with his portable forge, putting on a great show.
Archaeologists displayed finds from sites within Murphys Point, include the Lally Homestead area.
 A spirit from the past led visitors on a walk around the homestead site, where they could learn more about pioneer life.
Don Green and his wife Lois spent the day demonstrating the ropemaking craft.
 In the barn foundation, Bear the Tinker entertained with a variety of musical instruments and folk tales of days gone by.

Beyond the homestead site, park staff in period costume were stationed along the Silver Queen Mine trail to tell stories of bygone days.
The mine was open for visitors, with the foreman and a miner on hand to explain how mica and other minerals were extracted from the Shield rock that predominates North Burgess (now known as Tay Valley Township).
At the nearby bunkhouse, a troupe of musicians entertained as folks lined up for a delicious miners' lunch of corn on the cob, maple baked beans and lemonade.

A huge thank you goes out to all the volunteers and park staff who contributed to this wonderful event! Kudos to Friends volunteers Beth Peterkin and Jane Irwin who spearheaded the organization of the weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment