Canadiana Village

View of the Farmhouse
From the Top

The story of Canadiana Village, founded in 1951, the founders, Earle Moore and his wife Nora Lehane, two very knowledgable people who gave so much to preserve the history of early days in Quebec, Rawdon in particular.

The Moores had collected such a large quantity of antiques and memorabilia they no longer had space to store them in their home.  

A farm on Lake Morgan Road with an interesting history was on the market. While the terrain was not suitable for modern farming practices, it was in a very picturesque valley. An old farmhouse, and several outbuildings in relatively good condition suggested promise for redecoration and plenty of storage for their treasures.   
So began Canadiana Village. 

Early visitors to the village tended to be friends and neighbours who returned with more friends and neighbours. There was alway tea and cakes for everybody.

Earle, a proud member of the Boy Scouts, made the fields open to camping expeditions which were enjoyed by many troops.

Always supportive of university students, Earle welcomed them personally and gave them access to all the buildings. Sadly his gesture was not appreciated. There was vandalism and more and more objects went missing. The welcome had to be withdrawn.

As more and more people started dropping by they had to start giving structured hours. 

The midday the tea and cakes amid tours evolved into a buffet luncheon served in the old grist mill beside the pond. The grain grinding area became a dining room with 75 year old refractory tables once used in a local convent and a century old, large mahogany buffet donated to the Moores by a Montreal millionaire.

Guests were entertained by “historical gossip”. The hostesses were members of the early settlers in Rawdon and had many tales to tell.

After lunch the topic was, “How full we are!” Everyone seemed to relish every mouthful of the buffet spread out on the buffet.

Some notable guests at Canadiana were Captain Angus Walters the skipper of the original Bluenose, Lord and Lady Astor who came to get some ideas on opening their estate in England for paying visitors and Lady Baden Powell. 

A Warm Welcome to Canadiana Village

At the entrance to the Village guests were welcomed with Nora’s depiction of ladies out for a Sunday drive.

The Original Farm Buildings

Used as a temporary quarters for a collection of spinning wheels, butter churns, and glassware and a pedal organ donated by a Rawdon Citizen. One area of the drive shed (the building on the right) contained items from the office of a well respected veterinary surgeon, Dr. George Smiley.

The Granary

A two storey granary, (centre back), housed a large collection of buggies, wagons, and carts, including an Irish shay purchased on a visit to Ireland. It was not unusual to meet one of these vehicles while touring the Village.

The Original Farm House

1952 purchased Fred Rourke farm,  Bucket Jack Copping’s farm so called because he made pails and buckets during the off season on the farm. Boyce purchased the farm from Bucket Jack, Fred Rourke was the next owner. All were very early families arriving in Rawdon. Set in a hilly area unfit for modern day farm it was an ideal setting for the Moores’ project. The area down in the valley where the farnhouse was, the Red River providied a location for a mill and on the village site above spectacular scenes were visible in all directions.

With the help of a local second hand furniture dealer, Viateur  Lévesque, the Moores furnished the farmhouse to represent a home of earlier days..

An Old Couple In Sitting in Their Rocking Chairs Waited to Greet Guests

On entering the front door guests got a preview of immense collection of antiques and memorabilia in the house. The door in the background leads to an obviously compressed assortment of kitchen apparatus. The stairs led up to two more rooms open to the public.

Earle in the Living Room

Earl had an interesting selection of musical instruments from this early gramophone to an organ and a baby grand piano, all of which he played.

A Gazebo built beside the farmhouse provided a rest stop for visitors.

Geraldine Moore demonstrates the Barnyard Pump

The pump was irresistible to guests. The water was circulated back up through the pump. A sign warning against drinking the water was prominently placed for all to see. It had been removed for the photo shot.

The Bake Oven

A bake oven was built in the front yard. Loaves baked in the oven were sold as quickly as they were baked.

A Doll House Displayed More Than 100 Dolls.

Lagan School House

Lagen Schoolhouse, built in 1845, in Lakefield, Quebec was the first building moved to the site. Earle’s grandfather had attended this school.  

L’école Lagen, construite en 1845 à Lakefield, au Québec, a été le premier bâtiment déménagé sur le site. Le grand-père d’Earle avait fréquenté cette école.  

The interior of the school furnished with the desks from the school.  
L’intérieur de l’école montrant les pupitres de l’école. 

Originally intended to be a guest house, when the original classroom furnishings were discovered in a barn, all previous thoughts of a guest house were quickly abandoned. Nora could not resist restoring the school to its original state. Everything from desks to slates and markers, books and maps, were trucked down to the school. This gentleman had been visiting the Village annually since he was a young boy. Now he was bringing his own children to visit.

Remarquez que les pupitres débordent de livres scolaires. Des ardoises et des craies ont été placées sur les pupitres. Les craies ont dû être retirées, car honteusement trop d’entre elles se retrouvaient dans les poches des visiteurs. 

Le monsieur sur la photo a continué à visiter le Village Canadiana chaque année, comme il le faisait depuis son enfance. Ses petits-enfants le visitent maintenant. 

Waiting to Ring the Bell

Notice the thickness of the planks and the axe marks on the ends.

At the top of the stairs the rope coming down from the belfry to the 1st floor can be seen. This second floor served as living quarters for the teacher but with no stove upstairs she was obliged to cook on the heater in the classroom.

Recess Time

View from the School

Rourke House

An Early View of the General Store

Ladies shopped while the men played checkers.

As with all the buildings, the general store was crammed with all the items one might require. Even the checkerboard waiting for players.

A large round of hard cheese stood on the counter ready to be cut should anyone should like to take a piece home. An essential in all general stores, large glass jars tempted young visitors to spend their pennies on black balls, liquorice, and honey dews.

The stairs on the back wall led up to a large collection of baby cots, sleighs, and carriages.

Rawdon’s Early Mail Boxes

When a new postoffice was built in the village the boxes from the old office were installed in the general store at Canadiana Village.

Westgate House

Dr. George Smiley’s Veterinarian Office on the Left

Name Plate from Dr. George Smiley’s Office

This building, a replica from a movie provided a home for the veterinarian equipment donated by Dr. Smiley’s family.

The Hamilton House

The Music House