Click on the thumbnail photo to obtain a larger version.
A reconverted yellow school bus drove up to the front of the Ramada Inn about twenty minutes before the departure time. Lloyd, our bus driver, was advised that he had 42 passengers with name tags and that he would be fed lunch and supper with the members of the tours. The final seat on the bus was taken by Don Ross of Halifax by June 17 and Andy's In-Laws with his wife and baby daughter travelled in the van. A couple of late registrants followed behind in their cars.
Dresden: Uncle Tom's Cabin
Clan members and guests received an introduction to the site by our tour guide, Laura, who then started the tape cassette for a brief presentation on the large monitor. [Doug Knutson of Windswept Productions in Belleville ON produced a DVD for the events of Frida12:44 AM 02/07/2006y and Saturday.]
The tour guide then took us into the museum in the same building. Instruments used for torturing the slaves were on display in the cases. The story of how they followed the North Star to reach freedom in Canada was illustrated. Reverend Josiah Henson planned the Dawn Settlement in the 1830's until the 200 acres were purchased here in 1841.
Buildings at the Dawn Settlement
The main building is shown in the first photo . . . with the auditorium (right side) and the display room (left side). Our tour guide, Laura, stopped at the Harris House to start the group on its way around the artifacts (smoke house and giant saw machine) and buildings. [Did I hear correctly that the smoke house was made from the trunk of a single Ash tree?] Past President/Historian J. Don Ross and Gillian Blair discuss the interior of the Harris House while Ian and Jacquie Ross investigate an antique washing machine. Then the group visited Uncle Tom's Cabin (straight ahead) before entering the old church to the left, where Gillian Blair read a poem composed by John Greenleaf Whittier for Dr. A. M. Ross's 47th birthday. A final stop on the grounds was the Henson Cemetery.
Lunch Before Returning to the Auditorium
Andrew's Mother-In-Law (Christine Hunter), his Wife (Elizabeth Hunter Thibodeau) and their Baby (Victoria "Torry" Thibodeau) were seated at the lunch area when this photo was taken. The lunch included roast beef, baked potato and beans & carrots with squares and pastries for dessert. There were eight chicken meals for those who didn't like beef.
After lunch the tour group returned to the auditorium in the main building for introductions, presentations and a continuation of Steven Duff's speech about Dr. Alexander Milton Ross, a truly remarkable Canadian whose work merited a Medal of Honour.
CLICK HERE to visit the Uncle Tom's Cabin website.
CLICK HERE for photos which my friend Alastair McIntyre took during an off-season tour of the site. If you wish to refresh your mind about the artifacts and posters, you will be richly rewarded by a visit to his webpage. There is also a link to "The Language of the Quilts" near the end . . . for those who are interested.
Chatham: RM Classic Cars
For a change of pace, Andy had arranged a stop at RM Cars Limited where our tour group was told that the building held over 40 million dollars worth of stock and inventory. After a reception in the central office, the group was split in two to avoid overcrowding in the two sections . . . the service area and the display area.
Many cars in the service area were being totally totally rebuilt according to the original specifications with chromed parts finished elsewhere (USA). It is not unusual to spot a "one-of-a-kind" vintage car. A few regular customers came back for simple service, tune-ups or tires costing tens of thousands of dollars per visit.
Many cars in the display area have been rebuilt in the service area. Some rare models are advertized "as is" for a new owner to assume the cost of restoration. A number of cars are being stored prior to being auctioned off at one of the many events during the year. This guarantees that there will be a significant change-over in this showroom for the next visitors.
CLICK HERE to visit the website for the RM Classic Cars.
Buxton: Museum and Historic Site
The site is a memorial to the Elgin Settlement which stood on this property. Our tour started with a welcome from our host Shannon Prince and tape presentation in the museum theatre. The museum contains several artifacts and photographs from the early pioneers of the area. There is even a "signal quilt" which supposedly alerted the slaves to information they required during their trip on the "underground railway"; the museum curator, Shannon Prince, didn't put much faith in that legend. Behind the museum was a log cabin (vintage 1852) which had been moved onto the site last year (having been occupied until about 8 years ago); on this sunny day, Shannon Price's husband Bryan Prince was working on a garden. Four Don's (all Rosses) posed outside after touring the museum.
The group visited the School House (boys to the right and girls to the left cloakrooms), and Janet Montague Jones had to placed her nose inside a circle which "teacher Shannon Prince" had placed high on the blackboard. The class had to answer a series of questions on their slates before being dismissed.
After the "pupils" were dismissed, we were treared to a Soul Food dinner prepared by the Buxton Ladies Auxiliary. Afterwards, the CRA-Canada tour group joined the Buxton Choir in the church for a Gospel Concert. Andy's minister, Rev John Bannerman, was invited to join the choir after a couple of hymns. [John's mother is a Ross. He and his wife Laurie are featured with Andy in a London Free Press article about the AGM tours.]
After dinner the CRA-Canada tour group joined the Buxton Choir in the church for a Gospel Concert. Andy's minister, Rev John Bannerman, was invited to join the choir after a couple of hymns. [John's mother is a Ross. He and his wife Laurie are featured with Andy in a London Free Press article about the AGM tours.] NOTE: The photo of the tour group by Doug Knutson of Belleville remains in high resolution.
NOTE: I have thanked David Caplin, your webmaster's Member of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario, for providing the lapel pins with our floral emblem (the Trillium), which were distributed to everyone as they boarded the bus at the end to a perfect day. Our guests from England and the USA also received a Maple Leaf lapel pin.
CLICK HERE to visit the Buxton Museum and Historic Site.
CLICK HERE for photos which my friend Alastair McIntyre took. His tour did not include a Soul Food dinner or the Church with a Gospel Concert, but he has excellent photos of the artifacts in the Museum and the interior of the School House. A visit to his webpage is most worthwhile.