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article imageGoing back in time at Toronto's Scarborough Museum Special

By KJ Mullins     Mar 27, 2012 in Travel
Scarborough - Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto. With two homes capturing the days of yesterday the historical buildings are a favorite of school children in the area.
Every week during the school year students come to the Scarborough Museum to learn about early Toronto living. The two homes show how our ancestors lived in early Scarborough. With knowledgeable tour guides the early days comes back to life. For young students much of this history comes hands on as they learn how to churn butter and make home-made ice cream just like their great-great-grandparents may have.
The property was first owned by David and Mary Thomson, who lived in the area from about 1798. The gardens were once vast farmlands with crops that allowed early residents to survive. Today the kitchen and herb garden are filled with plants that were common to life when the first settlers came to the town right outside of Toronto.
The museum is home to the McCowan Log Cabin, the Cornell House and the Hough Carriage Works.
The McCowan Cabin was home to Willie McCowan, an early farmer. Although he never married his farm is the size typical of a larger family. Artifacts of the era (the mid-1800's) populate the home.
One of the most interesting pieces is a tin confectioner's oven. The oven would be placed in front of the fireplace and roast using the reflection of the tin. A roast would typically take about three hours to cook in it.
Another feature of the home is the bed. The term sleep tight comes from this time. The mattress was supported by a series of ropes. Each night before retiring each of the ropes would be tightened so that the mattress didn't fall onto the floor. Sleeping tight meant a good night's sleep.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto.

Some t...
Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto. Some types of toys that would have been used by boys in 1900
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
The Cornell House shows how a large upper class family from the early 1900's would have lived. The large home has four bedrooms that housed the Cornell's and their ten children. The boy's bedroom was the first room at the top of the stairs because the young males of a home would get up early to perform the first chores of the day, from bringing in water to setting the fire.
Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto.

The qu...
Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto. The quilt is made from fabric scraps. The dresses on the bed are what women would have worn during the Victorian Era.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
The girls bedroom was off of their parent's room. The reasons for this were twofold. It was typical for the girls of the family to get up in the middle of the night when their infant siblings roused. The other reason was for when they were older. The attached room made sure that a family's girls remained pure until marriage.
Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto.

The di...
Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto. The dining table would be decked out in nice china although it did not have to match, common during the Victorian Era.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
The kitchen was on opposite of the rest of the first floor's living spaces. During this period, the Victorian Era, the dining room was the area where upper class families splurged on with pretty mismatched china and other pieces of art. One of the pieces were often a draft screen, two pieces of glass that the lady of the house would decorate with pretty leaves and flowery petals. The piece would be placed in front of a window to stop a draft but was mainly in place so that the matron of a home could show off.
Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Set in the beautiful greenery of Thomson Memorial Park is the Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
In the kitchen is the family's phone. During this era Scarborough had about 3,000 residents with phone service. The service was a party line with roughly 30 families per number. Each family had their own ring but that didn't stop people from listening in on their neighbours to get the latest gossip.
The living rooms during this period held the family's entertainment pieces from books to musical instruments. During the long winter nights families would relax with music.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto: Families arrived from Europe with many trucks. Some homes had a room ...
Scarborough Museum in Toronto: Families arrived from Europe with many trucks. Some homes had a room set aside for them.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Scarborough Museum in Toronto.
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
Scarborough Museum in Toronto
Scarborough Museum in Toronto
Shane Mullins/Newz4u.net
The Scarborough Museum is open year round and is closed on statutory holidays except for Canada Day. Admission is by donation.
Toronto Scarborough Museum
1007 Brimley Road
416-338-8807
More about Scarborough Museum, Toronto, Historical site
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