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Spencerville Mill Heritage Fair


by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams

Return to Spencerville...

The last time I was in Spencerville it was cold, I was wearing my winter jacket and Judi was back home in Cobourg. Actually, she wasn’t in Cobourg, she was at Christmas by Candlelight at Lang Pioneer Village. This time it was different! Not only was it warm, but I had great company with me. Both Judi and our trusty English Springer-Spaniel, Dusty accompanied me on this trip. We were off to the Spencerville Mill Heritage Fair. Our exploration began at the historic Spencerville Mill.

Back In Time...

As we drove to into the Mill’s parking lot we were greeted by a solid line of red! It was the Brockville Infantry Company. The Company had gathered to hear the proclamation by Spencerville’s Town Crier (Lawrence Levere). They had lined up in a straight row and were in the process of recruiting young men to join their ranks. A few brave souls stepped forward including a young man in overalls and bare feet. The sergeant tried to dissuade him but the young man insisted that he be allowed to join the ranks! The sergeant finally relented and let him join the ranks. The seasoned soldiers, along with the new recruits, lined up and marched down the road. The whole scene was a great kick off to our enjoyment at the Spencerville Mill Heritage Fair. At the end of the proclamation the Company saluted the Town Crier by firing a shot from the Cannon. Poor Dusty almost jumped out of her fur. The Johnstown Gun Crew and the Company and Spencerville Sedentary Militia provided all of this extra excitement!

Spencerville Mill Plus...

After we watched the soldiers march away, we went into the Spencerville Mill where we witnessed the Mill in operation. The Mill was a gathering place for both event volunteers and visitors alike. Other events were taking place throughout the town including antique appraisals provided by generous donors who gave their knowledge and time. The monies collected for these appraisals went directly to the fundraising efforts for the Mill. After exploring the Mill, we decided to stroll through the downtown area. Some kids and “kids” welcomed us at the corner of the downtown. They were inviting visitors to join in the fun up the road that day at the Sunny Acres Barnyard Zoo’s grand opening. We were delighted to see a beautiful horse drawn wagon providing carriage rides to the visitors. We also enjoyed viewing local historic artifacts in the Town Council Chambers of Spencerville’s Joe Lawrence. It was pleasant wondering through the open aired historic market in Spencerville where tents were set up displaying antiques, heritage craft work. The folks were dressed in period costumes and doing demonstrations. What I didn’t know was the Spencerville Heritage Fair was having a Victorian period costume competition. They gave great prizes for the most authentic women or historic man and more. (Next year we will dress up, even Dusty can wear an historic bandana!) The evening started with a scrumptious Roast Dinner at the Masonic Hall including great sounds from the Sage Brush Country and a Country Dance at the Town Hall. The music was provided by an exceptional fiddle-based band from Eastern Ontario, the Riverthieves. It was nice to spend a “warm” afternoon in Spencerville Mill Heritage Fair!