Thursday, September 24, 2020

When New Meets Old…


Anyone who thinks that new can’t compliment old and still maintain the integrity of old, has never been to Fanshawe Pioneer Village! Fanshawe is a wonderful heritage village that honors the “old” while conforming to modern realities! You will be able to read about our visit to the Fanshawe Harvest Fest in a few weeks, but until then I thought I would tell you about some of the ways they have handled difficult challenges.
Challenge #1 – Disability Access: It’s not likely that our pioneer ancestors were too concerned with wheelchairs and disability access. So how does a “heritage settlement” handle this modern challenge? Since wheel chair ramps are a must in today’s society, especially for a public facility, not having ramps was not an option! But what about the “modern” look? Fanshawe’s solution was simply to use old distressed wood. As a result the ramps look like they not only belong there, but that they have been there forever!

Challenge #2 – Recycling and Litter: Blue Boxes and metal garbage cans don’t blend in with heritage buildings and gardens! Fanshawe handled this beautifully. They build old rustic “miniature sheds” and then placed them in strategic locations throughout the village. They have been made so well that they just blend into the “heritage atmosphere”. Judi and I had explored most of the village by the time we realized how Fanshawe had disguised their litter and recycling receptacles!

It is amazing that simple solutions like these aren’t used by all heritage facilities. A little imagination goes a long way. If you are in the London area, Fanshawe Pioneer Village is certainly worth the visit! The village, now 50 years old, is located in the Fanshawe Conservation Area. Their next big special event is their “1812 Invasion of Upper Canada” re-enactment on October 3-4, 2009. To find out more about this event and Fanshawe Pioneer Village, visit their website at If you do visit the village, tell them the “Festival Nomad” sent you!

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