Another blustery evening nearly 140 years ago …

Trawling through old issues of the Thorold News appeared this story from early October 1875 about attending a “peach festival” event at Beaverdams Church.

Peach Festival cropped


In addition to the description of intense weather lighting the way to the church, one of the most notable details in this rather lengthy account is the reception on the second floor of the church where “delicacies of the season were laid out in capital order.”

On Wednesday [September 29, 1875] we received a warm invitation to go out to a peach festival that evening at the Methodist Church, Beaverdams. On expressing a doubt as to our ability to be present for want of means of locomotion, we were kindly informed that teams would be waiting at the Methodist church in town at seven o’clock, to take out any of the townspeople who would be willing to patronize the entertainment.
Seven o’clock came, and found us at the rendezvous. The night was dark and wild looking, and fears were expressed among the little knot of patient ones waiting at the church door that the attendance would be rather small. The teams were soon at hand, and off we started. When we got fairly on the road, we began to take stock of our company, and found it consisted of five ladies, four gentlemen and one boy, beside the driver. Our company should have been a very safe one (but the sequel did not prove so), as there were no less than three out of four gentlemen life insurance agents. On we were driven, the night growing darker and darker, and it was a relief to us when we saw the well lit chapel in the distance, a token that our journey was nearly at an end. We were just beginning to congratulate ourselves on the safe completion of our journey, when lo! In the act of turning the last corner, down went the left side of our wagon into a ditch. Then the ladies began to scream, and make a hullaballoo. Fortunately, however, the horses stood still when checked, and no one was hurt, but the ladies were considerably frightened. The church was reached at last by walking the remainder of the distance.
 On entering the church we were warmly welcoming by the Rev. Mr. Preston. After waiting a short time till the audience had somewhat gathered, we ascended to the upper room where the feast was laid out. Here delicacies of the season were laid out in capital order. After doing ample justice to the good things we returned to the body of the church, when the Rev. Mr. Hawkins took the chair, and the following programme was carried out: —Anthem, “God is the refuge of our people,” Choir; recitation, “The Model Church,” Mr. Hawkins; solo and chorus, “Silver Threads among the Golden,” Mr. McGlashan; recitation, “Pass it on,” Mr. Preston alto solo and chorus, “Dear Lord, accept this heart of mine,” Miss — and choir; address, “Choosing a life partner,” Mr. Brian; solo and chorus, “Autumn Leaves,” Mr. D. McGlashan and choir; address, “Improving the leisure moments,” Mr. W.H. Bone; anthem, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” choir; concluding anthem, “Saviour, breathe an evening blessing.” Rev. Mr. Preston returned thanks to all who had taken part in the evening’s proceedings.
We must say the arrangements were well carried out. Great praise is due to the choir, which, under the able leadership of Mr. D. McGlashan, of Fonthill, discoursed such sweet music during the evening.
 After the evening’s entertainment had concluded, we sallied forth in search of the team which had brought us, but the night was so dark that we could not see a finger-length before us. At last, by the help of the vivid flashes of lightening, we found our team and were soon on the homeward road. The rain poured down in torrents for the greater part of the road, but we reached home all safe somewhere about twelve o’clock.

And, as today, the roads leading to this historic site are almost unnavigable!


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