Thursday, October 30, 2014

I Love the 50's- Halloween Traditions

Halloween Traditions
In the 1850's pumpkins and gourds were grown on the farm. People did carve these pumpkins and gourds, however, the main reason they did was to provide a source of light. This is much the same as the jack-o-lanterns we carve today.They were used as lanterns during the fall months.
By the 1950's Halloween had evolved into a holiday. This holiday was intended for young children, however, everyone enjoyed celebrating it. Halloween parties were the most common way of celebrating. People would play games, eat seasonal foods and dress in costumes. The idea behind 'trick-or-treat' was families could prevent tricks being played on them by giving candies to children. This is very similar to how we celebrate Halloween today!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

World War Wednesdays: Canada Strong

World War Wednesdays: Canada Strong

A photo I took and edited of the center block at Parliament
     When Canada entered the First World War, the majority of its citizens sprang into action, eager to defend their beloved country against foreign aggressors. A hundred years later, it is often thought that if the circumstances required it, people today would not be as willing to volunteer their service. When  a class of second year history students at the University of Ottawa was asked if they would be willing to enlist if a war broke out today, only two raised their hands. However, after the events of last Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014, you would be hard pressed to find someone who was not affected, and fully devoted to our beautiful country and its defense.
     The thing is, none of the brave men and women of history had ever thought that they would be in the position to do what they did. They lived normal, everyday lives just like most of us. They experienced events that were shocking and frightening, and shook to the core the sense of peace that they had known previously. Suddenly, the things that they loved and had taken for granted were in danger, and for that reason they would do what it took to preserve them, without thought.
     Personally, and I am sure I'm not alone in this, this was exactly how I felt on October 22nd when a gunman ravaged my beautiful home, Ottawa. I watched the news that day in utter disbelief. On the screen, I saw the places I love most in this world surrounded with police tape and armed officers. Parliament and the area around it is somewhere I like to go to remind myself of why I moved here, and that old feeling of complete awe of its beauty never fails to return. There is a point, just past the corner entrance of the Rideau Center, where you can look ahead and see the Parliament buildings, the War Memorial, and the Chateau Laurier altogether at once, and it is one of my favorite views in this world. To think that somewhere so sacred and perfect was the setting of an act so dark and horrifying is something that will take a very long time for me to grasp, as I'm sure is the case for most Canadians.
A picture I took last year of the War Memorial with Christmas lights all around
     As soon as the evening of the 22nd, there was an outpouring of love and support not only for the family of the brave guard who lost his  life that day, but for the country that we all call home. Canada has always has a reputation of being the peacekeeper, a free and accepting land that is growing more and more so with every news story from our neighbors to the south. We hear of atrocities in other countries and overseas, but never has something hit so close to home. It was just so shocking in its raw, deliberate nature. Disbelief seemed to be the common feeling, and still is.
     What has really stood out to me is that despite all that has happened since our last major conflict, despite government scandals and criticisms of Canada's foreign policies, every single Canadian joined together with pride and love for their country that day. It is an amazing testament to our armed forces that when the chips are down, the entire country will rally behind them with nothing but support and admiration-- just as it was in 1914.
     Last night, the night before Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was laid to rest, I visited the National War Memorial. Where I had once stood as a tourist on vacation four years ago, and again on Remembrance Day of last year, had become the place where a Canadian soldier had lost his life. The entire area had been turned into a memorial, and it was one of the saddest and most sobering things I have ever witnessed.



The tomb of the unknown soldier, covered in poppies

The Memorial with the Peace Tower in the background, flag at half mast
Flags at half mast across from the Memorial, with Chateau Laurier behind
     This post is dedicated to the memory of Nathan Cirillo, a national hero and protector.
            Thanks for reading,

Monday, October 27, 2014

Media Mondays

Harvest Party

This years Harvest Party took place on Saturday October 25th from 1-8pm at the Backus-Page House Museum. It was a great success for the second year in a row!
Activities we had include a Haunted Trail Walk, Spooky Tours of the Museum, Halloween Themed Crafts and Activities, Treats and Refreshments.
We really enjoyed giving our spooky tours of the museum this year because we had lots of interesting experiences that happened throughout the season in regards to ghosts. We had a variety of clairvoyants and paranormal investigators out to the museum and we really enjoyed sharing their findings and our personal experiences with our guests during the Harvest Party!
Overall, we really enjoyed hosting the Harvest Party this year and we hope to do it again next year!
If you did not get a chance to come out we hope to see you during the Christmas Season!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Foodie Friday- Lemon Cordial

Lemon Cordial
  • 6 fresh lemons
  • 1 1/2 quarts of milk
  • 1 1/2 quarts of French Brandy
  • 3 pounds of powdered loaf sugar
  1. Cut the lemons into thin slices, put them into the milk, boil it until the whey is clear. Pass it through a sieve.
  2. Add the French Brandy and powdered loaf sugar to this whey.
  3. Stir it until the sugar is dissolved. Let stand and then bottle it. You may also add lemon rind.  
Kelsey Conway
Backus Page House Museum

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World War Wednesdays: Wartime Photography

The Images of War: Famous and Rare World War Photographs
     One of the greatest technological advances of the 'modern wars' is that of photography. The images of war could be captured and presented to a wide range of audiences, eliminating the barriers of space and time in relaying the details of events. During both world wars, there were photographers specially commissioned to capture major moments in history, and they remain to this day some of the most valuable resources in studying and making connections with world war history. I have decided to compile some of my favorites, borrowed from various Twitter accounts devoted to sharing these photos. If you are on Twitter, I highly recommend following these accounts!
World War One

Trench warfare photo taken by an official British photographer, 1914 courtesy of @HistoryInPics

Christmas in the trenches, 1914 courtesy of @TheHistoryBook
Portrait of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson formed by 21,000 soldiers at Camp Sherman, Ohio, 1918 courtesy of @CombinedHistory
A woman gives flowers to a German soldier leaving for the front, Berlin, August 1914 courtesy of @HistoryInPics
A British soldier "shaking hands" with a kitten in the snow, Neulette, France, 1917 courtesy of @HistoryInPics
World War Two
An American soldier replaces 'Adolf-Hitler-Str.' sign with a 'Roosevelt Blvd.' one in Berlin, Germany, 1945 courtesy of @HistoryInPics
The staged photo of the milkman during the Blitz, October 9th, 1940, by Fred Morley courtesy of @HistoryInPics
Churchill sits on one of the damaged chairs from Hitler's bunker in Berlin, Germany, 1945 courtesy of @HistoryInPics
Bike messengers leaving the White House on December 7th, 1941 (the day of the Pearl Harbor attack) courtesy of @HistoryInPics
The liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, January 27th, 1945 courtesy of @TheHistoryBook
A German soldier giving bread to an orphaned Russian boy, 1942 courtesy of @CombinedHistory
Readers browsing through the bomb-damaged library of Holland House, London, England, 1940, courtesy of @HistoryInPics
Dresden, Germany, 1945 courtesy of @CombinedHistory
Three little girls peer through the binoculars of an American soldier after the liberation of Normandy, 1944, courtesy of @CombinedHistory
August Landmesser, a German who was engaged to a Jewish woman, refuses to give the Nazi salute, Hamburg, 1936, courtesy of @HistoryInPics
     These are just a few examples of photographs that have become symbols of major times in world war history. Thank you for taking a look!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Toolbox Tuesday - Hoof Knife

Hoof Knife

     A hoof knife is just one of many tools that is used by a farrier. A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care including the trimming and balancing of horses hooves. Their job also includes that placing of shoes on their hooves. Farrier's are a combination of blacksmithing skills (making and adjusting of metal shoes) and veterinarian skills ( understanding the anatomy of the hoof) to care for the horses feet.
     Historically farrier's and blacksmith's were practically synonymous. In colonial America farrier's work included shoeing horses as well as the making and repairing of tools and the forging of agricultural pieces. In comparison, today farrier's focus their time on hoof care, and for this reason farrier's and blacksmith's are considered to be separate, although related, trades.
     A hoof knife is a strong, slightly curved knife with it tip turned in on itself to form a tunnel. The flat part of the blade is used to trim the bottom of the hoof wall and the curved part makes grooves or cut holes.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Media Mondays

Harvest Party

The Harvest Party is going to take place here at the museum on October 25th from 1-8pm.
Come on out for spooky tours of the trail and the museum as well as a variety of crafts and games!
We have had a variety of paranormal explorers visit the museum over the summer and we are gearing up to share their stories (as well as some of our own scary experiences) during a spooky tour of the house! Come and learn about the ghosts that reside in the museum and what they have been up to this year!
Also we will have on display our new QR codes for the month of October so don't forget to bring your smart phones to scan them! We plan to pick our more "creepy" items for this month!
Hope to see you all on October 25th!