Family trip to the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum
May 16th, 2015
By: Page Wilson
Both Cumberland and Orleans, Ontario have been my place of residence since my parents brought me home from the hospital. I won't say how long ago this was, but my oldest child has been an adult for a few years now. With raising children, and working full time, it was easy for me to lose sight of my surroundings, and to take where I lived for granted. Especially when living in this area is all I have ever known. With this said, I decided it was the right time to stop and smell the roses and to start seeing my home town with fresh eyes. The eyes of a tourist.
I needed a place to start, and decided to revisit a place I haven't been to in years. Cumberland Heritage Village Museum sounded like a great place to take the family. So I gathered up my youngest two kids, and away we went.
The Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is run by the city of Ottawa, and is an easy 10 minute drive from Orleans. To get to the museum coming from Orleans, we took the 174 and turned right onto Cameron Street and left onto Old Montreal Road and went through Cumberland Village.
I've always enjoyed the village. It is a quiet little area, with century old homes (which I love), and it takes care of your basic needs. By basic needs I mean it has a gas station, a corner store, a farmers market, a community hall, a hair dresser, more than one Church, a post-office, a park, a nursing home, and a bit further up, on the other side of the Museum, there is a cemetery. The village did have a school, but it closed its doors some time ago. The village is not at all far from the city, so what more could one ask for?
We pulled into the Museum parking lot, I grabbed my camera and wallet, and we headed into the Vars train station to buy our tickets. What? Wait – did I get lost? Nope, not lost. The museum is made up of historic and reproduction buildings from various local areas that were put together to depict rural life during the 1920s and 1930s.
The museum offers different events throughout the year, so I decided to buy a one year member family pass for $35, which includes 2 adults and their children. I figured this way, we won't miss any of the fun, and it could be one of our go to places for those slow summer days. Even if we just wanted to have a picnic in the past.
The kids and I checked out every building including the old homesteads, the village school, the fire station, and read all the information plaques for each one. They had someone working in the print shop, and the printer took us through the printing process they used back in the day. We took home a printed postcard size of a rhubarb muffin recipe, which we will eventually try out. There was also someone at the blacksmith shop, and he shared his knowledge of just how important a blacksmith was to the community as he was actively creating tools. The Blacksmith created a J hook in just 5 minutes. Loved the outcome. The sawmill wasn't up and running during our visit, next time.
Did I mention that they have farm animals? – and who doesn't love to visit with the horses, cows, geese, ducks and smelly pigs? I know my kids enjoyed the animals, especially the bunnies.
It was a fun afternoon at the museum, and we will visit again. The next time we go, they will have more going on, after all, it is still spring, and things are just beginning.
Our next outing? There are a couple of official community garage sales coming up in the area so why not we make an afternoon of it? Never know what one will find in the backyard, I'm crossing my fingers.
Just treating life one Page at a time.