Ross Farm Museum Tour – Part 1

Last weekend we decided to take our girls to Ross Farm Museum in New Ross.  They thought that would be great fun, until they heard it would take about 2 1/2 hours to get there.  Not much for long drives, those two.  But, with the promise of wagon rides, we headed out for New Ross.

Michael and I had been one year, when we had gone to Mahone Bay for our anniversary before children had arrived, but never with the littles in tow.  We both love places like that, where history comes to life.

We stopped part way there for lunch in Hubbards at Trellis Cafe.  The brown bread that came with my seafood chowder was so very tasty!  { The seafood chowder was really good, too, big chunks of seafood – yummy!!! } A very neat spot to grab a delicious lunch, for sure!

Trellis Cafe

Next stop was the museum! The new building is beautiful!  Looks like an old barn, but with modern details.

Ross Farm Museum

The inside is bright and inviting, well laid out.  Of course, they had me at the buntings….

Ross Farm MuseumRoss Farm Museum

They have wonderful areas for displays in the new building and this trip, they had beautiful old quilts on display.

Ross Farm Museum

Ross Farm Museum

First stop on our tour was the school house.  They’ve got old school desks with a pot-bellied stove in the middle of the room and slates on the desks.  Amazing to think of learning in a setting like that!

Ross Farm Museum

Ross Farm Museum

There was a lady spinning wool from the sheep on the farm and she told us all about the process.  We got to watch her card the wool and then spin it.  She gave each girl a length of wool, twisted onto itself and they wore them as bracelets for the rest of the day.  They shear the sheep and use the wool on-site to make various things, just like people would’ve done in the years gone by.

Ross Farm Museum

Ross Farm Museum

Ross Farm Museum

The sheep on the farm are two different breeds, Cotswold and South Down.  These are heritage breeds that Ross Farm Museum received funding to breed so this heritage breeds continue to be around. The other animals on the farm are heritage breeds, as well.  The horses pulling the wagon were called Canadian, and the pigs are Berkshires.  I’m sure the chickens were heritage breeds, as well, but we never chatted with anyone about them.

Ross Farm MuseumRoss Farm Museum

This little lamb was one of two little ones who were born a couple night before our visit to the farm.  They are so tiny and wobbly, as they wander around their stall, looking for a snack and a snuggle from momma.

Ross Farm Museum

While we were there, they were shearing the sheep for their wool.  It took the guy who was shearing them about an hour to an hour and half to shear each sheep, using the old fashioned clippers.  They flip the sheep up on their hind ends and for the most part, they sit pretty calmly for the duration of the shearing….unless you get a feisty one!  He also shears sheep off-site, using electric clipper and it takes him less then 5 minutes a sheep.  Just goes to show how progress has truly sped up the process!

Ross Farm Museum

The house was also a hive of activity while we were there.  They were dying some of the wool, as well as spinning the wool with a ‘walking spinning wheel’.  I’m amazed at what they dyed wool with and the process it underwent to achieve certain colours.  Of course, it was all natural and dine the way they would’ve done it in the past.  The most astounding to me was the bright purple-pinkish colour.  That colour was achieved by fermenting lichen with urine in a sealed jar for 5-6 weeks and then using the resulting liquid to dye the wool.  Now, sounds gross, I know…but who realized that of you did that, you would get the beautiful colour?!?!?!  I can see how it started…I dare you to….and thus the colour was discovered?  Who knows!

Ross Farm Museum

Ross Farm Museum

I love seeing all the old utensils and tools they would’ve used.  They have the nicest little scenes set up, in the house, but even in the barns.  I love going to a historical place like this with my camera and try to capture some of these scenes.  Sometimes the lighting isn’t the best and I come home with blurry pictures.  But, I see the value in this history and of the need to preserve our past.  Time moves on so quickly and we are left looking back  at a blur, not unlike some of my captures from our tour.  But with places like Ross Farm Museum and other museums throughout our province and our country, our past is documented and held at its value.

Ross Farm Museum

I’ll share the rest of the museum in the next blog post.  I didn’t realize I took so many pictures!  But, like I said, I find it so interesting!

To be continued,

Lori