Bonnechere Museum | Eganville Ontario

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Bonnechere Museum News
193 Sand Road, Box 275
Eganville, Ontario, Canada,
K0J 1T0

Aug 13. Introduction

If you visit White Water Country, but wonder what life was like before rafting, where would you find out? You could tour the Ross Museum in Forester's Falls. If while attending Renfrew's Lumber Baron Festival, you begin to wonder why this town honours the giants of the square timber past, where would you learn about such a background?

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Aug 27. Frequently Asked Questions

Many people are showing enthusiasm for our museum and are asking a wide range of questions.
The following is a FAQ; that is, a list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers.

What is an artifact?

An artifact is anything made by human work or art. The museum's main function is to collect, preserve, and display local historical artifacts.

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Sep 17. History

Following the disastrous 1911 fire, the federal Department of Public Works constructed a beautiful stone public building for the Post Office in Eganville. Files from The Eganville Leader of 1982 and 1991 provide some information on this 1912 structure, the future site of Bonnechere Museum.

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Oct 1. Renovations

The main display area is open. The next task is running electrical wiring. While this proceeds, installing some gyproc, plastering joints, and touch-up plastering can get under way. The removed partitions left spaces and rough sub-surfaces, which will need some carpentry to close. Reusing some of the saved moldings will unify the surroundings. At this point, cleaning and painting can begin.

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Nov 5. Update

Robert Burns might not have had Renfrew County, Ontario in mind when he wrote these lines. However, his feelings of freedom, individualism, and loyalty to the land live on in the hearts of the many hunters who will take to the woods this week and next. Love it or hate it, the annual deer hunt is an important tradition. There is a place for hunting records and a set of trophy antlers in Bonnechere Museum.

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Oct 22. Expressions

Tamarack'er down on the red pine floor!

Many of us remember the dance hall called Sunnydale Acres on Lake Dore, or Royal Pines at Higgison's Hill. Some of us know how to tamarack'er down as the fiddle plays and the caller shouts, "partners for a square." Only a few may know why it was "on the red pine floor." A red pine floor was considered a hard surface; tamarack was even tougher. If you've listened to a step dancer slap the floor, you get the idea easily. The Ottawa Valley has its local sayings, many of which are connected to work and play, to logging and rafting - timber rafting, that is. Wouldn't if be fun to see these expressions collected and recorded in Bonnechere Museum?

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Dec 17. Wishlist


"I got to go home with the lad who brung me." Liza Boland of Killaloe remembers hearing this local expression at a dance in Germanicus. Liza was one of several who contacted me about Ottawa Valley expressions. Irene Foran Dooling sent a wonderful booklet of expressions used in her family. I'll just put a few fornenst one another here or you'll be wonderin' what kind of riggin' I am altogether for not sharin'. I'm sure you'll twig to each one. At Christmas dinner, if someone says "I bar the right leg", you'll know that that person has placed dibs on a turkey leg and you are honour-bound not to claim it for yourself. If you are told to "Take off your hat and stay a while," it's not referring to a teenager wearing his cap backwards in imitation of his southern brothers, but instead a welcoming invitation to visit.

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Jan 14. Artifacts

It is better to give than to receive. The phrase has different meanings depending on whether you are still thinking about Christmas, or the Acts of the Apostles, or income tax, or Bonnechere Museum.

It's time for artifacts.

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Feb 18, Fences and roads

Horse High, Bull Strong and Skunk Tight

One of the first duties of a rural council was to appoint at least two people to the important position of Fence Viewer. Their function was to determine what was a lawful fence and impose fines as required. A lawful fence had to be HORSE HIGH, BULL STRONG AND SKUNK TIGHT. (Taylor Kennedy, as found on Al Lewis' internet site.) Our area has many kinds of pioneer fences: stump fence, split rail fence – often called a snake fence, round log fence with bunks – sometimes with wired pickets holding bunks in place, stone fence, stone fence bottom and log top for height. Later types were the straight wire fence, the barbed wire fence – often combined with a stone or log fence, and paged wire fence. There are, of course more modern ones such as electric fences and radio collar fences. The older ones still have charm. Many people travel the Opeongo Line just to see the traditional fences.

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Mar 11, Photos

Is Himself in?

There are so many expressions we treasure!  Since my father was clerk of the township and had his books and office in our home, and since I was the youngest, I was often the one to open the door for a visitor, although I was never quite sure whether it was to be a business call or a family visit. I knew it was business if the visitor asked, “Is Himself in?” Sometimes when I answered the phone, I was asked, “Is it Himself? There were other variations too.  If you had a flu or a sick bout that left you looking a bit pale and wan, a kind relative or neighbour might say, “Is it Yourself? My gawd but you look awful!”

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Say a little prayer for Father Dowdall

This was a favourite line spoken by Jim Foy in the concerts that the Parish of St. James the Less used to present annually around March 17. If he himself or a fellow performer forgot a stage line and created a pause that was a bit too long before the prompter tried to restore the flow of dialogue, Jim would insert this line, “Say a little prayer for Father Dowdall” The line was an inscription on a plaque in the grotto of the former St. James. In the way Jim spoke this line, it might sound like an appeal for assistance directly to the spirit of the great cleric who served in Eganville from 1981 – 1914, or it might sound like an assurance that all was well if under his protection and rescue would be imminent. It seemed the audience enjoyed this “fill line” as much as they would have the regular dialogue.

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