Beacon Shore Bed & Breakfast
128 Midland Point Road, Midland, Canada
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Travel Tips for Midland
Statue trumpeter swan
Since 2001 this beautiful swan rules the harbour. Widely he spreads his wings, taking of for warmer places.
What an artist to create this bird and also give this artificial bird grace.
We walked around it for quite some time, now and again we pointed our cameras at it in order to catch it in the most beautiful way.
Yet I think this bird isn t a bird to catch...I can only show the form not give you the feeling I had when I walked around it in the docks down at the harbour.
Smokehouse at Sainte Marie Among the Hurons
I hadn't been here for a bit and they had made some changes.
The film you watch to explain the history and set the tone to visit the site has changed, and become more politically correct. At the risk of offending anyone, what this has also done, in my opinion, is to diminish the horrors of the past and why the murdered Jesuit priests were considered Martyrs, and why SMAH was burned down with the Jesuits and Indians leaving the area. The truth is not always pleasant and there were 2 sides to the story, of course - neither side was completely pure and without wrongs. I feel that history has been homogenized to make it unoffensive. Anyway... This is the first part of the fort as you go in. They were smoking some geese, and other fowl. That smoke got into our lungs, and systems... and through our clothes, so I can only imagine what it must've been like back in the 1600's. Amazing that any of them could see or breathe!
You can see this Trumpeter Swan in the Waterfront Park. It's really a beautiful statue. The statue has been here since October 12, 2001.
And don't think it is small! It's a huge statue and you can walk all around and underneath it. The wingspan is 25 Feet (7.6 Metres), height is 20 Feet (6.1 Metres) and it weighs 2700 lbs.
The statue was placed here in celebration of the trumpeter swan's reintroduction to Ontario after an absence of about 150 years. The trumpeter swan reintroduction was accomplished by the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre (which is also in Midland, see my off the beaten path tips) over the past 12 years.
The designer of the statue is Ron Hunt .
MARTYRS' SHRINE --- THE HISTORY
Three hundred and sixty-five years ago, the Jesuit missionaries came to the country of the Huron Natives with a passionate dream that if they could teach a simple people from the beginning, they could build a Christian State where the people could live in peace and harmony. . Huronia was to be such a Christian State in Canada.
Ste. Marie was the centre of the Jesuit mission to the Huron. There, the Fathers taught the natives how to grow their own food so it would nourish them and how to sustain the inner life of the spirit.
The Fathers learned the Huron tongue and lived among the natives, teaching them the Christian Faith.
In 1649 the Iroquois raided the North and one by one the Huron villages fell and missionaries were martyred. The MARTYRS' SHRINE is dedicated to these brave men who gave the ultimate sacrifice. I was struck by the beauty of the Church and surrounding grounds. It was such a peaceful place.
A First Canadian Christmas
Every year, in the beginning of December, I attend First Light at Sainte Marie Among the Hurons just outside Midland, Ontario. Although our modern Canadian Christmas holiday celebrations are not even always celebrated from a religious perspective, it is interesting to learn about the melding of culture, religion and positive intent that formed some of the very first New World Christmases, and produced Canada's first unique Christmas carol.
From other VT tips you will see that a 17th century French Jesuit mission was established at Sainte Marie, to convert the local Wendat people to Christianity. The area is now enshrined as a sacred site (visited and declared so by Pope John II in 1984) of the massacre of the Fathers and their converts.
On one side of the road is the Martyr's Shrine which is visited annually by thousands of Catholic pilgrims and where miracles are reported to take place. On the other side of the road is the rebuilt fortress with the buildings that would have constituted a mission as designed in Old France but built with local, hand-hewn materials.
The fort with re-enactors in period costume, is open during the summer only, but opens for three evenings in early December to coincide with First Light - the beginning of the Christian Advent season. Again the re-enactors are present, working iron in the forge, firing musket rounds, or baking gingerbread from a 17th century recipe for visitors to sample... the most special thing about this evening event is that the buildings and footpaths are lit exclusively by candlelight - over 2000 pillar candles in glass jars. Fires are dotted around the grounds for warming up, free hot apple cider and hot chocolate are served while children are invited to make Christmas crafts in the outer buildings.
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