Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sunday Afternoon Drive

We headed out for a Sunday afternoon drive a couple of weeks ago, trying out our new GPS for the car, and learning a bit about its foibles!  Not entirely intuitive, but we did have a nice drive.

Our first stop was the little church at Leith, up on Georgian Bay near Owen Sound.  Now it's used for summer concerts, but it's very well maintained.  Do you remember why pilgrims stop here?

Tom Thomson's grave is here, the light coloured one on the left.  Thomson was perhaps Canada's greatest painter, at least the best known.  Google Tom Thomson and see some of his famous art.

Tragically, Thomson drowned in Algonquin Park at the age of only 39, in somewhat mysterious circumstances, a source of controversy ever since.  Several books have been written about the mystery.  Regardless of that, many of his famous paintings are Canadian artistic icons.

People who know of Thomson stop by regularly to leave small items to mark their pilgrimmage.  The grave reads:  "Tom Thompson, Landscape Painter, drowned in Canoe Lake July 8, 1917, aged 39 years, 11 months, 3 days".

On looking around I'm reminded that this graveyard is not just for him.  Many families must come here; some graves are recently decorated.  It's a beautiful, peaceful spot.

Quite a while later on our drive, we came to the tiny hamlet of Rob Roy (talk about Scottish connections today!).  There the Osprey Township Museum is in this old one-room schoolhouse.

I'd heard that this was interesting to visit, entirely maintained by volunteers, and only open on summer weekends.   The architecture is typical of many old one-room brick schoolhouses.

This one still has the belfry, though it could do with a coat of paint.  It even still has the bell in the belfry!

The inside is fascinating, set up mostly as an one-room schoolhouse would have been though they recently had an event here, so have tables set up in the centre instead of the old desks.  Manikins play the role of teaches, but I'm not sure why there were three of them.  My dad taught in a one-room schoolhouse like this about 80-90 years ago, so it brought back lots of memories of the stories he had told.

Meanwhile, we're enjoying a run of sunny days here; farmers are out haying as fast as they can go.  Our new house is coming along quickly now, the interior is being painted at the moment.


  1. Interesting post! Our GPS has some odd habits and has made me miss my turn several times.

  2. Aha, the studio room is on the way to being finished. Lovely church, and a memorial tribute to Tom Thompson. Yes, a peaceful place to reflect and remember.

  3. Forty years ago my husband taught in such a school. A life time ago now.

    Tom Thompson's grave is obscure. I guess his fame happened after his short life.

    Such a great excursion, FG.

  4. Hello, love the cemetery images and the pretty church. My hubby has a dislike for my GPS. I love roadtrips. Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!

  5. Thanks for taking me along, FG. It is an interesting old school! :-)

  6. You know you are welcome on your drives to come and visit us. You know where we are. :)

  7. beautiful captures although i have never felt comfortable in a graveyard myself!!! the gps in my car is horrible, we always use google maps on my iPhone, that has never let us down!!!!

  8. I knew he was buried in that area, but not precisely where. A fitting final resting place.

  9. I might have been, with an old boyfriend, I cannot remember!
    I enjoyed your tour, though.
    Summer will be gone soon. Enjoy each day!
    I thk I've seen a schoolhouse like that not too far from here, too. Well preserved.

  10. My mom also taught in a one room school house back in t 1930's. I really like the church structure and all the added design. Cemeteries like this one has a lot of history of many families of long ago. In a cemetery near our farm home the whole set of lots are east and west except for one family. They were all buried diagonally to the world stones sitting almost 45 degrees to the other. No one knows but maybe the farm family were the first to be buried there before the neighborhood of farms filled in to the area. The last grave dug there was in 1957.

  11. Lovely pictures of the church and school house.
    Some of the old grave stones here have the year, month and days too.
    Beautiful pictures of all the quilts on your previous post. Wow, the hours that must have been spent doing all that work.

  12. I googled Thomson and really liked what I found. Love the old one room schoolhouse...

  13. We have often visited cemeteries on road trips as some have been fascinating, especially the ikder ines. It's always amazing how a person's life was noted in years, minths, and days.