Hamlet of Queensborough opens its doors to celebrate its heritage

Aug 25th, 2017 10:52 AM

Painting by the Group of Seven’s A.Y. Jackson, visit by Sir John A. among highlights of Historic Queensborough Day



Beautiful former St. Peter’s Anglican Church, the first church built in Queensborough, is among the buildings that will be open for a peek inside on Historic Queensborough Day.

Aug. 25, 2017
For immediate release


QUEENSBOROUGH, Ont. -This beautiful hamlet in central Hastings County is throwing a big party on Sunday, Sept. 10, to celebrate its long and colourful history.

Historic Queensborough Day 2017 is a followup to the first such event, which attracted hundreds of people to the quiet hamlet in September 2014.

“We were astounded by the turnout for our first Historic Queensborough Day,” says Elaine Kapusta, one of the event’s organizers. “Many visitors told us that we should do it again. So we are - and it’s bigger and better than ever!”

The all-volunteer organizing committee received a huge boost recently when the owner of a painting of Queensborough by the Group of Seven’s A.Y. Jackson offered to allow it to be displayed for the day.

“It knocked our socks off,” Kapusta said. “We didn’t even know that this painting of our hamlet, by one of Canada’s most important artists, even existed. We are so grateful for the owner’s generosity in allowing us to display it. We know it will be a huge draw.” The owner has asked to remain anonymous, she said.

Another highlight will be a visit from none other than Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, and his wife, Lady Agnes Macdonald. Brockville’s Brian and Renee Porter are known throughout Eastern Ontario for their authentic and entertaining performances as Sir John A. and Lady Agnes. The “prime minister” will address the crowd at 1 p.m., and it’s expected he’ll make mention of his Queensborough connection:  Sir John and Lady Agnes once owned several undeveloped lots in the hamlet. (It was a real-estate investment that didn’t pay off; they lost the properties to the bank that held the mortgage. As one local researcher has said: “Sir John was a better nation-builder than investor.”)

Other events include:

Historic displays at the Queensborough Community Centre: there will be photos, documents and artifacts bringing the hamlet’s history to life: its schools, churches, general stores, railway line, cheese factories, mining industry, community life, families and genealogies, wartime history, etc.
• Display of a famous piece of folk art: a mid-20th-century quilt sewn by the late Goldie Holmes, Queensborough’s nationally famous “Quilt Lady,” featuring village homes and buildings.
• The history of some of the hamlet's most interesting buildings brought to life thanks to a Doors Open - Peek Inside event. Visitors are invited to peek in and learn about the buildings’ past and present, and think about their possibilities for the future.
• An antique, vintage and classic car show.
• A presentation by Anne Taylor, cultural archivist with Curve Lake First Nation, along with local researchers, about the Queensborough area’s Indigenous history.
Horse-drawn wagon tours of the village.
• An all-day barbecue: peameal bacon on a bun, hamburgers and hot dogs; homemade baked goodies for dessert.

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For more information or an interview:

•      Elaine Kapusta, 613-473-1458,  elainekapusta@hotmail.com
•      Katherine Sedgwick, 613-473-2110,  sedgwick.katherine@gmail.com

Links to more information and photos that may be used, from the Queensborough blog Meanwhile, at the Manse:
•      Historic Queensborough Day returns in 2017
•      A.Y. Jackson’s painting of Queensborough at Historic Queensborough Day
•      Goldie Holmes, Queensborough’s Famous “Quilt Lady”
•      Goldie’s Queensborough Quilt
•      Sir John A. Macdonald’s property speculation in Queensborough
•      Some links to Historic Queensborough Day 2014 are here, here and here.

Historic Queensborough Day schedule of events: Sunday, Sept. 10




Where is Queensborough?

Queensborough (see online map here) is located on the beautiful Black River in the heart of Hastings County, 55 km north of Belleville, 90 km east of Peterborough and 195 km west of Ottawa. Reach it from Highway 7 by going north on Queensborough Road (County Road 20) for 9 km, or by going north on Cooper Road (County Road 12) and east on Queensborough Road for 12 km.