Before we headed to St. John this morning we went over to King’s Landing, which is SW of Fredericton. King’s Landing is situated along the Wolastoq (St. John River), and is a 300-acre museum that is home to over 70,000 artefacts and full of costumed characters, farm animals and 70 historic buildings. The museum opens in June each year and closes at Thanksgiving. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from 10 to 5. Over 100 people are employed to keep the village running, about half of them play the roles of the people that had the businesses, like the blacksmith, or lived in the homes. They speak as if it is about 1860 and will tell you about ‘their’ family that lived in each of the buildings.
All of the buildings come from an area upriver on the St. John that was lush farming country and villages but was flooded by a dam in the mid-1960’s. There are many buildings, churches and schools now underwater. Some farmers lost generational farms by the flooding.
King’s Landing is huge. It is in two parts, the upper section which was the original location and the lower ‘village’ which has the majority of the buildings. There are two or three horse-drawn wagons that go from the top to the bottom all day and you can hop on and off anywhere you like.
They host special events throughout the season, plus Hallowe’en and Christmas.
This awesome willow branch moose was a project of the New Brunswick School of Design in Fredericton.
We had an awesome day. We arrived a few minutes after opening at 10 and caught the second to last wagon to the entrance at 4:15. We wandered into almost every building; I think we missed only 3 and had some very interesting chats with the ‘residents.’
The lady in this house was waiting for her biscuits to finish cooking and had half-made molasses cookies ready to go in the oven when the biscuits came out. A young man and woman arrived at the back door who had brought her some firewood so she gave them a cold glass of water and a piece of cake she had made yesterday.
The dog’s name is Finnegan. He is a working dog at the museum. His job is to chase the Canada Geese from the property and when his is not doing that he rides on one of the taxi wagons.
Just before we left the school teacher arrived to talk to the missus.
This is one of the buildings we did not get to. It is a sash and door factory. We also missed the grist mill (which was not working) and the stone house.
The woodworker was about to make the legs for a table he was working on. He made his toolbox that is on the floor beside him and had several projects to work on throughout the summer. Many of the items that the staff make are put into the end-of-season auction. All the men and women in the buildings are full-time paid employees. Most are retired or semi-retired from other jobs and work at the Landing to earn extra money or to work in a skill or trade they enjoy.
This young stallion is going to sire the Landing’s next horses.
This fellow sired all the current horses so he can’t be used on any of the mares because they are all related, so he was gelded last week and they bought a new stud.
These young ox calves are three months old and are already being trained to work together. They are always led around the grounds tied together so they will automatically work in step when they are hitched to wagons or plows or whatever. Today was the first day they wore the wooden yoke that will later be replaced by harness. They will not be fully grown until about two, but could be working before that if they are strong enough. They were born the same day to twin momma cows. The Landing held a contest to name them and I forgot the name of the one the lady is leading, but the other one’s name is Buckwheat.
The Landing has a photographer that records things at the village for advertising and promotions and social media. She took lots of photos of the calves today.
Every house has a garden and there is also a large village garden. The King’s Head Inn uses the produce for the menu, and the some of the staff takes it home as well since they have so much. Every house in that period would have had a garden so to keep the property as authentic as possible they plant a garden at all the properties. One of the gardeners was having a lot of fun making this scarecrow coming out of a tree.
I took only a few photos of the many, many rooms we toured today, but I did love this four-poster bed. All the drapery and linens and quilts are made at the Landing by the staff. As are all the costumes they wear. They have a design and costume shop that researches styles and fabrics and makes – by hand or old period sewing machine – all the clothes worn on the site.
His and hers outhouses.
Only two churches were saved from the flooding of the dam -this one, which is Riverside Presbyterian and St. Mark’s Anglican.
This scarecrow is guarding a garden and a plot of flax. The lady of the house will break it into fiber and then have it spun into yarn (her house was not big enough for a spinning wheel).
The man in the print shop showed us all the steps to set type and we learned the origin of some popular expressions in the process. All the letters in the different sizes and fonts were kept in a large cabinet. The capital letters were on the top and the small letters were in drawers underneath: therefore ‘upper case’ and ‘lower case.’ Lines of type were called ‘sorts.’ When you put all the rows of type into a frame and fill it you are now “out of sorts.” An image placed among type (such as a picture of a person in a Wanted poster, is called a chase. If you need to remove it you “cut to the chase.” When you have all your sorts, or lines of type set into a frame, called a phrase, you are “filling out the form” and when you have the phrase full and it is ready to set in the press to print you lock all the lines and corners with a type of key mechanism called a ‘quoin’. Thus you ‘quoin – or as we spell it – coin a phrase’. After you have inked your press and put the initial paper into it you “make your first impression.”
About two o’clock we made it to the King’s Head Inn and enjoyed a delicious lunch.
As we were leaving these men were singing a capella. Lovely voices. And they sang a song about animals and mixed up the animal desciption and the animal name all the time and had a little boy correct them. He never missed a single one either. It was very cleverly done.
When this hook rug is done it is going to be placed at her backdoor.
My mom made braid rugs like this out of fabric scraps.
The blacksmith had designed a beautiful ornate wrought-iron gate and was busy filing the verticals. The gate will be put in the fall auction.
St. Mark’s Anglican Church and the Perley farm.
I had never seen a table loom. She was making a guitar strap for the man that runs the theater and when it was done she was going to make suspender straps for another of the men.
This large loom was in the attic. The lady had been working on this turquoise and purple and blue bolt of fabric for a couple of years.
The broom lady made over 100 brooms last month. She makes scrub brushes and children’s brooms and several sizes and different types of brooms. They are made from sorghum straw.
This is the man that runs the theater. Every once in awhile he goes wandering and singing down the village lanes. One of the ladies I was speaking with said you will know who he is when you see him, “He doesn’t have an ‘inside’ voice.” Haha.
Walking into this house the last few weeks must have been fabulous with all the wild roses in bloom. There were only a few left and it still smelled wonderful.
I took this shot from the wagon we were riding back to the entrance. The two wagons will make two loops of the site to pick up people to get them to the front before the park closes. Last call for a wagon is 4:30. If you miss it you have a long hilly walk back before closing at 5.
It was an hour and a half drive to St. John from King’s Landing. As usual we took the back roads and we saw our first covered bridge in New Brunswick. Still no moose though.