Monthly Archives: August 2010

Farmer’s Wife sponsored by J.H. Sales & Service

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Sponsored by J.H. Sales and Service

Farmer’s Wife – Margaret Ward

This morning I set bread to rise in the warmth from the fireplace, while the two youngest children took turns churning the butter. The churn and two new oak buckets have made life considerably easier, although I still have to thresh, grind and winnow wheat before I can make bread.

Along with daily chores, I plant and weed the vegetable garden, hill potatoes and each spring I help with sugaring-off when the maple sap starts running. There is a quilt that will have to be tied because there will be no time to quilt it properly before the cold weather arrives. I have most of the blocks cut from old trousers and two coats are waiting to be cut into more blocks.

There are vegetables to harvest and dry before they are stored in the root cellar. Apples are still hanging on many of the eighty trees in the orchard and I must dig potatoes. I also wash and mend clothes and prepare meals for travelers who stop over at the Inn. The well-known saying, “A man works from sun to sun, but a woman‟s work is never done,‟ has proven itself true in this wilderness.

Based on excerpts from Rosemary Cranney‟s “Through the Eyes of Margaret Ward.”


Grist Mill

The gristmill was an essential part of George Ward’s life in Wardsville. The gristmill ground farmers‟ wheat into finely ground flour. Before the invention of the gristmill, farmers had to grind wheat into flour with a simple mortar and pestle. When the grist mills were first built in the Thames River region, the closest mill was in Delaware. Farmers had to transport their wheat that long distance or grind it themselves.

The Grist Mill is located at Quad County Support Services

During the last part of his life, George Ward saw the construction of a gristmill along the north banks of the Thames River in Wardsville. The advancement in technology was strongly welcomed. Settlers were relieved of much labour during the wheat harvest. The gristmill drew settlers and businesses to the village. Many farmers brought their wheat to be ground and bartered the flour for products and tools they needed on the farm. The gristmill was instrumental in the development of Wardsville.
Written by Rosemary Cranney, Becky Clarke and Ken Willis

Rick Sommer, local artist

Rick’s gallery is exactly the kind of unique and quirky destination our community needs. Rick has a great community vision. Working with him is a dream.  He is an amazing artist, a master gardener, and impresses the neighbours and community with his hard work.

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He was the perfect artist-in-residence for Wardsville’s Bicentennial barn quilt project because he had worked for years at a Boys and Girls Club in Toronto, painting miles of murals with the kids, inspiring them to do anything they set their mind to.

His outdoor gallery vision is gradually unfolding. The locals like to visit regularly to see what’s new since the last visit.

Google “2504 Longwoods Road, Wardsville ON N0L 2N0” for his location. He’s always there. Tel (519) 693-0904

Rick Sommer shares his vision.

Apple Tree Orchard

The Fisher Family have given so much to Wardsville over the years. Many thanks to Marlene Fisher and family for the wonderful Pig Roast Fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation held today in the rain. As always, a wonderful party.

The Fisher property on Haggerty Road is a wonderful setting for the “Apple Tree”.

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Apple Tree

According to records, George Ward owned an apple orchard of 80 healthy and productive trees. His garden and orchard was said to be the best between Amherstburg and Delaware. Apple orchards were a common and essential part of settler life in the 1800s. Everyone grew his or her own fruit and vegetables.

Apples could be eaten fresh from the tree, used in pies or collected and dried for a winter food. Women such as Margaret Ward were responsible for apple preserves. They also made cider, vinegar and special wine out of apples. Ward’s orchards were reportedly destroyed in the war. He was reimbursed and reestablished his orchard to its former greatness.

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