Archive for July 30th, 2012

CHERRY VALLEY — Bill Rosseau uncovered some of Cherry Valley’s rich heritage over the weekend.

The Wellington resident ventured into the village, located just outside of Picton, for Athol’s Cherry Jubilee to revel in stories about the early beginnings of Cherry Valley.

“This is fantastic, what they’re trying to do the share the history of the place,” Rosseau said.

The 82-year-old was one of many people who participated in historical walks and scavenger hunts to unearth the historical gems around the area.

They included that of the early home of Alva Stephens, who named Cherry Valley after a New York State village after relocating here between 1812-1815.

Rosseau also discovered several other interesting facts, including information about the East Lake area being littered with a large population of wild cherry trees. He perused photos of the hamlet’s homes and examined the 150-year-old Cherry Valley United Church and a nearby cemetery where the tombstone of Stephens rests.

The community event was created following the resurrection of the dormant Athol Recreation committee about a year ago, said Kato Wake.

Her house once served as the bank and the general store on Prince Edward County Road 10 was party central. Scores of visitors streamed around the area while musicians played tunes for the amused crowd.

“We’re trying to generate some interest for the area,” she said.

The festivities were held in conjunction with the Lions Club-led annual fun day and car show at the nearby Cherry Valley Lions Park.

“We thought it made sense to join forces,” she said.

Several residents also donned garb from the 1800s. Children were treated to old-fashioned games such as cherry spitting and the spoon-and-egg race.

Oleh Havrylyshyn was pleased to see the outpouring of community support for the event that showcased a lesser-known part of the county.

Havrylyshyn, a University of Toronto professor, and his wife, Natalia, live in a 120-year-old home in Wellington. Since then, the couple has been keen on the Loyalist history of the area and its connection to the property where he now resides.

“It would be great to have more events like this,” he said. “People need to be reminded of their history and that there were people before us. This might spur other settlements in the county to have similar celebrations.”


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