Well, from Millbank to Midland where we came to have a look at a reconstruction of a 16th century Huron Indian village, as it would have been before the arrival of the European. It was quite interesting but what we weren’t told as we bought our tickets was that half the “village” had been wiped out in a fire some time before, so there was very little really to see.
Just inside the door of the shaman’s hut is this carved face.
This longhouse, also made of bark, was a storehouse for pelts, tobacco, baskets, food, wood for fuel, etc.
Interior of the longhouse
Here, beside the longhouse is an Indian game, I suppose much like our bowling alley of today. This would probably involve throwing stones from the open end to hit a target at the far end and would help to develop hand/eye co-ordination and hunting skills in the youngsters of the village. Beyond the “alley” is the village lookout tower, and other constructions for sheltering workers as they created pots or carvings etc.
Another carved face outside the longhouse.
Some broken pots made by Huron Indians in the past.
What a pity the rest of the village was destroyed. At the moment the Huronia Museum is still battling with insurance companies, so no further rebuilding can go on for now.
The museum itself not only houses artifacts of first nations people, but also of the town of Midland built by the European settlers. Here were all sorts of objects, to do with the lumber trade and the railway, as well as the social history of the town.
Of course there were more quilts, like this crazy patchwork one,
fabrics and dresses, decorated with hand-made lace, in some cases.
There was lots of machinery too but I didn’t photograph that – it was mostly rusty old stuff in heaps on the floor!!!
There was a section on native art, and this colourful painting depicts the story of Noah from the Christian Bible, as missionaries would have told it to the Indians in the 16th/17th centuries.
This is another piece of native art that I rather liked.
We left the museum and village behind to return to the town of Midland, passing the lake with its multitude of Canada geese grazing the shore for goosie goodies.
Of course Jean and I were in and out of the shops. This award-winning quilt for sale in a Midland boutique was going for CAN$1310, the most expensive one I had seen. It was beautiful.
Too big to bring home, I told myself!!!!! (too expensive, more like!)
and still 10 days to go! I’d be home by then. Shame actually! It might have been fun seeing how the north Americans do it!
And things were beginning to hot up for Christmas too. I liked this stylised reindeer!
So all too soon my visit with Jean and Jimmy was coming to an end. The next day I would be taking the train to Ottawa to meet the cousins I’d never met before, Gail and her brother Ken and his family. I was looking forward to that!
Talk again soon.