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Westfield Heritage Village: Picnic in the Past

Jack-o-lanterns lining trails winding through the woods along the Westfield Heritage Village perimeter are both charming and a little creepy. But that’s Halloween and these pumpkins along with some scarecrows mark not just the walking path, but the fall season.

Westfield Heritage Village, open April to October, celebrates summer with events throughout the season such as a civic holiday weekend ice cream social and Textile Day in August. But Sundays in October are reserved for winding down until the site closes for another year, and goblins merely accent what’s important: history.

This 130-hectare Hamilton Conservation Authority site in Rock- ton, Ontario is about bringing early Canadian culture alive. The living museum, opened in 1964, is a collection of 35 historical buildings restored to specific decades ranging from 1775 to 1925 and staffed with costumed interpreters.

Centuries resided side-by-side. A colour-coded map directs visitors from the living conditions in the late 18th century to the early 20th. For instance, the Queen’s Rangers’ Cabin, built in 1792, was originally located in Dundas and is one of the oldest cabins in Ontario. Many of the buildings have been moved to the site for preservation. Others, like the Victorian-style Hardware Store, are replicas.

Popular is the 1896 Jerseyville Railway Station that once saw trains travelling between Hamilton and Brantford pass by its doors. Today, it’s known as the station featured in the Anne of Green Gables movie and television series.

Wooded trails surround the village, dogs are welcome and there’s a designated picnic area so bring your own and make a day of it. Sundays all buildings are open, but not on weekdays.

Sherri Telenko is a freelance writer and blogger living in Southern Ontario. Sign up for travel ideas at www.dogtrotting.net or follow her on twitter @SherriTelenko.


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