Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Toolbox Tuesdays - The Adze

 The Adze

        The idea of a shape tool with it's blade at a right angle to the handle is most ancient. The earliest version of adze had a non-removable head and had to be sharpened with whetstone*, later versions had removable heads making it possible to sharpen the bevel edge with a grindstone. The adze was intended for beams that would be exposed because the adze would leave a smooth effect on the beam compared to a broad axe which would leave a ripple effect. There are a few different types of adze; carpenter's adze, shipwright's adze (which had a spur or nail punch), gutter adze (which is defined by the lipped and round blade) and finally the cooper's adze (which is a smaller version of the gutter adze). The Carpenter's Adze, Shipwright's Adze and the Cooper Adze is an implement we have here at the Backus-Page House Museum barn exhibit. The Cooper's Adze was used to make bowls or canoes by scooping out the inside or trees or burls*.
*whetstone: also called sharpening stones or water stones  were used to grind and hone the edges of steel tools and implements.
*burls: wartlike bumps on tree trunks.

Carpenter's Adze 

Shipwright's Adze 

*Come out the to the Heritage Farm Show at the Backus-Page House Museum September 13th and 14th to see our antique Cooper's Adze and all the other farm implements featured on our Toolbox Tuesdays blog posts. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Media Monday

Hello Everyone! 

This weeks Media Monday post focuses on the videos we have collected on our tablets so far this summer. Monthly we have been adding a variety of videos demonstrating or explaining various aspects of the museum. Catie has generously volunteered to be our star in many of the videos and Kelsey, Melanie and I have taken turns being either the camera man or the narrator. We have had almost too much fun making the videos… as well as some very, very funny bloopers. So far we have videos of using some heritage toys that we sell in the gift shop, demonstrating the original doorbell that still works on the museum, explaining the rope beds and also some of the antique toys and tools throughout the house. Catie has created an extensive list of other areas of the house and grounds that we can focus on in our upcoming videos. Some aspects that I am very excited about is making butter, quill writing and candle making. We recently acquired a number of tablets that will be displayed throughout the museum. These tablets are where visitors can view our videos and understand more about some of the more interesting objects in the museum. We are also planning on adding a compilation of all the videos onto our YouTube channel - therefore visitors can view the videos at their own convenience as well. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Behind the Scenes Sunday

A few maintenance projects got checked off the to do list on Saturday.  A hay door was added to the east end of the barn on the upper level which will give the exhibit additional light.  Visitors can have a tour of both the barn exhibit and the house for one admission price every Tuesday - Friday until the end of August.  Martin, Rob, Don, and John also fixed the parking lot fence, a deck board and a handrail.  There are always building maintenance jobs to do, so if you are handy and have some time to spare please let me know. 

Heritage Farm Show (September 13-14) plans are moving along at a rapid pace.  Unfortunately this seems to be the year that steam engines are getting their inspections and many groups aren't getting certified.  This means that our usual steam engine and two others I've tried to book are unavailable, so we will not have a working steam engine at the show.  We will have the threshing machine on site, but only as a static display.  We're all disappointed, but the cost of keeping those steam engine boilers in tip top shape is very high, so I understand why the owners and operators are retiring them.

A new Farm Show feature is the travelling exhibit of dairy artefacts from the GayLea Dairy Museum.  We are also expanding our kids zone with a Kids Quarter Carnival.  Mr. Cool's Ice Cream has just registered so you'll be able to purchase Shaw's Ice Cream to go with your pie, purchased from Lawrence Station Hall Pie Ladies.  If you have equipment to display or want to be a vendor, visit our website for the registration form.  http://backuspagehouse.ca/FARM_SHOW.html  Stay tuned for more farm show details. 

I baked Tea Cake to serve at this afternoon's Sunday Tea in the Parlour.  We are fully booked at 1pm with a seniors group from London, so please come out between 2-4pm.  $10/person for tea, baked goods, and museum tour. 

Angela Bobier
Cultural Manager

Friday, July 25, 2014

Foodie Friday (on Saturday)- Almond Tarts

Almond Tarts
A recipe from 1836
  • 1/2 pound shelled sweet almonds
  • 3 ounces shelled bitter almonds
  • rose- water
  • 1/4 pound of loaf sugar powdered
  • 1/2 lemon
  • fine paste
  1. Blanch almonds. Beat them, a few at a time, in a mortar, mixing well. Add rose-water (a little at a time). When done, mix in the loaf sugar, the juice and grated peel of half a lemon.
  2. Have some fine paste ready. Cut it into circular pieces about the size and thickness of a dollar. Put almond mixture into each piece of paste, heaping it up in the middle. Cover with lids and crimp the edges very neatly.
  3. Bake for about half an hour. Grate sugar over them when done.
Kelsey Conway
Backus-Page House Museum

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tourism Talk

July 25, 2014

Clovermead's Bee Beard Competition
Welcoming competitors from across the globe. $2500 is donated to the champion's favourite charity, $2000 to the Crowd Favourite's charity of choice, and a $500 Consolation Prize to the other two contestant's chosen charities 

  • Time: 7PM
  • Tickets: $12 per person, groups of 5+ will receive $1 off each admission
  • Venue: Clovermead Bees and Honey Adventure Farm, 11302 Imperial Road, Aylmer
  • Website: www.clovermead.com

Day Out With Thomas
Day Out With Thomas provides and opportunity for kids to take a 25 minute ride with their favourite full size tank engine, meet the railway controller Sir Topham Hatt, have fun in Imagination Station and much more.

  • Time: 8AM
  • Tickets: Available by calling 1-888-222-6608
  • Venue: St. Thomas Elgin Memorial Centre, 80 Wilson Avenue
  • Contact: Dawn, 519-637-6284
Family and Me Story Time
  • Venue: Dutton Library
  • Time: 10:30AM to 11:30AM

July 26, 2014

Rural Routes Public Market 
show cases local businesses and independent artists 

  • Time: 9AM to 1PM
  • Venue: Sons of Scotland Park
  • Contact: Kate, 226-378-3896

July 27, 2014

Backus Page House Museum

  • Summer Sunday Tea
  • Includes tea, baked goods and a guided tour
  • Price: $10.00 a person
  • Time: 1PM to 4PM
  • Venue: Backus Page House Museum

July 28, 2014

Savour The Flavour Boot Camp: A Culinary Adventure
The boot camp connects kids with the local food community in a hands-on, meaningful and fun way. It brings to life the what, why and how about the food we eat exploring the realm of food, with all its possibilities while building real culinary skills.

  • Venue: The Arts & Cookery Bank, 242 Graham Road, West Lorne
  • Contact: 519-768-9986
  • Website: theartsandcookerybank.com
Lego Mondays
  • Venue: Dutton Library 
  • Time: 1:30PM to 2:30PM

Just a Reminder :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Catching Up With Catie!

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

This past week we were missing two of our amigos, Sarah and Kelsey, as they were enjoying a week at the cottage, but Mel and I survived J  We finished weeding the orchard garden and after 8 wheelbarrow trips of weeds later, it looks wonderful! We actually have a tiny little watermelon on one of the vines and Mel had the great idea to track its progress, so below is the first picture of it and we will see how it grows.

We also acquired a little animal friend this past week, that was enjoying our beats in the kitchen garden.  He/she is a little skunk and we named him/her Simon Flower Pepe because we couldn’t decide on a name.  He’s really cute, but we put the wire fences up to keep any other critters away from our veggies. 

Our bridge on the trail is now fixed and we thank the very nice man from MNR very much for doing so for us.  Therefore, the trail is completely back up and running.  Melanie also made a few exhibits for the residents and staff at the Bobier Villa, regarding the history of St. Peter’s Church and one to do with information from the two store ledgers that we have in our collection and prices of general store products during the 19th century.

Unfortunately, we are not running day camp this week, as all of the interest was for the August session, but that just means that there will be a good group in August.  We are getting pretty excited for the adventures we are going to have!  This week will be filled with video-making on our part instead, which I am really looking forward to, because when making a few test videos, we were laughing lots and having fun.  Stay tuned! 

Enjoy your week and try to stay cool!  Also keep checking back for updates on our watermelons growth J