The original Fanshawe Pioneer Village Storefronts were constructed by founding Curator Wilfrid Jury in 1960-1961 from materials reclaimed from historic structures throughout London and Middlesex. The Storefronts featured the Wrigney Harness Shop and Soper Gun Shop (both early London businesses), and a Barbershop and Millinery store. Due to severe deterioration of the roof the Storefronts closed to the public in 2003 and were dismantled in 2010. They are one of the most missed attractions at the Fanshawe Pioneer Village!
Thanks to the generous support of our funders, the Historic Storefronts will be returning to the Village next year, just in time to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary. The addition of a Tinsmith Shop, a Harness Maker/Cobbling Shop, and a circa 1915 “Rotary Office” will complete the “Town of Fanshawe” streetscape. The construction of a fully accessible boardwalk linking the Storefronts with the Denfield General Store and the Print Shop will ensure all our visitors can enjoy the exhibits and programs offered within.
Shovels are in the ground, the foundation is poured and the walls are going up! Here is a sneak peek of the progress to date, and stay tuned for updates as the construction continues this fall.
We are quickly approaching one of our most popular “new” events here at Fanshawe Pioneer Village - A Day for the Dogs - on Sunday, August 14th. Sadly, our collection contains little that has to do with dogs or even pets in general, but I did manage to find a related artifact that has a fascinating story to tell!
What you are looking at is a reversed image of a print block used to make labels for a product called “eff-eff”; a flea and lice powder for dogs, cats, and foxes, produced by The french Remedy Company, Ltd., of Victoria, British Columbia.
Dr. Cecil French was a British-born veterinarian who made a fortune selling pet medicines and used the unusual archaic spelling of his family name on his products. He had been a brilliant scholar at McGill University in Montreal after which he established a successful veterinary practice in Washington, D.C., including treating President Teddy Roosevelt’s dogs.
In 1917, at the age of 45, he joined the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps as a captain. While serving with the No. 2 Canadian Veterinary Hospital he was asked to compile the history of the corps. This resulted in “an anecdotal and sometimes colourful account” entitled “A History of the Canadian Army Veterinary Corps in the Great War, 1914-1919”. The book...
“Stitches: Our Textile Traditions”, is the latest exhibit in the Trillium Gallery, located in the Spriet Family Visitor Centre here at Fanshawe Pioneer Village. The purpose of this special exhibit is to explore and present the rich tapestry of textile arts that exist in our community. Beautiful pieces loaned from local individuals are showcased alongside selections from the Fanshawe Pioneer Village permanent collection to demonstrate the richness and diversity of textile arts across history and cultures. Take, for instance, the three crocheted doilies in the photo below. From Ethiopia, Portugal and early 20th century London, all pieces employ the same technique and star pattern.
The items displayed below also illustrate how textile themes and motifs carry across history and cultures. These three crocheted decorative coverings all feature flower motifs. Two from the Fanshawe Pioneer Village Collection (lower left) include daisy-like embellishments, while the one made in Bhutan (rear left), depicts a flower resembling a rhododendron, of which the country has over 46 species. The two “Good Luck” textile pieces demonstrate how sentiments and traditions carry over time and space. The decorative stitched vase ( rear right), was a parting gift for Mangali Gurung from her daughter when she left Bhutan for her new home in Canada three years ago.