Welcome to A Victorian Year in Ontario

Greetings Ladies and Gentlemen, the year is 1865, Her Majesty Queen Victoria has reigned since 1837 and we are in the midst of a prosperous era. The purpose of this blog is to record the daily round of chores, tasks, trials and triumphs of our household in rural Upper Canada (now known as Ontario). We have embarked on an experiment to live a year as close to the way it was done in 1865 as we possibly can. We will post our remarks and await your comments, suggestions and critiques. So join us as we travel back in time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Candles,wax and cold weather

Greetings everyone ..
We took a drive to Cambridge yesterday to have our official Christmas/New Years visit with Ken's sister Sarah and her Husband Dave.
Our christmas gifts from the were candles ,candles ,candles. Oh and wax to make more candles...do they know us or what?
So the wax pot will be doing double time to get more dipped candles made.
On our way to Cambridge we sort of took the scenic route.... highway number 3, we managed to stop by and see Shelley at Cobblestone Galeries. Shelley is one our newest followers and if you like art, her work is incredible and her use of colour is simply amazing. Visit cobblestonegalleries.com for more info. Thanks to our visit with Shelley, we discovered a whole "route" that led us to antiques, apples, bees, honey and a myriad other things here in Elgin County. Things dealing with Victoriana and skilled crafts which are all local to Elgin County. The route is on her web page.

We have a question for you, pretend there is a real Victorian mercantile, specializing in everything Victorian. What would you like to see in this mercantile? Victorian hardware ie. hinges, door knobs, window hardware, candle sconces and the like? What about period patterns for clothing? Period fabrics? Perhaps period furniture. Kitchen wares?
Please let us know.
Thank youhave finished our supper now and the pots of water on the cook stove are hot and ready for our bath.
Our 7 course sunday dinner consisted of potatoes mashed with a yogurt, peas with butter,turnip with apple and onion, stuffed pork tenderloin with a bacon crust, served with an apple jelly,creamed cheese herb stuffed chicken , dinner rolls and to finish a chocolate cake...
To everyone who has written to us regarding our spring dinner , we have decided a tenative date of March 24th...please let us know if that will suit you .
Again this is a strictly period dinner where everyone will present themselves in proper period garb and will have read up on corrent events of the time and date , we will all be 1st person for the entire visit ...I have received wonderful letters written with quill  from a few people and it is cool that you have done this...
Talk to you soon
M&K Cook



  1. Is the spring dinner by invite only, because it sounds like something wonderful that I would love to be a part of.

  2. Victorian Merchantiler? Would love to see everything costume wise from patterns to accessories and fabrics. Housewares to add that ambiance. Pretty much everything you listed. Maybe food stuffs like preseves of recipe books to make our own. Kinda like a Spencer's but for the discriminating Victorian palette.

  3. Hiya Danute
    The dinner guest list is based on peoples desire to attend. We had asked in an earlier post for peole who wish to attend to use their imaginations and communicate with us in a period fashion...we have gotten some lovely letters , no deliveries via pony express post to date ,But lovely letters indeed. We are still looking for potential guests so if you are interested send us a line ...30897 Duff Line Dutton N0L=1J0...The rules of the dinner are totally 1st person period (1865) so whomeever attends will be in period garb, no modern(unless glasses) and will have studied /learned/ honed up on current events for March 1865 ,will know how a victorian dinner is run and what to expect ie who will be sitting where and why, when one leaves the dining room and in what order , that sort of decorum...
    In return you will be treated to a period evening supper with fantastic guests a totally victorian era home and evening...should be fantastic ..

  4. What a wonderful idea! Imagine it located in an old train station, i.e. the CASO station in St. Thomas? With employees in period dress?
    I would be shopping for dress patterns, period types and print patterns for the era. Modern sunglasses in period style frames. Handicrafts and patterns (and perhaps classes)of how make them. (i.e.knitting, tatting, crochet, needlecrafts) Nothing like modern beading, but real period styles. Pocket watches. Top hats and bowler hats. replica pistols. Recipe books. Does this help?

  5. Shoes would be a difficult thing to find, but hats and trims and little pin on watches for ladies. Jet was very much 'in' in Victorian times so anything that looked like jet jewellery would be good.


  6. Ooh yes, and cameos.


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