Cottage Shack Articles Museum Articles Museum Initiatives

Woodrow Farm Day Event

A brief history of the Woodrow Farm Day event

(Save the date for this year: July 15, 2023)

by Patricia Turnour

To view the original article and others visit the Cottage Shack magazine.

Reflecting upon the past gives us the determination to begin anew.

Our most popular celebration, the annual Heritage Day, once known as Olde Tymes Day, has a new name: Woodrow Farm Day. Through this change we honour the pioneer family who settled the museum property. Our overall “farming” theme recognizes the hard work and determination of all the folks who braved the wilds of what we now know as Canada. The Woodrow family certainly fits this bill.

Looking back at the many memories we have shared over 40 plus years of this special event, it is easy to see that it has annually been the highlight of our summer.

The day’s activities used to begin with an inter-denominational church service and hymn sing. The tranquil location beside the Coldwater River provided such a wonderful setting that local churches did not hold services in-house, but instead invited all worshippers to come to the museum. Ministers, organists and choir members took turns hosting the event. One was moved to tears as together we sang Amazing Grace in this serene, historic place.

Following the church service we enjoyed a lunch of hamburgers, sausages, salads and homemade pies. We are now partnered with the Coldwater Lions Club, who will be providing the repast this year.

On the lawn, by the entrance to the homestead, our museum president and I, as curator, formally greet the assembled guests. Local dignitaries welcome visitors and offer their best wishes.

Over the years we have used this opportunity to share with our community many of our accomplishments and future plans. This year we have a very special announcement to celebrate. Watch this space!

Our entire site will be abuzz with music, demonstrations and activities for all ages. Children will enjoy everything from face painting, crafts and games to the old-fashioned schoolhouse experience. A singsong and puppetry will entertain young and old alike.

For many years, Herb and Helen Black brought their loveable sheep and were assisted by some enthusiastic 4-H members. We hope to continue to attract local farmers and their livestock. We love having a huge variety of chickens and some miniature horses graced our mini-fall fair last fall.

Typically, one of our “resident” farmers, Doug Binns tows around various pieces of vintage equipment. He is regularly seen on our 1950 Ford 8N tractor pulling our 1930s hay loader. Our threshing machine, seed drill, road grader and hay tedder would also be observed taking a spin around the property. The Ramara Historical Society also brings interesting farm implements for display and demonstration.

Our eager co-op students are busy all around the grounds giving guided tours to guests. However, many guests prefer to simply wander the grounds on their own, at their leisure. And that is perfectly okay.

A “must see” is the re-enacter. His tents, equipment and costume reflect a by-gone era. He camps on the site for two days. The life of a 19th century land surveyor is one of the roles he portrays.

Through the years we also have hosted car groups, motorcycle clubs, steam engine enthusiasts and blacksmith demonstrations. Although some activities come and go, we remain true to our agricultural and historical roots.

What this very special event will look like in the future is impossible to predict. But we have optimistically penciled in the date of July 15, 2023. Perhaps it will have a new-fashioned twist on an old-fashioned favourite. So, save the date!

Cottage Shack Articles Museum Articles Museum Initiatives

Community Fun Days Announcement – March 17, 2022

By Patricia Turnour

To view the original article and others visit the Cottage Shack magazine.

For the last two years, the world has been anything but normal and it is unclear what the end normal will look like. Old, time-honoured traditions may take on new looks. CCHM board president Richard Jolliffe and I admit we are somewhat apprehensive about the future. How, after the pandemic, do we get back in step with out activities and events? Looking forward to the 2022 season is exciting, if somewhat daunting. Even so, we are going forth with an aggressive plan of action. Optimistically, our board of directors and committees are working with a variety of community partners and friends to put our plans in place.

Last summer, our programming was constrained by the government-mandated protocols of Covid 19 that were so stressful and time-consuming for everyone. All our regular events had to be put on hold due to gathering restrictions. CCHM was, however, able to open for precooked, small group tours.

Additionally, Linda Wilson, one of our directors, and I put our heads together to design and launch a new weekly event that would reach out to the local citizenry. Tuesday Community Fun Day emerged.

Linda has wonderful handiwork skills and I am a retired school teacher. The result of our collaboration was a day that encouraged adults to come and learn new skills. It was also advertised as a date to experience the museum to socialize, and demonstrate one’s handiwork. A group who shared ideas, patterns and technique soon evolved. Even my two co-op students mastered the skill of rug hooking. The gazebo provided an ideal setting for the group – a pot of tea completed the ambiance.

We hope to attract even more crafters in the coming season.

Because we wanted the day to have a family feel to it, parents and grandparents were encouraged to bring along youngsters to do crafts and to experience a “pioneer” school day. Although it started out slowly, very soon we were welcoming between 30 and 40 kids each Tuesday. Occasionally we found it difficult to accommodate everyone in the schoolhouse, so a “crafts” tent was erected where the co-op students taught the children a variety of crafts – corking, beadwork, paper bag puppets, whirligigs, butterflies and hand turbines to name a few. The children rotated among the different activity centres.

In the schoolhouse, groups under My tutelage experienced the routines of a “typical” pioneer school day. At recess they were introduced to old favourites such as Farmer in the Dell, Ring Around the Rosie, I Wrote a Letter to My Love and A Tisket (a) Tasket. Time was also spent singing songs and performing with puppets. The students practiced printing and cursive writing, read stories and studied the ABCs.

A quick trip around the museum sometimes attracts an audience watching my “pupils” walking in a line holding a long role.

The new playhouse is a favourite of the younger children. Whether playing with Lincoln logs, Lego, a tea set, stuffed animals or reading a storybook, a fun time was had by all.

Although some families came for a few hours only, many made a day of it. A welcome sight it was to see many people picnicking on the grounds. This summer, the picnic area will be expanded to accommodate additional tables currently under construction by the A-Team.

Thanks are due to “home schooling” groups that attended our Community Fun Days. Their positive feedback was encouraging. I hope to see all of these youngsters again this summer, and perhaps some new faces.

Stay tuned to our website as we begin to advertise this and other events and activities. The weekly Community Fun Days are being shifted to Thursdays (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), the first scheduled for July 7, 2022.

We hope to see you there!

Museum Initiatives Museum Updates

New Community Event!

You are invited to join friends at the Coldwater Canadiana Museum beginning on Tuesday, July 27 anytime between 10 am and 3 pm. We want to start a new reoccurring event called “Canadiana Community Days” on the Museum grounds every Tuesday from July 27 to August 31.

No admission fee required and the picnic area is always open. Plan to get together with old friends and meet new ones as you practice your craft at your local Museum.

All Crafters are invited to bring a project to work on, a chair, and a lunch if you wish. Some craft materials will be available to try. Free basic instruction by experienced crafters may be offered.

Accompanied children are welcome. There will be activities in the schoolhouse and playhouse.

All Content Museum Initiatives

Fund The Foundation!

Notice what’s wrong with this picture?


Our beloved Woodrow homestead is sinking on one side! The Woodrow homestead, which was built in the 1800s, is in need of a new foundation.  Without this restoration, the homestead walls will become damaged causing the homestead to be unusable which would be a tremendous loss to our museum and the entire Coldwater community. 

To prevent this, WE NEED YOUR HELP! The cost to restore the homestead will be huge, especially as a volunteer-run museum.  We are running a GoFundMe campaign and would be honoured if you supported our cause of preserving Coldwater’s history. 

Click below to find out more and to donate.


Donate through Canada Helps.

For either donation, you will receive a tax receipt.

Thank you for every donation. We really appreciate it.