Saturday, July 30, 2011

Backus Mills, Port Rowan

Back in the ‘70’s, our early tent camping days, Backus Mills,as it used to be known, was always a favourite for our whole family.

Having expanded quite a bit over the last few years it now hosts 164 sites accommodating rustic campers or larger RV’s. Seasonal sites are available in a couple of different areas with all of the sites being beautifully treed.

You can spend hours enjoying the incredible local wildlife displays in the Nature Centre and discovering the log cabins, gardens, blacksmithing sheds, various antiques, a one room octagonal shaped school house and other replicas in Heritage Village. There is a small church which is actually used for services and small weddings. The beautiful grounds surrounding the main house are a very popular site for engagement and wedding photographs. Quite a few sheltered areas provide privacy for family reunions or gatherings.

Backus Conservation Area offers a large range of activities for young and old.


Sitting quietly with pole in hand


to proudly showing off the catch of the day


or just enjoying the serenity


Wandering the grounds


Touring the mill


or exploring the other buildings


I did the math. In 17 years this car travelled 264 miles. Price of gas in 1953 was about 20 cents so this guy spent about 13.00 on gas in 17 years!

I told ya I did the math Nerd smile 

Unable to find a website, I did find the following info on the internet:

“A visit to Backus Heritage Conservation Area, a 502ha (1,240-acre) site, satisfies a curiosity for both natural and social history. A heritage village that emulates southern Ontario life in the late 1800s and early 1900s forms the best-known section of the park. It includes four buildings that were on the site when the Backus (originally Backhouse) family sold the property in 1955, plus a variety of other period structures relocated here by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority. The most impressive of these is a hand-hewn beam structure now known as the John C. Backhouse Mill. Wheat has been stone ground into flour in this building since 1798, making it Ontario’s oldest continuously operating gristmill. It is also one of the few mills close to the U.S. border hat survived the War of 1812. Another structure worth noticing is the large brick house, which was built by the Backus family in 1850 from clay found on the property. Restoration efforts have included repainting the interior in its original colours and reconstructing the veranda in 1996.”

This is the type of activity that both The Cowboy & I really enjoy on a  lazy summer afternoon, strolling the beautiful landscape, reflecting on our heritage. Finding the perfect shade tree to enjoy a picnic lunch, feeling extremely grateful for all that has been created for us.

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