Blog Archives

Longwoods Quilt honours women of War of 1812

  Here it is:

What everyone has been waiting for. Through vision, creativity and hard work, the thirty block Longwoods Quilt is completed.  Click above on Stories to find the story that goes with each block.

What a project we have created to commemorate the War of 1812 women.

Thanks to Northcott Fabric and Joan Hillhorst at Sew Creative and all the Ladies of the  Quilt Team.  Call Joan at Sew Creative to enquire about borrowing the quilt and a speaker  for your community group. (519) 264-2177

Tecumseh Monument:

The Friends of the Tecumseh Monument are developing the monument’s current site, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. This funding enables the Friends of the Tecumseh Monument to explore new opportunities to further develop the Tecumseh Monument and an outdoor eco-park.

Over the next four years, the Government will invest to increase Canadians’ awareness of this defining moment in our history. This will include support for:
 • A pan-Canadian educational campaign focused on the importance of the War of 1812 to Canada’s history;
• Support for up to 100 historical re-enactments, commemorations, and local events;

Tecumseh’s Monument near Thamesville

 • A dedicated War of 1812 Monument in Canada’s National Capital Region;
• Interactive tours, exhibits, and improvements to national historic sites across the country; and investments in infrastructure at key 1812 battle sites, such as Fort Mississauga and Fort York, Ontario; and celebrating and honouring the links that many of our current militia regiments in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada have to the War of 1812.
Marie Williams-Gagnon
Transcript & Free Press

Old Indian Trail

 Hosted by Bonwill Farm, 7694 Longwoods Rd., Mt. Brydges, ON

Nothing but league upon league of seemingly unending wilderness. That is what my children and I encountered as we attempted to traverse the old Indian trail through the Long Woods. My husband, Major Adam Muir of the 41st Regiment of Foot had been captured, so as we watched our home in Fort Malden burn on that day in October 1813, my only thought was to go east.

With only a decrepit wagon and an ailing horse, my young children and I set off alone and unprotected, following the directions we had been given to Ward’s Tavern.  The first night, the Wards welcomed us with simple satisfying fare.  With great reluctance we began an even more arduous arm of our journey the next morning. The road built by the Moravians to a width of 15 feet narrowed as we continued eastward.

Master Ward instructed us to keep a lookout for the hatchet marks on the tall trees but they were difficult to see along the path where no sunshine penetrated the thick, overhanging trees. Swampy land, slippery fallen leaves and steep ravines hindered our advance. Many times I feared we would not again find the trail.

We witnessed rough, cone-shaped shelters constructed of wood and branches along the way. I believe Master Ward referred to them as ‘’wigwams”.  Despite our weariness, I was reluctant to tarry for fear of wild animals and wandering soldiers.

Although others were journeying in an eastern direction as well, we only encountered travelers after we reached the settlement of Delaware where the Brigham family kindly provided shelter and sustenance.  We stayed briefly and left hurriedly to make our way to York.

Written by Anne Carruthers, February 2012

In the Midst of Alarms; The Untold Story of Women and the War of 1812, Dianne Graves, 2007, Robin Brass Studio Inc., Montreal, Que. Pg.285-286

Stott, Glenn, Greater Evils: The War of 1812 in Southwestern Ontario, G. Stott Publishing, Arkona, ON, pg.

Moravian Diaries

Character is Maria Muir

Baby Blocks

Frances Kilbourne narrates the story “Baby Blocks” she wrote for the quilt block installed on the barn owned by Jim and Debbie Atchison, home to Lucky Lodge.  The large brick house owned by Jack and Adeline Quarrier RN  at   7221 Longwoods Road Melbourne   was the Lucky Lodge Maternity Hospital from 1948 to 1957.  During the summer she operated tourist cabins and in the winter, Mrs Quarrier along with  Dr. H.H. Washburn, G.P. from Melbourne, provided maternity care  to over 500 mothers and new babies.

Frances’s story comes from the Moravian Diaries which describe the turmoil caused by Proctor’s Retreat and the Battle of the Thames. The photos feature moments during the community project to design, paint, and install the barn quilts along Longwoods Road.

Awaiting the birth of their babies, mothers-to-be prepared warm coverings.  The settler stitched a quilt.  The native women prepared skins and furs.  Perhaps the expectant mothers knew each other, visited, and shared their secret fears.  This was 1813…
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Stratford Festival adds The War of 1812 to playbill

The War of 1812 will be produced in collaboration with VideoCabaret  to commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812, which coincides with the Festival’s 60th season. The production will run for 55 performances between June 26 and August 12, 2012.

Written by Michael Hollingsworth, The War of 1812 is one segment of a play cycle entitled The History of the Village of the Small Huts, a satirical retelling of the nation’s history, tracing the evolution of the “Canadian identity” as a comedy of manners. The original productions premièred to great acclaim from 1985 to 1999 and have since expanded to 20 plays, honoured by 24 Dora Mavor Moore Awards. The War of 1812 is being reinvented for the Stratford production based on newly available research and new inspiration.

“I have admired Michael Hollingsworth’s work since the 1970s,” says Artistic Director Des McAnuff. “Not only is VideoCabaret’s The History of the Village of the Small Huts a substantial Canadian theatrical achievement, it also represents the life’s work of this extraordinary playwright. We are tremendously proud to be presenting The War of 1812 as part of our 60th season.”

One of the Studio Theatre rehearsal halls will be converted to a performance space with a capacity of 72, designed to accommodate the special staging technique for which VideoCabaret is renowned.

“We are delighted to welcome VideoCabaret to Stratford and look forward to our collaboration on this brilliant satirical work,” says General Director Antoni Cimolino. “In 1812 Canada and the United States were enemies at war, and now we have perhaps the closest and most trustingrelationship of any two nations. Attracting visitors from throughout North America, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival can now offer a truly international audience the opportunity to explore the question: what could we have been fighting about?”

VideoCabaret’s unique staging style moves at a cinematic tempo as colourful scenes are conjured up in a black-box set. Using spectacular quick-change costumes and scene-setting props, seven actors portray about 40 characters, who appear and vanish as if by magic.

“Des McAnuff and his superb team have welcomed our company with open arms,” says Mr. Hollingsworth, who in addition to being the playwright shares the position of Artistic Co- Director of VideoCabaret with Deanne Taylor. “We are honoured to launch a new performance space and thrilled to bring our work to the greatest gathering of theatre-lovers on the continent.”


Press release from Stratford Festival dated August 17, 2011