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Rediscovering the ‘Delhi district’

The community rediscovered Picton’s Delhi “district” last week as the Friends of Macaulay Heritage Park presented an afternoon of education, fun, games and served up a giant cake celebrating Rev. Macaulay’s 218th birthday.

A self-guided walking tour of Delhi began at the river bed on the property, to York Street to see The Curates House circa 1835 and over to The White Cottage, circa 1825,  at 36-42 Church St., is believed to be the oldest structure still standing in Delhi. In 1829, it was the home of William Macaulay and his first wife, Anne Geddes, until they moved into the Macaulay House in 1830.

Because of flooding in the spring which damaged rental properties in the area, Macaulay and his land manager Mr. Mortimer decided to divert the river underground.
Len Viggoda, who lived in the area in the 1940s and 50s shared his recollections at the event. He remembered the York Street School at 17 Pitt Street where neighbourhood children were taught until moving to the new Queen Elizabeth School in Picton in 1969.

“The school had a stream that ran under the playground. the stream started on the Jerry Bond property, now Macaulay Heritage Park, and ran west under the school yeard to the creek feeding into Picton Harbour. The passage way of the stream was always an exciting challnges for the boys to crawl under the road in the stream bed and exiting on the back of Ed Duetta’s property. This was always frowned upon but was a right of passage ritual.”

The walking tour travelled along Union Street featuring the location of Mullholland House, the Court House and Jail, Mrs. Furlong’s Store, the McKee House, Herrington Grocery and Macaulay through the graveyard.

Macaulay Heritage Park includes the old St Mary Magdalene Church, constructed between 1825 – 1830; the adjoining Rectory, an elegant Georgian building restored to the 1850 period; the surrounding cemetary, gardens, orchard and out buildings.

Rev. William Macaulay had inherited 500 acres in what is now Prince Edward County and used his wealth to finance the construction of the church and influence the development of the Town of Picton. The church now houses changing exhibits on local history and the Rectory interprets daily life of a prosperous mid-19th century family.

Filed Under: Arts & CultureLocal News

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