Friday, 2 July 2010

Oh Canada!

What an awesome Canada Day we had!
Adrienne and I decided to go visit Fort Malden yesterday for Canada Day. Admission was free and there were extra exhibits, along with an Ice Cream Festival right next door!

Fort Malden is a national historic site by the Detroit River. You can see remnants of the second fort built, the first one was Fort Amherstburg, by the British to defend the Canadian border from American attack in the first half of the 19th century. There are four buildings, including a restored and furnished 1819 brick barrack, as well as part of the deep ditches that were around the fort.

The brick barracks (circa 1819 - restored):

inside the barracks (which reminded us so much of our homeschool sleepover at Fort York a few years ago!):

Fort Malden is right on the Detroit River:

Fort Malden became an asylum for the insane in 1859 and this gorgeous brick building was the laundry and bakery for it. After the asylum closed, it was a mill until 1918 when it became a private residence. 
Since 1946, it has been the home of Fort Malden's artifacts. 

There were many interesting things to see, weapons, replicas of boats, and more. Here are a couple of our favourites.
This telescope was handcrafted and made in 1760, it was owned by Alexander McKee.

This exhibit explained that the ropes used for rigging ships and weighing anchors were made of hemp. Local farmers were encouraged by the government to grow hemp for this purpose, with cash incentives. In the photo, you can see a reproduction of the tree and the various sizes of rope that were made.  

Adrienne is holding the very thick and heavy, but surprisingly soft,  rope sample:

There were various types of cannons on the grounds too:

And a few other exhibitors. The canoe is called the North Canoe Water Panther:

You might remember seeing these at the Vancouver Olympic Games?
Adrienne is standing at the foot of the mountie one:

And here is a real mountie!

In the evening, the girls and I went to a little town close by to watch fireworks. It was a perfect evening, no clouds, and not too hot or humid.
I didn't take photos of the fireworks, but here is a quick little video:

Hope all my Canadian readers had an excellent Canada Day!

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