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Heritage awards a highlight in Two Days About Yesterday event

Elizabeth Crombie, Alexandra Bake, with PEC Mayor Robert Quaiff, Stewart Murray, Steve Campbell and Peter Lockyer.

Community members who dedicate significant effort to the rich history and heritage of Prince Edward County were honoured on Saturday.

At the opening of the second annual Two Days About Yesterday celebration of history and heritage, Mayor Robert Quaiff and members of the Prince Edward County Heritage Advisory Committee presented four heritage awards in recognition of preservation of history.

“We are recognizing champions within our heritage community today,” said Quaiff who presented the awards with Peter Lockyer, chairperson of the PEC Heritage Advisory Committee.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Steve Campbell for his extensive commitment to the promotion of the heritage of Prince Edward County.

Journalist, and owner of County Magazine for the past 40 years, Campbell is known for celebrating the people, places, history, humour and unique culture of Prince Edward County through his magazine and books.

“The publication is a fixture of Prince Edward County life that has opened its arms in support of many County authors,” said Quaiff, “In addition his Prince Edward County – An Illustrated History, book (with Janet Davies and Ian Robertson) published in 2015, continues to be one of the most popular local history books.”

“We’ve covered a lot of material over the past 40 years and we’re extremely proud of unearthing piles and piles of history from Prince Edward County and exploring our heritage and culture,” said Campbell.

He noted the magazine’s pride in being able to capture the legacy of so many County writers. “It has never been a one-man show. There are so many people… I always like to say heritage is people, too. It’s not just the amazing things we’ve built. Every time we meet together – at a quilting bee, a yard sale, or an event like this, we are exploring our heritage and traditions.”

Responsible, with her family, for the construction, restoration and adaption of several downtown Picton buildings – including the Edward Building, the former Lipson building now Books & Company and the Gilbert and Lighthall building – Alexandra Bake received the Conservation of Built Heritage Award.

“We’re guardians for a short time of these buildings and they are here to represent us,” noted Bake.

Honoring active involvement in many organizations as a board member and financial supporter of great places that make the County unique, Elizabeth Crombie was presented the Heritage Awareness and Advocacy Award. She was a prime organizer of the annual Christmas House Tour , now in its seventh year, that raises thousands of dollars in support of the County Community Built Heritage Fund that in turn awards grants in the community for preserving built heritage.

Crombie noted the committee’s tour and fund “help bring awareness to the community of how important it is to preserve the County’s beautiful archtectural history and to give people ideas… and strength from that to go ahead and save places they wouldn’t have thought about saving before.”

The tour was inspired by the sudden demolition in 2010 of the 135-year-old Methodist Episcopal Church next door to Crombie’s real estate office in Picton. The demolition was named in the top 10 worst losses of 2010 by the Heritage Canada Foundation. (See ‘They Tore Down the Church on Sunday’ timeline here:

The Preservation of Cultural Heritage Landscapes award was presented to Stewart Murray, president of the Hastings and Prince Edward Land Trust organization which purchases significant wetlands and natural habitats, and conducts scientific research and education programs related to sustainable land management.

“It means a lot for our volunteer-based organization to receive this recognition and support of all community groups we work with to save natural and cultural heritage,” said Stewart. “We are currently working to save 140 acres being donated in Ameliasburgh adjacent to the cemetery to help protect wetlands and streams into the Sawguin Creek Marsh and will also help protect access to the cemetery in perpetuity. We are also looking to purchase property on the south shore of Prince Edward County.”

Lockyer thanked those who attended to celebrate the remarkable work of citizens in the community.

“All things heritage cross our desk,” said Lockyer, of the PEC Heritage Advisory Committee’s volunteer membership. “It’s wide-sweeping but things like designations of buildings – almost 90- , many of which are municipal buildings such as museums and there are another 200 properties listed as ‘significant buildings’. Part of our work is to get a current inventory and photographs. We also handle heritage permits, which is the controversial part of our job from time to time. These are issues we are working through.”

Mary Sinclair, of The Glenwood Cemetery, speaks with Marjorie Bedford about the fascinating history of Glenwood captured in two books by Margaret Haylock Capon – The Field of Glory and Hearts We Leave Behind.

The brainchild of Prince Edward County Historical Society president Steve Ferguson, the second annual Two Days About Yesterday builds on the success of the inaugural event last year.

Saturday also featured public exhibits in the Wellington arena to promote the history and heritage of the region.

Lana Lockyer and Elizabeth Crombie at the Christmas House Tour / Built Heritage Fund booth.

Guided tours of local heritage sites and audio/video presentations by history and heritage experts were also featured.

New this year was a panel discussion entitled “Heritage Property Designation: What You Need To Know” moderated by Ken Dewar, that involved local experts discussing various facets of property designation including what the process involves and how to go about getting a property designated.

John Brebner, gave a demonstration on the preservation of heritage materials through digital processes

Speakers on Saturday included history re-enactor, Wendy Daxon, also an expert in heritage textiles and clothing, who spoke about The Impact of Social Change on Costuming; and John Brebner, who talked about the preservation of heritage materials through digital processes.

Due to its popularity in 2016, another tour of Camp Picton allowed participants to learn about the history of the one-of-a-kind site, and see inside some of the buildings. Another tour saw visitors at the c1872 Glenora Fisheries Station adjacent to the Glenora Ferry dock. Participants also toured Royal Road in South Marysburgh guided by David Bentley, of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (Quinte Branch) who explained the significance of the heritage properties on Royal Road. Local entrepreneur and heritage expert, Alex Fida, conducted a tour of three restored County properties including his own House of Falconer at 1 Walton Street in Picton.

Kasey Rogerson, a volunteer with the County’s 225th celebration, handed out buttons and told visitors about events that will celebrate the County’s 225th anniversary this year – including a picnic in July and the unveiling of a commemorative barn quilt.

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