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Read: Adventures in Grey Bruce! By: Norma Grafe...
Once upon a time, in 1873, a baby girl named Helen Letitia was born in Chatsworth, Ontario. She was the youngest daughter of a farmer. Times were very hard back then. Nellie, as she became known, went to school for only 6 years. She didn’t learn to read until she was 9 years old. Back then, “persons” in the eyes of the law were only men. Women weren’t considered to be persons. They didn’t have the right to vote or to run for public office. Married women had no rights to property.
But then came a great war. World War I called many of the able-bodied men away to fight. Of course, at that time, women were definitely not allowed to fight, so they had to stay home and keep the economy going, which meant going out and working outside the home. By this time, Nellie’s family farm had failed and the family moved to Manitoba, but Nellie was determined to make women’s lives better. She eventually became a member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. She constantly pressed for women’s rights and, along with 4 other women, Irene Parlby, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Emily Murphy and Louise McKinney, formed the Famous Five. These women put forward a petition, less than 100 years ago, to allow women to be included as “persons” under the law. It wasn’t easy. They took their fight to the highest authority in the land, and eventually won their fight. Women were now “persons”. This fight is embodied in the Famous Five statue on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and in a plaque dedicated to Nellie Moonie McClung on the west side of Hwy 6, 1 km south of Hwy 40, Chatsworth, Ontario.
Fast forward to 2019. Women are now public officials and property owners and entrepreneurs.
Let’s get an early start at Keady Market at 117012 Grey Road 3 in Tara, Ontario. The market opens at 7 am and goes to 2 pm. You will find livestock auctions, as well as over 250 vendors (both men AND women), selling everything from produce to deli meats to crafts and everything in between. The market is laid out like a little village, with treasures to be found in every alley!
From Keady, take Grey Road 3 south and turn left on Sideroad 2 until you get to Highway 6. Turn right and, less than 20 minutes from where you started in Keady, you’ll arrive at Williamsford. Keep your eyes peeled on your right. What used to be an old mill is now Great Books and Cafe. For the book-worm, the whole building is filled with used and local books of all genres. Pull up a comfy chair and browse, or visit the cafe for some great food. We’ve heard that the burgers are awesome! The ladies there will take great care of you!
Head back up north on Highway 6 for just a block or so, and check out Williamsford Pie Company. Known throughout the region for its pies (including pizza pies!), this building used to house a hardware store and still houses the local post office! Locals stop in to pick up their mail and to enjoy a morning coffee and pastry! Pick up a pie to take home with you!
Let’s keep heading north on Highway 6 to Chatsworth. This is where Highway 10 and Highway 6 converge to continue on to Owen Sound. On the other side of Chatsworth, keep a watchful eye out for Grandma Lambe’s fresh food market, to pick up some apples to munch later! Mabel Lambe began to sell apples out of her garage in Meaford. The business grew and she enlisted the help of her daughter-in-law Grace, and introduced baking to the business as well as apples. It’s still a family-run business, which Grace oversees from her Meaford location. Another success story for 2 local women!
Up to this point, we’ve only been snacking, so save your appetites for Kettle’s Back Home Kitchen, just north of Grandma Lambe’s on Highway 6. A popular eating place, where you’ll find a pleasant atmosphere, home-made food and reasonable prices!
Let’s walk off all that food! Take Highway 6 north to Rockford and turn left at the lights. At Inglis Falls Road, turn right. Continue and turn right at 2nd Avenue SE. Turn right at 1st Street East. A slight left will take you into Harrison Park, the jewel in the crown of Owen Sound. Harrison Park is an urban dream, with more than 40 hectares of streams, trails, gardens, playgrounds, forest and green space in the heart of Owen Sound. The park features dining and recreation facilities, a full-service campground, boat rentals, a bird sanctuary, mini-putt, basketball courts, a pool, and an open-air rink. Its network of trails connects directly with the Bruce Trail, the longest footpath in Canada, which will take you to Inglis Falls, just south of the city, or the Centennial Tower, one of the highest points in Owen Sound. There is a small waterfall, Weaver’s Creek Falls, accessible from within the park.
Finish off the day at one of the many hotels and B&B’s to choose from. Take a 4-minute drive north on 2nd Avenue East in Owen Sound to the Best Western Inn On The Bay. Or choose the Comfort Inn at 955 9th Avenue East. Only 10 minutes away, you could also be charmed by Between the Maples B&B at 2344 3rd Avenue West in Owen Sound!
As you drift off at the end of the day, think of how far we’ve come since 1927, to where women are now “persons” and can even buy houses!