Party Like a Pioneer

Imagine what life would be like without electricity, shopping malls, and last but definitely not least: washrooms. We’re betting ‘terrified’ and ‘not for me’ were the first words to come to mind. But that was the life of the Stewart family; they lived and breathed the pioneer life, and the Historic Stewart Farm is a living reminder of how handy our modern conveniences really are.

First and foremost, pioneers did not have extensive wardrobes. Men typically had three shirts, but tended to used disposable or washable collars to give the appearance of not being an outfit repeater. We’ve all done it, and so did the pioneers! Women had a day dress and a Sunday dress, and that was about the extent of their options. Deodorant had yet to be invented, so smelling fresh as a daisy would only happen come wash days.

Its safe to say that not everyone is a fan of laundry day. But imagine this: having to do it by hand every single time. In a washbasin. With a water pump. And there’s nothing worse than waiting for your laundry to dry. In the summer, clothing could hang outside. But in the winter, it was hung in the kitchen above the stove and people kept their fingers crossed it would dry in time.

Of course pioneers did not have plumbing or running water. They had an outhouse for day use and used chamber pots in the evening. Forget about having a weak WiFi connection, pioneers didn’t even have electricity. Winter time means short days, so pioneers would rely on candle light by 4:30pm. Reading, games and home-made music would have been their entertainment. The wood stove was their only means to heat the house, to boil their water and cook their food. The stove would have been in use at every waking hour, and about 4 trees were used for fire wood per week!

But it certainly wasn’t all gloom and doom. There ain’t no party like a pioneer party (or so we’ve heard), and with all the hardships pioneers endured in Surrey’s wilderness, they really learned how to let loose! If you’re curious about what a real pioneer throw-down entails, head to the free, family friendly Pioneer Fair, featuring Surrey’s own historical troupe, The Re-Enactors, recreating Surrey’s settlement years, listen to dance worthy tunes courtesy of Michael Viens & Rosie Carver of Blackthorn and watch dance performances by the Brigadoon Highland Dancers. Have a taste of the pioneer life by enjoying hand churned ice cream, popcorn, and lemonade on the farmhouse verandah, or take advantage of the beautiful grounds and have a family picnic with food from The Place Next Door Food Truck. Take a tour of the 1894 farmhouse with a costumed guide, learn about pioneer crafts and spinning demonstrations or partake in an interactive bee workshop hosted by the Honeybee Centre. Join in on the family fun and enjoy pioneer dress up with period costumes and take a family portrait photo as a souvenir!

Sunday July 2nd 2016
11:00am to 3:00pm
Historic Stewart Farm
13723 Crescent Road
Admission is free!