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Scarborough Museum and Thomson Park

Today we decided to go to Scarborough Historical Museum. I always learn something new whenever we go there.

Before we went inside, I posed for a picture.
The tulips have come out in Thomson Park and they were so pretty.

The first building we went into was the McCowan Log House. It was built around 1830.
William McCowan moved to Canada in 1833. The following year he got cholera and his father and brother died because of it. He lived in this house from 1848 until he died in 1902. He farmed and raised lifestock.

This cradle was built in 1830 by James Thomson who was the son of David & Mary Thomson. David & Mary Thomson were the first settlers in Scarborough and Thomson Park is named after them.

The fire was lit today. They used it for making scones earlier on.
We got to see a reflector oven.

They would use the fireplace, lanterns or candlesticks for light. But, they had to make their own candles from tallow.
In the left of the picture you can see a candlestick mold.

To keep the candles safe from critters, they would keep the candles in candle holders until they were ready to use them.

The second place we visited was the Hough Carriage Works. (Hough rhymes with rough and tough.)

We got to see the Penny-Farthing bicycle. When they would ride the bicycles on corduroy roads it would be very bumpy so the bicycles were nicknamed 'bone rattlers'. (Corduroy roads had cut logs placed across the road and they were covered with sand.) Bicycles like these didn't have chains or brakes and the riders didn't have helmets!
Riding a bicycle was dangerous!

I got to try shaving some wood like how a carpenter would have done it. It's pretty hard!

Lastly, we went into Cornell House which was built in 1858 for Charles and Matilda Cornell. I don't know much about Charles Cornell, but he was one of 37 children in a blended family. His parents were Rhoda Skinner and William Cornell.  William Cornell planted Scarborough's first orchard, helped build Kingston Road, and built Scarborough's first sawmill.

The last time we visited the Cornell House, I did a blog post about the musical instruments that can be found in the house.

I got to try cranking the ice-cream maker.

This stove is a Pandora, wood burning stove.
It's really fancy!

Matches weren't developed until the Victorian Era. Eddy's Silent Matches were made in Quebec.
(In front of the match box is a scale.)

On one of the shelves, they had Sloan's Liniment and Oxo. Sloan's was used for "tired, achy muscles and sprains, strains, bruises and stiff joints".
I think it's cool that Oxo was around then. Other brands like Coca Cola, Birds and Lea and Perrins are still around too.

This game was in the boys' room upstairs, but I don't know what it is.

Here is a hot water bottle that might have been used to keep your feet warm in the night time.

This is a washing machine!
You would have to move the handle to make it work.

These are pictures of the ice box in Cornell House. You would keep the ice in the top part and you would keep whatever you wanted to keep cool in the bottom. We got to see what the bottom looks like inside. 

This is a 'silent butler' which would have been used to sweep up crumbs from the table.

This napkin holder is very interesting. It's a monkey playing an instrument. Mom thinks that the instrument is a serpent but I think it could be a bass horn. I'm not sure what instrument it is. If you know what it is, please tell us!

Here is a portrait of Queen Victoria.

The highlight of my visit today was actually getting to play the 1853 Chickering Piano!!!
I've been to Scarborough Historical Museum over 40 times and this was the very first time that I've ever gotten to play it!

The piano is 155 years old!
It was pretty much in tune!

I played "In Church" by Tchaikovsky.

After exploring the museum, I went to the playground.
It was such a nice, sunny day - I just had to play!


  1. Hi Josh,
    These are the greatest pictures and comments. Everybody at Scarborough Museum says thank you for this blog, and that its awesome that you and your mom have visited over 40 times. You are like a sponge with all the information you absorb! Hope you are around this summer!
    Madeleine Callaghan
    Curator, Scarborough Museum

    1. Hi Madeleine!
      I remember meeting you!
      I'm the one who wrote a letter to Glenn De Baeremaeker asking him to vote to keep Scarborough Museum open when Mayor Ford wanted to close the City Museums. They were filming "Out With Dad" the day I met you.
      Thank you for posting a comment to my blog.
      See you again soon!