All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Friday, December 8th, 2023

Community party celebrates Princess Amelia’s 240th birthday

Story and photos by Sharon Harrison
A procession fit for a princess was the scene Saturday with a fine birthday party held in honour of Princess Amelia’s 240th birthday.

For a lady of some significant years, Her Royal Highness, Princess Amelia, was looking remarkably good for her advanced years, as she, along with her sister, Princess Sophia, gracefully strolled the grounds, cordially chatting to mere mortals of the public, graciously engaging with the people, happy to pose for photographs, which they did often throughout the afternoon.

The pleasant afternoon of fun, games and activities was held with beautiful weather at the lovely Ameliasburgh Heritage Village location welcoming many for the celebratory festivities, because it’s not every day a girl turns 240 (her birthday is Aug. 7).

“This was really the brainchild of the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre (MAGRC) as they have wanted to celebrate Princes Amelia’s birthday for a couple of years now, but of course, 240 is a nice round number,” said Jessica Chase, Curator with County Museums.

The community birthday party of free activities – and lots of birthday cake – began with a royal procession led by the two official princesses (aka local actresses Maddy Colton (Amelia) and her sister Bree Colton (Sophia), along with a contingent of younger princesses (many of whom dressed the royal part), and others, who paraded around the site in royal fashion or in period costume, for all to enjoy.

Sisters Princess Sophia (Bree Colton) and Princess Amelia (Maddy Colton)

The princess sisters, in character throughout, played their parts well, sharing pleasantries with the people, accepting official bows in some cases and being referred to as their royal highnesses, although Princess Amelia did acknowledge, while the weather was pleasant, she found it a little hot for a princess, despite holding a parasol to shade the sun.

For those unfamiliar, Amelia is the namesake for both the village and the township (ward) of Ameliasburgh in Prince Edward County as Ameliasburgh was named after Princess Amelia, the youngest daughter of King George III. Ameliasburgh was once known as Seventh Town.

Princess Amelia was only a year old when the township was named after her, according to Chase.

A scavenger hunt proved popular as children (adults too) had to find the answers to questions related to the heritage village and the special birthday girl, ensuring many of the different structures on site were explored.

Once the answer sheet was complete, participants were encouraged to visit the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Research Centre, just steps away across the road, to pick up prizes.

Volunteers were kept busy at the MAGRC as scavenger hunt participants picked-up their prizes, as well as birthday cake.

For those children named Amelia, MAGRC handed out birthday cakes for each to take home… at last count, six had been distributed.

Slices of cake were also on offer at MAGRC to those still in need of a sweet treat, this time to mark the birthday of Marilyn Adams, the woman behind the creation of MRGRC after her untimely death in 1990. Adams would have turned 89 on Aug. 3.

The idea to have several locations open in the village with activities during the museum’s main event came about as a result of the formation of the Ameliasburgh Heritage Hub, about two years ago, which includes a collection of core heritage organizations in Ameliasburgh, according to Chase, who worked collaboratively to host events.

The hub consists of the Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, the Marilyn Adams Genealogical Reseach Centre, the Quinte Educational Museum and Archives, the Al Purdy library branch, and the Al Purdy A-Frame, although Chase notes that other groups have been part of hub occasionally too.

“All within short walking distance of each other, the idea behind the hub is when one group is having an event, try to loop the other ones in and see if you can have a presence,” explained Chase, who noted the idea came from local historian Peter Lockyer.

“We have Christmas in the Village and events that are already on-going in Ameliasburgh, so we thought how can we enrich those and connect with everybody before an event goes on to see what they can bring to the table.”

“MAGRC they thought wouldn’t that be a great opportunity for the hub to do something truly as a unit and not just try and boost one of the partner’s events, but truly make it a hub event and have things happening at multiple locations in the village as well,” continued Chase

“It just helps move bodies through the village experiencing new things. And, of course, from our perspective as the museum, it’s a chance to have in the middle of the summer, not a school tour or related event.”

Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, located on County Road 19 in the village of Ameliasburgh, is a historic village containing a number of unique and many authentic buildings, all of which were open to the public Saturday, where folks were encouraged to take the self-guided tour of the site.

“Because we are so dependent on volunteers too, we don’t have the luxury of necessarily having the village as animated as we would like on a day-to-day basis, so these special events give us the opportunity to really animate it to its full potential and it provides a much richer experience for the visitor,” explained Chase.

The blacksmith hard at work inside the forge

Folks could explore the Blacksmith’s shop (and the blacksmith doing live demonstrations in the forge), the carpenter’s shop, the honey house, the sugar house and general store, or the school house among the many buildings with doors open for exploration.

The Jake de Vries Natural Heritage Exhibit was also open to the public to explore, and is a taxidermy collection of the life work of the late Jake De Vries, which includes bears, birds, moose and so much more.

Along with the scavenger hunt, the afternoon brought lawn games, there were dress-up opportunities and photo-ops too with some notable historic Ameliasburgh figures at the princess photo booth, and the nearby library provided storytime for the very youngest visitors.

A busy craft table of princesses making crowns

A craft table where the little ones could make their own golden crown, embellished with colourful jewels, proved just as popular for many visitors.

Chase explained that site curator of Ameliasburgh Heritage Village, Janice Hubbs, organizes core events for the museum throughout the season, such as the loyalist re-enactment at the beginning of the season, and heritage day which happens in September (which this year is going to correspond with the Ameliasburgh Fair weekend).

“So that bookends the season, so we are thinking what can we do now, and so it was the perfect time to get everybody together for this – and who doesn’t like birthday cake!” she said.

With Ameliasbrugh having so much going for it with Roblin Lake next door which is great for swimming, Chase said “to bring people to Ameliasburgh is a real pleasure for us, it’s a boon for us, as this is a site that unfortunately doesn’t necessarily benefit from the gentrification of other areas of the County, or the other amenities the County offers, yet it is so rich in heritage, and getting people out there is good”.

“We can’t be more happy with the turnout, especially for the first season, it s a winner!” she said. “I am very impressed with the number of children for this first incarnation, so we might decide to make Princess Amelia’s birthday an annual event…that might happen.”

Filed Under: Arts & CultureFeatured ArticlesNews from Everywhere Else

About the Author:

RSSComments (1)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Donna says:

    This is just wonderful!

OPP reports
lottery winners
Elizabeth Crombie Janice-Lewandoski
Tony Scott Sharon Armitage

© Copyright Prince Edward County News 2023 • All rights reserved.