INTEREST IN TREES SPARK FURTHER RECOLLECTIONS OF FORREST
PHOTOS BY AINSLIE WILLOCK
Editor’s Note: When Anne Jarrott Waite, of Bayfield and Stratford, read the Oct. 1st edition of the Bayfield Breeze (Issue 274 Week 40) she learned that Big Bill Forrest (1871-1953) had planted the Osage-orange trees south of Bayfield. This prompted her to share her stories about Big Bill with local historian and Bayfield Tree Project representative, Ainslie Willock.
Anne Jarrott Waite outside "The Hut" holding Big Bill Forrest's ship's wheel.
“Anne lives in "The Hut", the first public building in Bayfield, located on Bayfield Terrace. So, I went over to her home to have a chat and was amazed when she brought out a wooden ship's wheel for me to see that had belonged to Big Bill Forrest. It was from the boat he used to dredge the Goderich Harbour. It turns out that Anne got it from a farm that her father, Gilbert Jarrott, bought from Bill Forrest in the 1940s or early 1950s. The farm is on Staffa Road (south of Bayfield) just west of the Osage-orange trees we know about on Airport Line. It's highly likely that Big Bill planted those trees at the same time he planted the five south of Bayfield,” said Willock.
In 1898 or 1899, Big Bill used money from mining Yukon gold, to buy the land on Staffa Rd., to build a stone farmhouse and a special barn. The barn was made of steel and concrete so it wouldn't burn down like the wooden barns often did. It was built just west of the house.
Big Bill Forrest's stone farmhouse on Staffa Road.
“Anne told me that rather than pay the builder of the barn in gold or paper money, he was paid by a "yoke of oxen" which were two trained ox linked together with a yoke,” said Willock.
Magnificent, healthy mature elm tree in a field on a hill opposite Big Bill Forrest's stone farmhouse. Farmers used these tall trees with straight trunks and high canopies for farm animals to find shade under and still work the land.
Waite also remembers some of the contents of the farmhouse, a 12 foot long cherry table Forrest had made for the enclosed porch along with two matching cherry chairs that could hold his 300 lb. plus frame. Inside the house, was an ornate oak sideboard with a carved dog's head on the top, a mirror and a brass foot rail, likely to remind him of a Yukon style bar.
The farmhouse has had a number of owners and has been beautifully restored with an addition to the back and side. Unfortunately, the previous owners were required to remove the barn as part of the process of severing the land from the agricultural fields that precluded the property having a barn. It was set on fire prior to it being demolished.
Big Bill Forrest's yellow brick farmhouse "Castramont" west of Seaforth's Van Egmond House on the Bayfield River's north bank.
“When Anne was just four years old, she remembers visiting Bill Forrest at another farm (200 acres) he owned with a yellow brick house called "Castramont". It's located on Front Rd. west of the Van Egmond House but outside Seaforth, on the north bank of the Bayfield River. On that visit, Anne was with Forrest's niece Marg Platt, who was a nurse from Stratford, and her husband Bud Platt,” said Willock. “She clearly remembers seeing Big Bill under a buffalo robe lying on a couch or bed at the back of the farmhouse. And, she remembers going to the outhouse and seeing a garter snake coiled around the seat and quickly getting help!”
Waite and Willock went in search of this house and were very pleased to find it. They introduced themselves to the owners who were very knowledgeable about the history of the house and the individuals who lived there.
A table built by Big Bill Forrest in 1933 graces the home of Anne Jarrott Waite's daughter, Meg Waite Wagler's, in Stratford. The table was once 12 feet long but was cut down by 5 feet a few decades ago. (Photo by Anne Waite)
“The farmhouse originally had three barns and was built by the Dickson Family who were from Scotland. We were told it was considered a "model farm" as it incorporated the best farming practices of the time. It was built in 1845 and named “Castramont” which in Latin means a military "camp on a hill".
Willock noted that there's a town, road and woods all called “Castramont” in the Dumfries and Galloway, in Scotland. The stone farmhouse that Bill Forrest built, and the yellow brick house he bought, were both built on top of hills.
According to Willock, Big Bill's ship’s wheel will be delivered to the Huron County Museum soon. It's been on an interesting journey through time making its way back to Goderich.
Willock’s research into the life of Big Bill Forrest continues, if anyone knows where he originally got the Osage-orange seeds she'd love to know that part of the story.
town hall "puttin' on the glitz" for New year's eve
The Bayfield Town Hall will be the place to be on New Year's Eve as the community is invited to put on the glitz to ring in 2015. Setting the stage for this year's festivities are Tammy Amos, Pat McDougall, Dwight and Janice Nelson. (Submitted photo)
Once again the Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society would like to invite people to ring in the New Year at the town hall.
“Puttin’ on the Glitz” is the theme of the party set to begin at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 31. For $25 per person, participants will enjoy the music of DJ Alpha Productions, hor’s d’oeurves, party favors and champagne at midnight. There will also be a cash bar.
Tickets are available now at www.ticketscene.ca or by calling Margo Robeson at 519 565-2827 or Sandy Scotchmer at 519-565-2830.
BLYTH FESTIVAL SINGERS TO HOST MUSICAL RITE OF THE SEASON
Many Bluewater residents belong to the Blyth Festival Singers and they look forward to joining together with Juno award-winning organist Ian Sadler, to present selections of Handel's "Messiah" on Dec. 7.
A musical rite of the holiday season, the Baroque-era oratorio still awes listeners 250 years after the composer's death. This performance by the Blyth Festival Singers will be no different. With almost fifty voices and the wonderful acoustics and powerful organ of historic St. George's Anglican Church in Goderich, this is the concert to kick start the Christmas season. Those who attend should be prepared to join your voices in song with some well-loved carols, too.
Audience members will be immersed in the musical accompaniment and guest performance of one of Canada's foremost organists, Ian Sadler. His extensive musical career began as a boy chorister at St. Paul's Cathedral, in London, England, with studies at The King's School, Canterbury and Bristol University, and postgraduate study at London University. He holds degrees in musicology and education, with organ diplomas from Trinity College of Music and The Royal College of Organists.
This past year the Stratford Concert Choir celebrated Sadler's 25th anniversary as its Artistic Director. Locally, he has also been a remarkable asset and performer with Exeter's Bach Festival of Canada. And now the Blyth Festival Singers are privileged to be able to perform with him.
The Blyth Festival Singers performance of "Messiah" will begin at
2:30 p.m. with a reception to follow. Tickets can be obtained from any Blyth Festival Singer or from the Blyth Festival Box Office by phone at 519 523-9300 or online. Adult tickets cost $18.00 and children under 12 are $6. The Blyth Festival Singers are a community choir under the direction of Sharon Poelstra and under the umbrella of the Blyth Centre for the Arts.
Breakfast with santa in just four more sleeps
At the 2013 Bayfield Optimist Club's Breakfast with Santa, Riley Arthur prepared to eat a hearty breakfast under the watchful eye of Morgan Sonke. Both girls are from Goderich. The calendar year has come around again and the 2014 breakfast will be held this Sunday, Dec. 7 at the Bayfield Village Inn. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
The jolly old elf himself will be in attendance when the Bayfield Optimist Club hosts their Ninth Annual Breakfast with Santa at the Bayfield Village Inn from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Dec. 7.
The cost is 12 years and up, $6; five to 11 years, $3; five and under free.
There will also be an opportunity for guests to have their picture taken with Santa.
At the conclusion of the breakfast, Santa will draw the winning ticket for the club’s toy chest raffle. The winner will receive a beautiful chest filled to overflowing with toys for boys and girls of all ages. Raffle tickets are available now from Optimist members, Brandon’s Hardware and at the Bayfield Village Inn. Toy chest tickets are $2 each or three for $5.
ONE WEEK LEFT TO VOTE FOR CAMP
Camp Klahanie made it to the semi-final round of the AVIVA Community Fund competition after the first round of voting. A tremendous swell of support from the local community and beyond resulted in an early entry into the semi-final round that is now underway until Dec. 10.
Camp Klahanie is going head to head with sixty other semi-finalists in their funding level for a chance to win up to $50,000. Everyone who makes it into the finals is guaranteed $5,000. Only 20 ideas will make it to the finals in the 0-$50,000 funding level. The finals are determined by AVIVA approved judges and winners and funding amounts are announced in January.
The Camp Klahanie AVIVA Committee has decided that their focus for funding will be the construction of four, 10-person bunkhouses. Funds from the competition would go a long way to raise the estimated $72,000 cost for the bunkhouses to be nestled at the edge of the property's woodlot to further camping opportunities.
New voters will have to register but all it takes is an email and a password. Here is the link
Anyone on Facebook who would like helpful daily voting reminders is asked to join the group known as: “Goderich Lions Club – Camp Klahanie Revitalization”. The camp also now has its own Facebook Page and Facebook users are invited to “like” it by visiting – https://www.facebook.com/campklahaniegoderichlions
Bayfield Guiding members are active supporters of Camp Klahanie and a cross section of the group took part in a video promoting the camp’s idea in the AVIVA Community Fund. The video was filmed, edited and graciously donated to the promotional efforts by George Zoethout of Huron Image Factory. To view and share the video visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEO9DAp8dFU
library friends to host Christmas Tree Hour
“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us.”
On Dec. 14, 2013, the Friends of the Bayfield Library hosted a Christmas Hour for Children offering a variety of craft activities at the Bayfield Library. The most popular station being the cookie decorating table. This year on Dec. 13 the Library Friends will host a similar event this time based around a Christmas tree theme and all are welcome to attend. (Photo by Melody Falconer-Pounder)
And they also delight the Friends of Bayfield Library (FOBL) as they are holding A Children’s Christmas Tree Hour at the Bayfield Library on Dec. 13.
From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. children of all ages can join in listening to the story, “Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree”, create their own Christmas tree, make a tree puzzle and participate in a scavenger hunt.
JANE'S SCARF DAY
Just a sampling of the rather marvellous variety of scarves available at Jane's Scarf Sale to be held on Saturday with a percentage of the sales going to the local foodbank. (Submitted photo)
Designer Jane McLaren is hosting “Jane’s Scarf Day” on Dec. 6 with a percentage of the sales of her scarf and earring creations going to the local food bank.
The sale will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at her home, 41 Main Street South (Hwy. 21) – palm trees anchor the driveway.
McLaren will also be collecting household contributions for the food bank as well if anyone would like to bring their own.
All in the community are invited to attend the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) Annual General Meeting on Dec. 13 at the Bayfield Lions’ Community Building.
The AGM shall commence at 10 a.m.
On the agenda will be the reading of last year’s minutes, a president’s report, financial report and annual legal and accounting protocols. There will also be an election of the Board of Directors for 2015.
A number of the directors will present brief reports on some of the BRVTA successes over the last year and hopes for next year.
The BRVTA Board values the input of its membership, questions, comments and suggestions to assist the BRVTA in setting its agenda for the coming year are welcome. It encourages people to become members, join the Board of Directors and/or take on some of the many volunteer activities that are the backbone of the organization. Please contact Russ Powadiuk, president, to discuss any or all of these opportunities. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 519 565-4120.
“Building on Your Strength for a Better Tomorrow” is the topic of an evening to be held at the Varna Complex on Dec. 8.
The evening is focused on orienting the newest members of the municipal council to the regional economic context but it is also open to community residents provided they RSVP to email@example.com.
Wayne Caldwell will be the presenter. He is a professor in Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph. He has a career long affiliation with the County of Huron and a Ph.D. in Regional Planning and Resource Development from the University of Waterloo.
Mayor Dowson CELEBRATED
Bill Dowson has been the mayor of the Municipality of Bluewater since its inception 13 years ago. He has also offered dedicated service in the field of local and Huron County politics for 30 years. During the Oct. 27th election Dowson lost his mayoral seat to Tyler Hessel but members of the community feel that Dowson’s long tenure is something to be celebrated and they will do so on the afternoon of Dec. 17.
Everyone in the community is invited to a time of celebration and stories in honor of Dowson to be held at the Varna Complex from 1-4 p.m. A light lunch will be offered at the event that will feature several guest speakers starting at 2 p.m.
Anyone who cannot attend but would like to send best wishes via email should forward them to Mike Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org. It should be noted that these missives will be read at the function and then presented to Dowson following.
For more information please contact Dixon at 519 565-2583 or 519 955-5254.
It is almost time for the St. Andrew’s United Church Annual Christmas Candlelight Service.
The 25-member choir has been practicing since the end of October for the concert to be held on Dec. 14 at St. Andrew’s Church starting at 7:30 p.m.
In addition to the choir comprised of St. Andrew’s members and others in the community, there will be performances by The Glee Sisters and Flutist Jan Searle.
EMPTIES FOR Alzheimers
Two Bayfield women would like to remind everyone preparing for holiday gatherings that their tradition of collecting empties for Alzheimer's Disease is continuing this year.
Dianne Brandon and Carrie Sabourin will be participating in the Huron County 2015 Walk for Memories on Jan. 31. The duo are now collecting donations for the cause.
It is, of course, hoped that everyone will celebrate responsibly this festive season and when doing so plan to donate the empty beer bottles and cans; wine and liquor bottles to their team, “For the Love of Elane and Doris”. One of the ladies being honored is currently living with Alzheimers, Elane Brandon, Sabourin’s grandmother. Unfortunately, Doris Schilbe, Dianne’s mother died on Aug. 4 at the age of 80.
Empties of all sorts may be dropped off at Brandon's Hardware in Bayfield, or picked up anytime, just call Brandon’s Hardware at 519 565-2677 or 519 565-2545. Empties may also be dropped off at Bayfield Convenience in their names.
Letters to Santa
Bayfield residents will be pleased to know that Santa Claus will once again be receiving mail in his special mailbox but at a new location – Bayfield Foodland.
Santa’s elves delight in hearing from area youngsters and learning what is on their wish lists every year. Be sure to include a return address so that the children can be sure of a note in return from the jolly old elf himself.
Knitting 1-2-3 is the name of the Bayfield knitting group! The name was chosen because the group meets from 1-3 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of the month at the Bayfield Library.
Organizers note that this is a relaxed group and members are welcome to attend when they can and work on whatever project they wish to with other knitting enthusiasts.
The next meeting has been set for Dec. 4.
Please email Carole at email@example.com or Louise at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
With Christmas quickly approaching, the Huron County Christmas Bureau (HCCB) is gearing up for another year. This year St. Peter’s Catholic Church Clinton parishioners will manage the Clinton Bureau with the assistance of many other community volunteers. The Clinton Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has graciously offered their facilities for their use. It is through this type of generosity and that of the numerous volunteers, churches, schools, local businesses, merchants and individual donors, that organizers can ensure every child is remembered at Christmas.
The HCCB is a volunteer group that organizes and operates, on a two-year rotational basis, five Bureaus in Huron County for disadvantaged families. The Clinton Bureau is responsible for Blyth, Vanastra, Bayfield, Varna, Brucefield, Londesborough, Holmesville, Kippen and Clinton. The gifts, food vouchers and gift certificates are donated, or purchased with cash donations (for which the donor receives a tax receipt). Bureau volunteers shop locally. Many merchants provide discounted pricing and shopping assistance and this effort is appreciated. Please note that the Bureaus will not be collecting food again this year. The public is encouraged to donate food items to their local Food Bank as unfortunately, there is always a need.
Cheques can be made payable to the Children’s Benefit Fund and dropped off at a local Bureau or to the Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society, 413 MacEwan St., Goderich. VISA donations are also accepted by calling 519-524-7356.
In Bayfield donation boxes are located at Bayfield Convenience & Gifts, Bayfield Library and Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy. Items can be dropped in the boxes or at participating Bureaus until Dec. 5.
Custodial parents with children 18 years of age or younger who are living at home, attending school in Huron County and need assistance, can call 519 524-7356, Ex. 3271 or 1-800-265-5198, Ex. 3271 from Monday to Friday from now until Dec. 5 to register. Callers will need to provide the age, sex and clothing size of their children. They will be given an appointment time during the week of Dec. 8-12 at their local Christmas Bureau to privately choose suitable gifts for their family.
Have you heard the news? A monthly hearing clinic has been established in the village at Pharmasave Michael’s Pharmacy. The next date for the clinic is Dec. 16.
The Kincardine Hearing Clinic will be offering their services on the third Tuesday of every month from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The clinic will offer: hearing aid adjustments and repairs to all makes and models, no cost hearing tests, new prescription of hearing aids, wax removal, hearing aid battery sales as well as hard of hearing assistive devices. Please call Shannon Gould at The Kincardine Hearing Clinic at 1-855-396-6026 to book an appointment.
chocolatey mint cookies
Looking for a super stocking stuffer idea or hostess gift? Look no further than Bayfield Guiding’s Chocolatey Mint Girl Guide Cookies.
Cookies are selling for $5 a box. Profits from sales help with program activities and field trips.
Anyone wishing cookies should contact Melody Falconer-Pounder at 519 565-2443.
The ice is now in the Bayfield Arena and some new skating opportunities are being combined with some old favorites.
An one-hour “Public Skating for Seniors” has started and will be held on Mondays at 9:30 a.m. Absolute Automation, of Bayfield, is generously sponsoring these sessions.
Also on Mondays, “Moms & Tots Skating” will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The Municipality of Bluewater is sponsoring this ice time for the youngest in the community.
And on Fridays and Mondays at 8 p.m. Men’s Pickup Hockey games are being enjoyed – very little skill is required. Also on Fridays, Women's Pickup Hockey is held. Participants take to the ice at 7p.m. Fun, exercise and laughs all for $15 per game.
For additional information please contact the Bayfield Arena at 519 565-2121.
Stay tuned to the Bayfield Breeze and www.bacp.ca for more information and announcements on ice availability and events this winter at the Bayfield Arena and Community Centre.
Zumba in Bayfield is back with a new instructor, Paulien Keys.
The fitness activity will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays for one hour starting at 7 p.m. at the Bayfield Community Centre. Classes are $10 per person with the second class free for any newcomers.
To learn more contact Keys at 519 440-9723 or visit her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/zumbainbayfield.
One Care offers many fun exercise and socializing opportunities in Bayfield. There is something happening almost every day! There is a schedule on the bulletin board by the library and more information available inside the library. Or call 519 565-2202 or 519 565-5638 for more information or to receive monthly information via the Wave to Wellness email.