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Saturday, October 5, 2019

Opening historic doors and places in Dutton Dunwich


   One-Tank Trip for Oct. 5/19

   (c) By Jim Fox

   City slickers can discover what small-town living is all about as Doors Open takes place in Dutton Dunwich.
   The community between London and St. Thomas with 3,800 people is one of the final two stops in this season’s Ontario Heritage Trust program.
   Concluding this month with five communities, the cultural tourism initiative opens the doors, gates and courtyards of “the most unique and fascinating cultural sites.”
St. Peter’s Anglican Church built in 1827 is one of the oldest churches in southwestern Ontario.
    It highlights exceptional spaces of heritage structures “reflected, valued and conserved for future generations.”
   Dutton Dunwich opens the doors of 10 buildings and historic sites with free tours on Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
   It’s called a “unique opportunity to explore and enjoy hidden and interesting places,” by Deputy Mayor Mike Hentz.

    Come on in
   - St. Peter’s Anglican Church (Lakeview Line) in Wallacetown was erected by the first settlers of Tyrconnell in 1827.
   It’s one of the oldest churches in southwestern Ontario and has numerous architectural highlights.
   The nearby cemetery is the resting place for many early pioneers and their descendants including Colonel Thomas Talbot, the land speculator responsible for settling newcomers throughout southwestern Ontario.
The Backus-Page House Museum built in 1850 can be toured during Doors Open.
    - Backus-Page House Museum (29424 Lakeview Line) in Wallacetown was built in 1850 and is operated by the Tyrconnell Heritage Society.
   It’s located in picturesque John E. Pearce Provincial Park on the Lake Erie shore.
   Visitors can enjoy the Mary Storey Wetlands and Spicer trails, heritage gardens and the historic barn and outbuildings.
   The museum’s period rooms tell the story of the Backus and Page families and changing exhibits showcase local communities.
   - Crinan Community Centre (13568 Dunborough Line) in Dutton Dunwich is a former schoolhouse and Sunday school.
   Known for hosting picnics, concerts and holiday celebrations, the building was bought by the Crinan Women’s Institute in 1965 and has since been a community centre.
   The chalkboards and original floor grate remind visitors of the building’s original use.
Arched doorways of the main-floor entrance to the upstairs highlights the Lumley store.
    - Lumley & Company General Store (8979 County Rd, 14) in Iona is a two-storey building constructed as a store in 1888 for James Owen and Mary Lumley.
    It has been a telephone switchboard office, gas station, post office and antique store.
   There are distinctive rounded Italianate windows and arched doorways of the main-floor entrance to upstairs apartments that will also be open.
   - Lucas House (29480 Fingal Line) in Wallacetown, circa 1883-84, is a two-storey dwelling constructed of granite and limestone boulders and dressed stone.
   It has paired window openings with a central pointed-arch window, paired cornice brackets and fieldstone construction and was owned the Lucas family for 85 years.
   - Other sites to visit are Duff Presbyterian Church; Iona Hall; Memorial Hall; St. Stephen’s Anglican Church and cemetery; and the Sifton homestead.
   “There is a lot to be proud of in Dutton Dunwich and this is an excellent opportunity to explore,” said Mayor Bob Purcell.
   Start at any site and self-guided tour maps are available at each location.

   Happening now
   Other Doors Open events today (Oct. 5) are St. Thomas, Oxford-Woodstock and Lincoln.
One of the most-popular Doors Open events is the “sold out” tour of the Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station.
  
   The final event of the season is Niagara Parks on Oct. 26 that’s already sold-out for reservedtickets to tour the Canadian Niagara Power Generating Station in Niagara Falls.
   For details on all events: www.doorsopenontario.on.ca

   -30-

   Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
   For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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