Daniel Stong's Second House

Daniel Stong's second house at Black Creek Pioneer Village. Holly Cawfield Photography
Stong Second House

The view seen standing on the veranda of Stong second house at Black Creek Pioneer Village.  Holly Cawfield Photography
View From The Veranda

The kitchen of Stong second House at Black Creek Pioneer Village.  Holly Cawfield Photography
Stong Kitchen

Light on the top of a butter churn at Black Creek Pioneer Village.  Holly Cawfield Photography
Butter Churn

A wood carved bowl and a pottery bowl on a very old table at Black Creek Pioneer Village.  Holly Cawfield Photography
Bowls In The Morning Light

Good Morning

Quilts & Nighties

Modern Conveniences

Blanket Box & Basket

Mortar & Pestal

Miss Nancy a.k.a. Mrs. Stong


The Old Dash Churn

The first churn in use was the old dash churn. It has not as yet been altogether superseded, although newer styles, that are much easier to operate, have to a very large extent taken its place. It is doubtful, however, whether any of the new-fangled kinds make the butter taste any sweeter and richer than that made in the old- fashioned way. Possibly this was because of the labor required to produce it. How patiently did the women, with their capacious calico or linen aprons tied around them, stand beside the old-fashioned churn, and stomp away at the cream until the oily globules were gathered into a mass of golden butter.

The first indications that the butter was coming was the heavy sound the cream made as it thickened, and the ring of butter which gathered around the hole in the cover through which the handle of the dasher passed. When the cover was raised, to see how the churning was progressing, you could see the dasher and sides of the churn covered with cream and flecked with little pieces of butter. Sometimes hot water was poured into the churn to raise the temperature and make the butter come more speedily. When the cover was removed for the last time and the butter taken out with the big wooden ladle, the children could be seen gathering round with CUPS for a refreshing drink of buttermilk.

When the women were too busy to attend to all the dairy matters themselves, they would place a big apron around one of the small boys or girls, stand them on a stool and get them to do the churning. This was labor to us children, and the time would drag wearily until aunt came, examined the milk, and pronounced the churning finished. Our weariness was soon dispelled, however, by a thick slice of fresh bread and butter.

So much for such homely work and its rewards, which, perhaps, the critical reader may not consider worthy the time bestowed upon describing. But it must be recorded, as we have undertaken to be the faithful chroniclers of the times and of the doings and manners of the people of whom we write, the early pioneers of Canada.

Pewter and Crockeryware

In the early days, china, porcelain and glassware being very expensive, as all articles of that character had to be imported from the Old Country, pewter and crockeryware were quite common among the people. Occasionally there might be seen a few pieces of china, as, for instance, a sugar bowl, cream pitcher, or teapot, ornamenting the mantel, which were kept as cherished heirlooms in the family, and perhaps were owned by some great-grandmother who lived in the colonial times of New England, or belonged to some remote ancestor in the Old Country, who lived 150 or 200 years before.

Fifty and seventy-five years ago, even, there was not nearly as much porcelain ware to be seen among the common people as now, many of the dishes, cups and spoons being made of pewter. Although most of the farmers had a set of earthenware dishes, yet, for fear they should get broken, many of them supplied their children with pewter cups and plates; and if we went far enough back to the scant days of the early pioneer times, when dishes of any kind were still scarce, we might occasionally see some of the children all eating out of the same dish of soup or porridge set up in the centre of the table, and no doubt, it tasted just as good as if each one had had a portion in a separate bowl. Milk and water pitchers and the six-penny and shilling (York) crocks for holding the milk were made of crockery ware. 

A few horn spoons were to be seen, especially among the Scotch settlers, who used them for their porridge. Spoons and plates made of. wood were also hi-ought into requisition. Pewter ware was not easily broken, and was, therefore, the most economical kind to use. If the hunter happened to be out of bullets he would often take the broken spoons, etc., melt them in an iron vessel and pour them into the bullet moulds.

Pen Pictures of Early Pioneer Life in Upper Canada

The Fireplaces

A conspicuous part of the old farm house was the large red brick chimney containing the fireplaces, one or two on each floor, built up from the ground, the lower part being of stone. Very often they were built on the outside, but against the house at the end. A crane, with a number of hooks for hanging the kettles on, swung back and forth in the kitchen fireplace. Here was done all the cooking for the family, and although not to be compared with stoves as a means of heating, our forefathers enjoyed the comfort of the old fireplace. It was, indeed, a cheerful sight during the long winter evenings to see the family seated around the fire, with the light from the burning logs illuminating their beaming, healthy, happy and satisfied countenances,—the men-folks smoking or reading, the women knitting or sewing, the children listening to stories of bygone days, which were being told them by their mother or father, or the aged grandmother, grandfather or perhaps by some stranger, who might be, for the occasion, enjoying the hospitality of their home. 

The appurtenances of a well-equipped fireplace were the hand-bellows for blowing the embers into a flame, the tongs, the long-handled shovel, the poker, the spit, for roasting fowl over the hot fire, the fire irons or andirons (sometimes called fire dogs), for placing the sticks of wood on, so that they would burn more easily, and the fender in front of the fireplace. On the mantel over the fireplace were placed the brass candlesticks and some of the family ornaments and bric-a-brac.

Great chunks of wood were burnt in the fireplace, the largest, called the "back log," being placed behind. The back log was sometimes so large that in some of the primitive houses it was drawn into the house by a horse. About the large kitchen chimneys, in winter, hung squashes to keep them from frost, and guns, to keep them from rust. In front of the chimney, on poles suspended from the ceiling by cords, hung chunks of beef and venison, and strings of apples to dry. Sometimes pieces of meat were hung up to dry inside the capacious chimney itself, far enough away from the fire to prevent them from being roasted, and yet not far enough for them to become blackened by the smoke.

Pen Pictures of Early Pioneer Life in Upper Canada

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