We had a very diverse morning. Our first stop was a bank in Uxbridge to top up the wallet with some cash. Beside the bank was a statue of Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel S. Sharpe and a plaque about his sad end by suicide suffering with ‘shell shock’ (now known as PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
There must be a carillon in the old libray building because the bells were playing a tune while we were in the bank.
We stopped at the Uxbridge Historical Center. They had a small museum display and, as usual, we saw a few things we had never seen before.
There were 10 buildings on the grounds, but they were all locked so we could not go in. I think they only open them for a tour. We were not told there was no access but we were happy enough to wander around. I wanted to stop here because it was a Quaker community and thought there may be some interesting things to learn.
Fifth Line United Church. Erected 1870
Quaker Hill School.
Victoria Corners Hall from 1856. Sometime in the past few years a large tree fell onto this building. The back is all covered in tarps. It will be a major undertaking and expense to restore it.
I was a bit shocked to see the maple leaves turning colour already.
A few kilometers up the road we stopped again; to see the Foster Memorial. Thomas Foster, a local man who made a fortune in real estate and became a politician had the mausoleum built for the burial site of his daughter Ruby, who died at age 10 from pneumonia, his wife, who died from either cancer or tuberculosis, and himself, who lived to the ripe old age of 93 and died in Toronto.
The mausoleum was inspired by the Taj Mahal and much of the interior design is reminiscent of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.
There are six types of marble, imported from France, Italy, the USA. The building was supposed to cost $125,000 but ended up costing $250,000.
The gold letters around the base of the dome say, “Take this my body, for it is done and I have gained a new life, glorious and eternal.”
Many of Thomas Foster’s relations are buried in the cemetery next door. It was originally called Zion Cemetery, but the name was changed to the Foster Cemetery. Chester McDonald, the eldest son of “Anne of Green Gables” author Lucy Maud Mongtomery is also buried here.
L.M. Montgomery lived for fifteen years in the manse of the Presbyterian Church in Leaskdale a few kilometers up the road from the Foster Memorial. She was married to Ewan MacDonald, the minister. She was already a successful novelist prior to moving to Leaskdale and wrote 11 of her 22 books while living here.
After the MacDonald’s moved the Township of Uxbridge bought the house and rented it out for many years during which time it became very derelict. In 2006 the Lucy Maud Montgomery Historical Society bought it and spent five years raising money and restoring the house. It opened to the public in 2011. Most of the furnishing are period pieces but there are a few original things, like her hope chest in the main bedroom that was donated by her granddaughter.
Maud took many photos of the various rooms in the house and also wrote about her life in the manse extensively in her journals so the Society had quite a lot of information about how rooms were decorated and furnished as they worked to restore it.
Daffy was the cat. The maid had to leave her upstairs bedroom window open every night so the cat could come in when it wanted.
The photos are of her mother, who died when Maud was young, her father and her two surviving sons, Chester and Stuart. Her middle child was stillborn. She named him Hugh.
She hated the dining room. It was too small, had too many doors and she wrote in her journal:
Some of the toys in Chester and Stuart’s room.
This beautiful spread was knit by a local woman without a pattern. She made it based on photographs of one that Maud had knit.
The church was a few doors up the street and on the other side of the road.
This life-size sculpture of Lucy Maud Montgomery sits in the church garden.
Maud claimed the space at the top of the stairs for her sewing room and from the window she could see her boys come home from the school across the street. The school is gone now but the beautiful brick farmhouse that was owned by the Leask’s for whom the town is named, is still there. The gravel road between the old school property and the farm house was one of Maud’s favourite views and the town has never paved it.
We found a few geocaches along a side road after we left Leaskdale and then had our lunch. After that it was a three-hour drive to Owen Sound.
Tomorrow we plan to drive up the peninsula to Tobermory, which we have been told is a nice area, and then putter around some of the nearby countryside.