A Bruce County Community | Ontario | Canada
by Gary McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad)
"Oh Canada Eh! Game ~ photos taken during our visits to the Town of Southampton."
My first memory of Southampton was when I was about 4 years old. My parents owned a cottage in Southampton and brought the family to it during the summer. It had been a McWilliams cottage for many years.
"Welcome to Southampton"
Although I don't remember it, my brother and older sister told me that they tried push me off the Southampton pier and to drown me. They were both quite a bit older than me and thought that I was "cramping" there style. Go figure, how could a "cute" 4 year old do that! Fortunately a neighbour came to my rescue just in time! I think that my parents weren't too impressed and they both lost a lot of their privileges! So much for my early memories! The next summer my parents sold the cottage and we started to go to Halibuton area for summer holidays.
"Down towards the water"
My next recollection of Southampton was when I was a few years older. My parents decided to take a trip from our home in Toronto and travel back to Southampton. They wanted to check out their old cottage. Somehow they were able to get inside the cottage to look around. My two most vivid memories of the trip were 1 inside the cottage and the other the Southhampton beach.
My memory of inside the cottage was odd. The inside of the cottage was old and musty, but there was an old "handwound" Victorla sitting an a wooden table. I remember my Dad winding up the phonograph and putting the stylus. The music was "interesting"! The beach, however was beautiful and awe inspiring. Little did I know back then, that I come the area to live (Kincardine).
The downtown area of Southampton is very historic. The town, consider the "oldest port on the Bruce Coast", was initially settled in 1848. The Walker House, then a hotel, has been hosting residents and visitors since the 1860's. It is now a popular restaurant.
"Historic Walker House"
Over the years, Southampton has become an amazing vacation town. As I mentioned, the McWilliams family started vacationing in Southampton in the early 1900's. All the family enjoyed their years visiting and exploring the area. I can only imagine what it was like, when the old family came to town. My father had 11 brothers and sisters! They has BIG families back then!
"Exploring downtown Southampton"
When you drive around the town today, you'll discover some stunning homes. Now many of them are permanent residence. But in older days they were likely cottages for wealthy families (not ours!).
One of the most interesting and unique attractions in Southampton is the Chantry Island Lighthouse. The Chantry Island Lightouse was completes on April 1st, 1859 and has helped sailors navigate the waters near it, since then.
"Chantry Island Lighthouse"
To get the best view of the lighthouse, its best to go to the Chantry Dunes.
"Welcome to the Chantry Dunes"
The Chantry Dunes are an amazing natural ecological beach that help control sand erosion that would result from the winds that flow over Lake Huron.
"Walking through the Chantry Dunes."
Going back to Southampton brings back so many memories ~ as a child, as a youth and as an adult. I know that there is a very good museum in Southampton, the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre. I intend to go there to visit the past!
"Down memory lane!"