The Blacksmith Shop here at Highland Village is named after Alex Matheson, a blacksmith from the St. Anns area. It is the way the blacksmith shop looked from late 1800's--mid 1900's. The blacksmith made tools for the fireplace, repaired farm implements, shoed horses and even made the nails used to build things with. We watched him take a piece of thick metal and hammer it to a thin point and then put a head on it to form a nail. Hanging behind him are implements used in his trade.
In Highland Village, we visited the General Store and talked to the costumed clerk who told us a lot about this area at that time. She said that the railroad came here in 1901 and that made it easier to get stock for the store. In here there was an old crank telephone. Phones came here in 1901 also because Alexander Graham Bell lived nearby so they were one of the first areas to get phones. But then they didn't change much. She said that in 1972 they still had the same party line crank phone system that was installed in 1901. Since Iona was so small, it never really progressed. I loved looking at all of the tins, boxes and glass ware on the shelves. Also the high topped button shoes were fun to see.
From the Black House we walked up a hill to see the first homes the Scottish settlers lived in here in North America. Trees were plentiful here so instead of rocks, they built their first homes of round logs as did the other pioneers. It's only 1 story but has a sleeping loft. This guide showed us all about spinning sheep wool into yarn and weaving it. Hanks of dyed wool were hung on the wall. But she also showed us flax and how it was made into thread and cloth. I had never seen flax before. It was growing out in the garden here. Then they took the rather tall coarse plant and dried it then sort of rotted them in water to get the fibers out then the mass was pounded to a thready mass. After that it was spun into thread like cotton then woven. The fabric was then called linen. Blue dye is what the indigo plant was used for. Other dyes came from other plants. But cooking was still done over the fireplace. And things were rather primitive.
This restaurant is right in front of the Highland Village Museum so it's a convenient place to eat when you visit the village. We sat at a lovely table at the window looking out at Bras d'Or lake. Celtic music played in the background. We got a burger and fries which were both good. The waitress brought corn relish for us to try on the burger. It's very good and well worth trying. It seems that people up here use it. But to me the best thing here was the atmosphere and the lovely view. If you look at the view beyond the village in that photo, you can see the lakes which is a similar view. Eagles also soar over this lake. The village is also out in the middle of no where and there really wasn't anywhere else that we found to eat lunch in the area. It was a bit expensive. The burger and fries and drink were $12.