Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle

Winter/Spring 2016

Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine

Issue link: http://read.dreamscapes.ca/i/631317

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Page 16 of 47

WINTER/SPRING 2016 DREAMSCAPES 17 VILLAGE EXPLORATIONS Along both sides of King Street, several intriguing antique, craft, fashion and food shops beckon visitors. Century-old struc- tures such as the adjoining Village Silos and The Mill house feature works of artisans and local history exhibits. A Quilt Gallery, pot- tery, candy makers, original artwork and native gifts as well as a Maple Syrup Museum and Home Hardware exhibition are all worthwhile browsing. Located 120 kilometres west of Toronto, the settlement of St. Jacobs was established in 1852 where a sawmill and gristmill were erected on the Conestoga River. By 1894 elec- tricity became a practical reality with the village becoming the first community its size to provide surplus electrical power to illumi- nate streetlights. In 1904, it also became the first in Canada to use water-generated elec- tricity, replacing oil street lamps. Across the street from The Mill, the Farmers' Inn, constructed in 1852 by local Mennonite settlers, was a stop on a stage- coach route and offered food, shelter and watering troughs for horses. Today, Men- nonite horse and buggies and horse-drawn trolley tours have replaced the stagecoaches of the mid-1800s. The original village Home Hardware store on King Street has spawned more than one thousand retail outlets across Canada. To commemorate its 40 th anniversary in 2004, Canada Post issued a 49-cent stamp to the prominent independent hardware retailer. Various exhibits at The Mill trace the evolution of both the company and merchandise distributed over the years. Everything from bolts to bedpans and tools to typewriters were sold. Viewing the assorted artifacts, many of which are obso- lete and collectibles, brought back youthful memories of these household products. "Does the local Home Hardware store have a surplus of green paint since it is a tradi- tion for Old Order Mennonites to paint their OPPOSITE: Mennonite horse and buggies are a common sight in the St. Jacobs area. ABOVE: An exploration of The Mill, a former flour mill in St. Jacobs, reveals a number of fascinating exhibits among the shops and studios. Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

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