Lang Pioneer Village Museum in Keene opens for 2019 on Tuesday, May 21st. For its 52nd season, the award-winning museum has undergone some design changes and renovations, and is launching two new events.
Initially, the museum will only be open during the week from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for spring tours. Beginning on Sunday, June 16th with the 23rd annual Father’s Day Smoke & Steam Show, the museum will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Monday, September 2nd (Labour Day).
Nestled along the banks of the historic Indian River in Keene, Lang Pioneer Village Museum was established by the County of Peterborough in 1967 to celebrate and preserve the rural history of the area.
VIDEO: Lang Pioneer Village
It includes more than 25 restored and furnished buildings constructed between 1825 and 1899, representing the 19th-century pioneer era in the Kawarthas. Villagers of all ages, dressed in authentic historical costume, go about their daily chores contributing to the authenticity of this living history experience.
The museum had a stellar year in 2018, winning the top small museum/art gallery/historic site award from Attractions Ontario for the second consecutive year, as well as the customer first award from the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and the tourism/hospitality excellence award from the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.
The museum also saw a number of staff changes in 2018. Joe Corrigan retired as museum manager, with former assistant manager Laurie Siblock taking over the role permanently last November along with Elizabeth King as assistant manager.
Longtime costumer Janet vanDompsele and museum educator Julia Gregory have also retired, with Cassandra Shaw becoming the new permanent costumer and former seasonal employee Hailey Doughty the new new museum educator. Ruth O’Connell is the new permanent administrative and volunteer coordinator.
More changes are also in store for the 2019 season.
The museum’s shop has been redesigned to improve the flow of admissions and shop purchases. As well as selling many of the same popular treats and toys as before, the shop will now also feature a number of items from local artisans, items made within the village, and Lang souvenirs.
The museum’s gallery space is undergoing a major renovation, scheduled to be completed for Canada Day, that will transform it into a theatre. The space will display a video to help orient visitors prior to their tour of the village, by explaining the local First Nation and settler history.
The museum has also redesigned its village map so that visitors can tour through the village chronologically, moving from the earliest site (the Aabnaabin Camp from 1825) through to 1921.
“Lang Pioneer Village is unique among many other historic sites in that it represents a whole century in time,” says museum manager Laurie Siblock.
“We’re looking forward to seeing how the changes we’ve made over the winter impact how visitors experience the Village. Using our new chronological map, visitors will now be able to not only go back in time, but to also move through time. The new map will help visitors perceive the changes in technologies, access to goods, fashions, and culture over time.”
The museum is also launching two new events in 2019: Village by Lantern Light on Saturday, July 6th and “When Death Was in Fashion” on Saturday, August 10th.
Village by Lantern Light takes place on National Kissing Day, when visitors can experience settler and Michi Saagiig life after dark in the romantic setting of the historic village lit by lanterns and starlight.
“When Death was in Fashion”, presented in partnership with Pickering Museum Village, will give visitors an opportunity to discover the Victorians obsession with death as the village goes into mourning for the day.
The 2019 season will see the return of ever-popular events: the Father’s Day Smoke & Steam Show on Sunday, June 16th; the Transportation Day Car & Motorcycle Show on Sunday, July 14th; Applefest on Sunday, October 6th; Historic All Hallows’ Eve on Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th; and Christmas by Candlelight on Saturday, December 7th and Sunday, December 8th.
Museum admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors (60 years of age and older), $5 for youth (ages five to 14), and free for children under five. Family admission is also available for $30 and includes two adults and up to four youth ages five to 14. Season passes are available for adults, students and seniors, and families. Special event pricing varies.
2019 event schedule
23rd Annual Father’s Day Smoke & Steam Show
Sunday, June 16th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The largest show of its kind in the Kawarthas features tractor and power equipment displays, tractor games, vintage farm trucks, tractor and wagon rides, a tractor parade through the village, and more.
Village by Lantern Light
Saturday, July 6th from 7 to 10 p.m.
Tour the village by the soft glow of lantern light and experience the charm of settler and Mitchi Saagig life after dark. Since this event falls on National Kissing Day, bring your sweetheart and enjoy a romantic wagon ride through the historic village, a drink in the Keene Hotel, and relive 19th-century courtship practices.
23rd Annual Transportation Day Car & Motorcycle Show
Sunday, July 14th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Car enthusiasts from across Ontario showcase their antique and classic cars and vintage motorcycles with more than 50 trophies to be won. Enjoy historic demonstrations, live music, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more.
“When Death Was In Fashion”
Saturday, August 10th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Discover the traditions associated with death in the 19th century the village goes into mourning for the day. Funeral fads and fancies, mourning novelties, memorial traditions, and what to wear: get a look at the Victorian obsession with death. This event is presented in partnership with Pickering Museum Village.
Sunday, October 6th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This colourful fall celebration of apples and the harvest season features the Cider Mill in full operation, horse-drawn wagon rides, live music, historic demonstrations, apple treats, games, and more.
Historic All Hallows’ Eve
Friday, October 25th and Saturday, October 26th from 6 to 9 p.m.
Discover the origins and traditions of Halloween at this all-ages event, featuring magic, games, fortune telling, tractor and wagon rides, and more.
Christmas by Candlelight
Saturday, December 7th and Sunday, December 8th from 5 to 9 p.m.
Get into the spirit of the season with a traditional pioneer Christmas feautring a carol sing,a Christmas market, horse-drawn wagon rides, a live nativity scene, Father Christmas, and more.