Big on history, big on fun!
True to its theme, Fanshawe Pioneer Village will take you back in time. The museum will allow you to immerse in the way of life of the residents of Middlesex County from the year 1820 to 1920.
Last year, I visited the village as part of my homeschooling activity for my boys’ age 5 and 4, and I considered it our educational field trip. They were younger, nevertheless, they enjoyed our tour. Recently, we went back for our annual field trip and as support for the 60th anniversary celebration of Fanshawe Pioneer Village and discover its new offers.
My visit to the Elgie Log House, built in 1865, allowed me to relate and re-live the simplicity of my own childhood life back in the Philippines. And as an immigrant to Canada, I was able to relate to the story of how you have only one suitcase to build your life on, just like the settlers from Ireland.
This video was taken inside the Elgie Log House. Unfortunately there were other visitors talking so I muted the narration.
My boys were amazed at how old the things were at the Elgie Log House, it took a few repetitions of “don’t touch that” and “be gentle” from the curator before they grasped the fragility of the display. My 4-year-old asked “what does fragile mean?” to which we just answered as “easy to break like a glass” and “sensitive.” It is fragile, as some of the things on display can possibly be 200 years old.
The Fanshawe Pioneer Village features 33 replicas of different shops, gardens and orchards, churches, sheds and lodges, and many others – which may take you an average of two hours to roam around depending on the interest you have about it. As you tour this museum/village you will be mesmerized by the facts and information about every single place you stopped by. You will admire the skills and tenacity of the people of this village. For children, who are clueless of the hard-working hands of this village, you will see the awe and amazement in their eyes.
This year, Colbert Log Barn was updated with its STEM feature, my children enjoyed the pulley it has on display. The simplicity of the desks at Log School amazed my children, meanwhile durability that stand the test of times is what I have in mind about these school desks. It was similar to my elementary desks where you put your paper and pencil under it. Gosh, I’m really old, lol!
On the other hand, if performance was to be rated in this village, I think the presentation at the Blacksmith shop will be the most popular and will be voted by the visitors in a blink of an eye. Why? Because every presentation in this shop gets the visitors hooked. It excites the children, and the curators here always gets the children to interact with them. The ‘blacksmith’ gives the children the opportunity to show off their knowledge… see…
Don’t miss out on the Lochaber Carriage Shed, looking at various types of carriage stored in there made me wanna get on it, feeling like a royal. It’s something I enjoyed looking at and it nurtured my imaginations with movie scenes, ha!.
The barns and farms, and the weaving shop are cool stuff that my children had fun with. Caverhill woodworking shop is another shop that my boys would have loved to touch and explore, thanks for the gate that was put on, the boys learned to admire the workmanship in this shop with control. Honestly, the stuff in there is very tempting.
Since last year, I knew that every year this museum will be part of our annual field trip, as my children age, they will gradually grasp and appreciate something from this village. I can’t wait for them to learn about herbs or understand the old ways of newspaper production so I can share with them my experience in the industry as a former journalist, who used the method of photo film in printing the newspaper.
The boys, this year, are old enough to ask questions, so this time I knew they were learning. It was satisfying as a mother to watch my sons’ curiosity got answered. There is so much knowledge to contain for a 5 and 4 years old, that’s why I know we’ll be back here yearly.
Fanshawe Pioneer Village is rich in historical information. Visiting the museum is an enriching experience for each visitor, I guarantee. It is not just for children but equally for adults as well. Come, brush up your history! Experience Southern Ontario’s past brought to life.
This year, Fanshawe Pioneer Village celebrates its 60th anniversary and it has many new things to offer. Check their website, www.fanshawepioneervillage.ca for more information or call 519-457-1296.