In 1814, Richard Cartwright created a townsite on his property near the Naval Shipyards, and the first building lots were sold in June of 1814. Barriefield prospered for many decades, with an important boatbuilding industry on the waterfront, and the houses owned by stone masons, carpenters and other tradespeople. In the mid-20th century, the economic life of the village declined, with the result that the 19th century village was largely preserved. In 1980, Barriefield became the first village in Ontario to be designated a Heritage Conservation District.
The Barriefield Village 200th Anniversary Celebration on June 7th will include displays and demos of heritage crafts and trades (boatbuilding, blacksmithing, carpentry, window making, spinning and weaving, etc.), historic costumes, walking tours and wagon rides through the village, bake sale, afternoon tea at St. Mark’s Church, Farm Girl food, musical performances, etc. Come and celebrate Barriefield’s 200 years!
Note: Activities will take place, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in three locations shown on the map: the green field (GF) at the intersection of Wellington and George Streets, St. Mark’s Church (SM), and the Frontenac County Schools Museum (FCSM).
Hurrah for Barriefield and the outstanding Barriefield Heritage Festival, on Saturday, June 7th, honouring the village’s 200th anniversary!
We knew we were in for a successful day after the Thursday premiere of David McCallum’s splendid documentary, ‘Barriefield: Kingston’s Heritage Village.’ The screening was so popular that both cinemas at the Screening Room were full. But how could we have anticipated that the Heritage Festival would mean
• Over 2,000 people attended, with queues of cars on Hwy 15 waiting to enter much of the day
• Close to 150 people went on the guided tours (given by Maureen Eagan, Craig Sims and Christine Sypnowich – so many that Maureen and Christine had to give extra tours)
• The Anglican Church Women of St. Mark’s made $700 from their wonderful Victorian Tea and $500 from the bake sale to go towards their outreach efforts
• ‘Dollar Bill’s specially brewed Root Beer,’ donated by the Brew Pub, ran out by around 2pm
• Tracy and John Bron’s hotdog cart ran out of hotdogs and had to run for extra supplies
• Jane Etherington’s popcorn and Farm Girl foods both had a roaring trade all day
• The history, artisan and trades displays (the Maclachlan Woodworking Museum, window maker David White, chair maker Art Shaw, Kingston Spinners and Weavers, blacksmith Colin Davies, stone mason Patrick Jenkins, Joe Bernard from Kingston Woodturners, Preserve Our Wrecks, Tim Soper’s WWI display, Ballycanoe & Co. antique hardware, Purlin’ J’s Roving Yarn Company) were all outstanding, with very gratified exhibitors
• ‘Old Barriefielders,’ many of whom were the first graduate class at JE Horton, came by the dozen, thanks to the excellent organization of former principal Ken Keyes
• A wonderful musical programme with all acts (Celtic Rumblings, Wolfe Island Revellers, the Sessioneers and Open Voices Community Choir) kindly performed free of charge
• Scores of walking tours and Robert Barrie brochures were picked up
• 100 commemorative Tee shirts were made and almost sold out
• Villagers decorated their homes, put up displays and even opened their homes to visitors
• Town Crier Chris Whyman, after a splendid tribute to the village, led a crowd of 100 to the Frontenac County Schools Museum to the ceremony commemorating the museum’s grand reopening
• The Heritage Children’s Games and Races led by St. Mark’s Church Sunday School teacher Erin Gray were delightful, busy throughout
• St. Mark’s Church was buzzing all day with tours by Bill Patterson, screenings of the documentary, sales of archival literature by the Pittsburgh Historical Society, organ music played by Sharon Beveridge
• There was a constant hub-bub from White’s horse-drawn wagon rides, the hop on and hop off service of Kingston Trolley Tours, and swarms of people wandering around the village
• There was on display some beautifully restored St. Lawrence River skiffs by Mac Freeman and Joe Calnan, and one by Hans Westenberg down at the water’s edge of Green Bay, a lovely reminder of Barriefield’s history as a boating and boat-building village
• The splendid addition of pomp and ceremony was provided by the Fort Henry Guard, the Historical Costume Club of Kingston and Heritage Ambassadors of Kingston
Barriefielders old and new, people from across Kingston, St. Mark’s Church, Canadian Forces Base Kingston and the Schools Museum all contributed to, and participated in, the events of the Festival. We were pleased to have speeches of congratulations and good wishes from Major Chris Catry of Canadian Forces Base Kingston, MP Ted Hsu and Councillor Brian Reitzel.
The Ad-hoc 200th Celebration Committee of David Craig, Christine Sypnowich, Sean Conboy, Bob Cardwell, Ben Darrah, Megan Willoughby and Margaret Bissell, chaired by the indefatigable Barb Carr, spent several months preparing for yesterday’s Festival. We would like to express our thanks to the many people who stepped up and volunteered on the day, those who participated and attended the day’s events, and also to all those who had kind words about the village and the festivities. Utilities Kingston, Marathon Drilling and Taggart Construction did an amazing job tidying up the James Street construction project so that the village would look tidy for the celebration. Thanks also to the first-aiders from La Salle Secondary School and the Kingston Police Community Volunteers. We also appreciated media coverage in the Kingston Whig-Standard, EMC Heritage Kingston, Kingston East News, Station 14, and the Kingston Report by J.C. Kenny on CBC Radio.
The event would not have been possible were it not for our sponsors who contributed to the cost and running of the celebration in so many ways: Base Commander Francois Chagnon and his colleagues at Canadian Forces Base Kingston; Canadian Heritage; the Pittsburgh Community Benefit Fund; the Britton Smith Foundation; Taggart Construction; Marathon Drilling; the Eastern Ontario Events Centre; the Kingston Brewing Company; Send in the Clowns, Limestone Music, the Screening Room, and the Limestone District School Board. We thank you all.
The Brew Pub will have its ‘Barriefield 200 Ale’ on tap at their restaurant this week. We encourage everyone to raise a glass to Barriefield, a 200-year old treasure and Kingston’s Heritage Village. Again, many thanks to the Kingston community for the tremendous support!
President, Barriefield Village Association