Kawartha Settlers' Village
by Festival Nomad, Gary McWilliams
The Village Is Always Changing
The following is an excerpt from the Kawartha Settlers' Village website. The land that the Village is located on was once the Murphy Dairy that operated from 1900-1938. It is now a fascinating collection of historic homes and buildings, operated by the Kawartha Region Arts and Heritage Society. "Kawartha Region Arts and Heritage Society promotes and fosters community spirit in the Kawarthas and organizes cultural, educational, and recreational events. The Kawartha Settlers' Village Museum collects, researches, preserves, exhibits and interprets a collection of historical artifacts and buildings dating from 1830 - 1915."
"The following is a description of our tour of Kawartha Settler' Village"
It’s funny that in all the years and times that we visited Bobcaygeon, we've never visited the Kawartha Settlers' Village. The Bobcaygeon Wine & Food Festival was about to change all that! We first heard about the festival from Carly Poole who sent us information about this festival and asked if we would like to attend. With invitation in hand we left Cobourg and wound our way through familiar back roads to the village of Bobcaygeon. We found a convenient parking spot and made our way to the main entrance to Kawartha Settlers' Village. We were instantly hit with a warm transformation of time and period from the rustic fences to views of historic buildings nestled on mature beautifully landscaped grounds. As we wound our way along the dirt path our view took us to a massive tent and tons of chairs. These were awaiting the day's guest speakers and demonstrations. A fantastic picture with the backdrop of the Murphy Barn. As we took in the scene, to my surprise and delight, was none other than my new “BFF” Dave Devall. Dave, as you may remember, was the long-time weather guru at CTV in Toronto. We introduced ourselves and I was delighted to have my picture taken with Dave. With all the thousands of people Mr. Devall meets, I was surprised how he took the time and interest to hear about Ontario Festivals Visited and how we support and promote Ontario’s wonderful festivals and events. After the “photo shoot”, we decided to explore the Village itself. It is dotted with interesting historic buildings on lush grounds. You can see our photo’s below with “captions”, each telling the story of the settlement.
After traveling through the Village it was time for a break to watch one of the guest speakers, Shari Darling, “The Sophisticated Wino”. Although there was a huge crowd, the audience listened intently to Shari. She told us the purpose of having a “clean pallet” and how to “pair” foods and wines. Such descriptions as “offset only when have hot & spicy or same sour/bitterness”, “equal levels in sensations of sweet with sweet … if not the wine will taste flat”, and “round out sweet Thai curries with chips”. I am NOT a “wine guru” so to be sure of the correct wording and advice.. After the “Wino” presentation we strolled again through the Village and were drawn to live music from a pair of guitarist that were very skilled and entertaining. We visited other tents that had been set up throughout the village including one that housed a large table of “silent” auction items. We stopped to talk with Jamie Lamb of Country 105 music radio station just before we took our "great" seats in anticipation of Chef Corbin Tomaszeski's presentation. Chef Corbin, you may recognize from the Food Network’s Restaurant Makeover program. We had previously seen Chef Corbin at the Norfolk County Fair, but this time we were much more "up-close and personal". Dave Devall had the honours of introducing Chef Tomaszeski. Chef Corbin also had a “captured” audience immediately and made us all laugh along with his funny quips such as … “fluffy” – a fancy term used in describing his cooking; “compto” - no explanation given; "crapola" being “yucky” or "not so good"; “Guckonapron” being “never wants to see yucky bloody mess on aprons”; and “funky white plates” being part of Chef Corbin’s description of what a meal is all about … “Looks, presentation, aroma and texture!”. Sadly his presentation came to an end all too soon! It was getting late in the day, so we took our leave of the Bobcaygeon Wine & Food Festival. It was a great day of enlightenment about wine and food with the added bonus of experiencing and exploring the Kawartha Settlers' Village.
Kawartha Setters' Village has a number of special events that are held throughout the year. Here is a list of events that was available at the time of writing this article. CLICK on the underlined events below to read our Ontario Festivals Visited articles.
June - Settler's Day
July - Bobcaygeon Art Festival
July - Driftwood Theatre
July - Caygeon Carnival
July/August - Summer Camps
August - Bobcaygeon Wine & Food Festival
September - Harvest of Quilts
October - Haunted Village
November - Festival of Trees
You can visit the Kawartha Settlers' Village website for current event information. (LINK)