St. Clair Township Crest
1155 Emily Street
Mooretown ON
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Email: webmaster@twp.stclair.on.ca

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Heritage Corner (October, 2020)

Heritage Corner (October, 2020)

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 feel- ing 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 in- creased. 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 dur- ing 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

This apple parer from the Moore Museum collec- tion was manufactured by Hudson and is marked Little Star. It was patented June 9, 1885.

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).

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 sur- vey. 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

Sombra Museum seeks information to document COVID-19 era

Working in a museum, we tend to be concerned about docu- menting 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 pre- sent. 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 genera- tions. 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 .

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 Town- ship), 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, ad-

* 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 docu- ment 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

dressed the joys and challenges of a woman’s life in poli- tics.
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 Wednes- day, Oct. 21.
For more information, go online to: helencole@start.ca
or www.eventbrite.com/o/the-jean-collective-29056998091