St. Clair Township Crest
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Heritage Corner (October 2020)

Heritage Corner (October 2020)

The Beacon of St. Clair Township October 2020 Page 7
Bear Creek Cemetery Company
Bear Creek Cemetery has submitted by-laws to the Registrar of the Funeral, Burial, and Cremation Services Act, 2002. Any
interested parties may contact Russell Marsh at 519-331-1798 for information or to make copies. By-laws or amendments may be
reviewed or copied at 3393 Telfer Road, Mooretown, Ontario. These by-laws are subject to the approval of the Registrar, Funeral,
Burial, and Cremation Services Act, 2002. Contact can be made by telephone to: Bereavement Authority of Ontario, 647-483-2645
or 1-844-493-6356.
Kailyn Shepley photo
Our Glorious Autumn
By Laurie Mason
with excerpts from Life in the Woods, 1864
A detailed account of life in the former Moore Township in the early to mid 19th century is provided by John C.
Geikie in his book Adventures in Canada; or, Life in the Woods [1882. Originally published in 1864 as George Stanley:
or, Life in the Woods: A Boy’s Narrative of the Adventures of a Settler’s Family in Canada]. The following excerpts
paint a picture of fall:
“The weather in the fall was delightful – better, I think, than in any other season of the year. Getting its name
from the beginning of the fall of the leaves, this season lasts on ‘til winter pushes it aside. Day after day was bright
and almost cloudless, and the heat had passed into a balmy mildness, which made the very feeling of being alive a
pleasure. Every thing combined to make the landscape beautiful. The great resplendent river, flowing so softly it
seemed scarce to move – its bosom a broad sheet of molten silver, on which clouds, and sky, and white sails, and
even the further banks, with the houses, and fields, and woods, far back from the water, were painted as in a magic
mirror – was a beautiful sight, of which we never tired; like the swans in St. Mary’s Loch, which, Wordsworth says,
“float double, swan and shadow,” we had ships in as well as on the waters; and not a branch, not twig, nor leaf of
the great trees, nor of the bushes, nor a touch in the open landscape, was wanting as we paddled along the shores, or
looked across…
By the beginning of September, the first frosts had touched the trees, and the change of color in the leaves at
once set in. It is only when this has taken place that the forests put on their greatest beauty; though, indeed, a feeling of sadness was always associated with these autumnal splendors, connected as they are, like the last colours of
the dolphin, with thoughts of decay and death. With each day, after the change had commenced, the beauty increased. Each kind of tree — the oak, the elm, the beech, the ash, the birch, the walnut, and, above all, the maple –
had its own hue, and every hue was lovely. Then there were the solemn pines, and tamaracks, and cedars, setting off
the charms of their gayer brethren by their sober green, which at a distance looked almost black. The maple-leaf, the
first to color, remained, throughout, the most beautiful, in its golden yellow and crimson. No wonder it has become
to Canada what the shamrock is to Ireland, or the rose and the thistle, to England and Scotland.
The woods look finest, I think, when the tints are just beginning, and green, yellow, and scarlet are mingled in
every shade of transition. But what sheets of golden flame they became after a time! Then every leaf had something
of its own in which it differed from all others. Yonder, the colors blended together into pink of the brightest tint;
then came a dash of lilac and blue, and, away by itself, a clump rose, like an islet, of glowing red gold. Lofty trees,
and humble undergrowth, and climbing creepers – all alike owned the magic influence, and decked the landscape
with every tint that can be borrowed from the light, till the whole looked like the scenery of some fairy tale.
(reference pages 101 – 103 in Life In the Woods)
“We had a great deal of fun when our orchard got up a little,
and when we were able to trade with our neighbors for fruit, in
what they used to call “apple-paring bees.” The young folks of both
sexes were invited for a given evening in the autumn, and came
duly provided with apple-parers, which are ingenious contrivances,
by which an apple, stuck on two prongs at one end, is pared by a
few turns of the handle at the other. It is astonishing to see how
quickly it is done. Nor is the paring all. The little machine makes a
final thrust through the heart of the apple, and takes out the core,
so as to leave nothing to do but to cut what remains in pieces. The
object of all this paring is to get apples enough dried for tarts during winter, the pieces when cut being threaded in long strings, and
hung up till they shrivel and get a leather-like look. When wanted
for use, a little boiling makes them swell to their original size
again, and bring back their softness. You may imagine how plentiful
the fruit must be to make such a liberal use of it possible, as that
which you see all through Canada. You can hardly go into any house
in the bush, however poor, without having a large bowl of “apple
sass” set before you – that is, of apple boiled in maple sugar. The
young folks make a grand night of it when the “bee” comes off.
The laughing and frolic is unbounded; some are busy with their
sweethearts; some, of a grosser mind, are no less busy with the applies, devouring a large proportion of what they
pare; and the whole proceedings, in many cases, wind up with a dance on the barn-floor.” (reference pages 326 to
327 in Life in the Woods).
This apple parer from the Moore Museum collection was manufactured by Hudson and is marked
Little Star. It was patented June 9, 1885.
The Beacon of St. Clair Township October 2020 Page 8
Moore Museum seeks information about history of former Moore Twp. schools
Did you attend a school in the former Moore Township prior to 1963?
Moore Museum is developing another virtual exhibit for our website, this one featuring brief histories and photos
of the schools in the former Moore Township prior to centralization in 1963. There were 19 school sections in Moore,
four of which were union schools – two shared with Sombra Township and two with Sarnia Township. The map,
shown above, indicates the location of these schools.
If you have information on the history of any of these schools, or photos (or scans of photos) that you would be
willing to share with us, we’d love to hear from you. We would appreciate details about any school in the township,
but especially School Sections #6, #13 and #19 Moore, as our research files contain some information for most of the
school sections in the township, but we have no information at all for those three. Information can be sent to
lmason@stclairtownship.ca. We look forward to hearing from you!
Connect with Moore Museum
We want to hear from you. Please follow the link on the home page of www.mooremuseum.ca to our online survey. We very much appreciate input from our community and, as a thanks for your assistance, survey respondents
will be entered in a draw (to be held on November 13, 2020) to win a 2021 family membership and $25 gift shop gift
certificate. In addition to our website and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mooremuseum, we are now also
on Instagram @mooremuseum so you can watch for news from Moore Museum.
~Laurie Mason, curator, Moore Museum
The Beacon of St. Clair Township October 2020 Page 9
Photos
still
being sought
The Port Lambton 200th
Committee is seeking photographs and information that
will help illuminate the area’s
heritage. To donate, please
email the Port Lambton 200th
Anniversary Historical Committee at portlambtonhistory@gmail.com or contact
Kailyn at the Sombra Museum,
sombramuseum
@hotmail.com
Working in a museum, we tend to be concerned about documenting and preserving the past, but right now we are living
through an event that is unlike any we have experienced in the
last century, if ever before, so the focus is very much on the present. So often, when looking through the archives we get very
excited to find the shortest photo caption, post card, note, or on
rare occasions, a diary recording daily life.
Looking for local accounts of the 1919 Spanish Flu pandemic
and finding very little from the local perspective, we realized
that we need our St. Clair Township residents to help us record
and preserve memories of the present time for future generations. What is going on day-to-day in Sombra, Wilkesport, Port
Lambton, Mooretown, Lambton County, Canada, and elsewhere
in the world?
Information we hope you will share includes:
* Shopping conditions and how they changed over time.
* Adapting to working at home, and any challenges or
creative solut ions that were needed.
* Financial challenges.
* Feelings caused by the outbreak and thoughts about social
distancing.
* Keeping children occupied during self-isolation.
* Keeping adults occupied during self-isolation.
* What new or newly rediscovered hobbies or crafts were
taken up .
* Stories from workers on the front lines and staffing essential
services.
* Struggles of family members or friends infected with the
virus.
* Stories of everyday heroes, i.e. people helping neighbours
during self-isolation or people accepting inconveniences
for the greater good.
* How daily life and routines have changed.
* For those who lived through the Great Depression, World
War II, etc., are there similarities to those experiences?
* How social media and technology is impacting life in social
isolation (using technology for the first time, using it
differently).
Photos, videos, drawings, anecdotes, a few jotted thoughts –
we want all the family-friendly material you feel comfortable
sharing (no explicit material).
Submissions can be sent by email to:
sombramuseum@hotmail.com with the subject line
“COVID-19 History Snapshot”.
Please share this request for community life memories with
as many people as possible. We encourage everyone to document this time, if not to share publicly, then for yourself and
your family to look back and reflect on in years to come.
Take care and be well.
~Kailyn Shepley, curator, Sombra Museum
Sombra Museum seeks information to document COVID-19 era
Jean Collective goal is to
attract women into politics
The goal of the Jean Collective, a new Women in Politics
initiative, is to attract more women into the political arena.
Organizer Helen Cole, who ran for office in St. Thomas in
1991, says, “There is no question that running for council
was one of the best decisions of my life.”
The group held its first panel discussion on Sept. 24 with
panel members Councillor Tracy Kingston (St. Clair Township), Deputy Mayor Judy Krall (Enniskillen Township), and
Anne Marie Gillis, (former councillor for the City of Sarnia).
The panel discussion, held online as a ZOOM event, addressed the joys and challenges of a woman’s life in politics.
St. Clair Township Councillor Tracy Kingston says the
discussion went well and many noteworthy points were
made.
Ms. Cole says the Jean Collective is aimed at women who
may feel they aren’t ready to enter politics or who feel they
need help getting started. “If you want an understanding
ear or someone to bounce ideas around, we are here for
you,” she said. “Join us to learn more about our education
program.
The next virtual ZOOM meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 21.
For more information, go online to: helencole@start.ca
or www.eventbrite.com/o/the-jean-collective-29056998091