Christmas at Ruthven Park: Scottish Tea, Tia McGraff Concert, and Candlelight Tours

Ruthven Park staff are excited to announce the return of three wonderful Christmas programs for December 2017! They are listed in chronological order below.

Scottish Tea and Tour

Date: Sunday, December 10, 2017
Time: 2:00pm
Tickets/RSVP: Yes; please book and pay in advance.
Cost: $14.00 adults, $12.00 seniors, $5.00 children.
Address: 243 Haldimand Highway 54, Cayuga, Ontario, N0A 1E0
Location: Ruthven Park’s Thompson Family Mansion and Coach House
Description: Get into the holiday spirit as you enjoy a traditional Scottish tea service featuring locally-baked scones, followed by a tour of the Thompson Family Mansion decorated in full historic Christmas glory.

Tia McGraff Christmas Concert

Date: Friday, December 15, 2017
Time: 6:30pm
Tickets/RSVP: Yes; please book and pay in advance.
Cost: $20.00 adults, $15.00 seniors, $10.00 children. Free for members.
Address: 243 Haldimand Highway 54, Cayuga, Ontario, N0A 1E0
Location: Ruthven Park’s Thompson Family Mansion and Coach House
Description: Award-winning bluegrass, Celtic, and folk songstress Tia McGraff returns to Ruthven Park’s Coach House for a Christmas concert that will warm your heart. A tour of the Thompson Family Mansion decorated for Christmas will take place at 6:30pm and the concert will follow at 7:30pm.

Christmas at Ruthven Park Candlelight Tours – 2 Dates Available

Date: Sunday, December 17, 2017 and Thursday, December 21, 2017
Time: 7:00pm
Tickets/RSVP: Yes; please book and pay in advance.
Cost: $14.00 adults, $12.00 seniors, $5.00 children.
Address: 243 Haldimand Highway 54, Cayuga, Ontario, N0A 1E0
Location: Ruthven Park’s Thompson Family Mansion
Description: Step into Christmas past at Ruthven Park this December when you take a tour of the Thompson Family Mansion after dark. Each room will be lit with candlelight and beautifully decorated in the style of different eras. Enjoy cookies and hot cider afterwards. The perfect early Christmas gift!

How to Book

Visit the Gate House office during opening hours (Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm), call 905-772-0560, or email info@ruthvenpark.ca to reserve your tickets and to make payment arrangements.

We look forward to welcoming you here to celebrate the 2017 Christmas season!

Retracing Major Andrew Thompson’s Steps With WWI Maps

On November 10, 2016, Map Specialist Gord Beck from McMaster University’s Lloyd Reeds Map Collection in Mills Memorial Library delivered a standout presentation to a captivated audience.

His talk was called “Back to the Front 100 Years Later: Retracing the Steps of A. R. Thompson Using WWI Trench Maps” and a highly detailed Powerpoint accompanied his remarks.

Given the time of year with Remembrance Day falling on Saturday, November 11, 2017 in a few short days, Ruthven Park staff have worked to provide the wider public with access to this remarkable presentation in honour of the Thompson family members and all of those in Haldimand County who fought in WWI.

The slideshow has been converted to a PDF document and Gord Beck’s excellent notes have been embedded into the pages so that readers can follow along easily.

The document will have a permanent home on the “History” page of this website, but we will also share it here below so you can download a copy to your computer or electronic device directly from this blog post.

Back to the Front 100 Years Later Presentation by Gord Beck – click to download

A special thank you to Gord for making this presentation available to Ruthven Park staff and for giving his talk in the first place! It’s not every day that you get to feel as though you’re walking beside someone on the front lines of history, and Gord has made this possible.

For those interested in World War history looking to commemorate this year’s Remembrance Day on Saturday, please join us for our “Remembrance Day at Ruthven Park” afternoon event starting at 1:00pm, featuring a tour of the Thompson Family Mansion, a fantastic talk by Dr. Marty Wood on the Thompson women’s involvement in WWI, and an acclaimed performance of “From Ruthven to Passchendaele” by Studio Babette Puppet Theatre. You can read more about the event by clicking here.

November 2017 Newsletter

Dear members and friends,

The beautiful month of October has come and gone, and it was such a busy month that we didn’t manage to prepare a newsletter for you until this week when activities quieted down on site!

November is a time to remember and reflect as we commemorate Remembrance Day and the brave people who gave their lives in wars throughout history. To view our November 2017 newsletter, simply click on the link below in this blog post and download the PDF to your computer or device. Inside, you’ll find a photo recap of what happened here in October, a call for Grey Rat Snake box volunteers, a summary of owl banding activities from a last year, and much more. We hope you enjoy reading it, and do pass along your comments and questions to info@ruthvenpark.ca when you’re finished reading.

We hope to see you here soon for our Remembrance Day at Ruthven Park event or one of the Christmas events we’re planning for December (see the last page of the November newsletter)!

November 2017 Newsletter

All the best,

Ruthven Park staff

Lt Col Andrew and Sons In War Uniform Image

Remembrance Day At Ruthven Park

The public is invited to an afternoon Remembrance Day event at Ruthven Park with a special focus on World War One this year.

All ages are welcome. Though all activities will be held indoors, we suggest visitors dress for the weather in case they would like to explore the site’s 5 km of trails before or after the event.

The schedule for the afternoon will be as follows:

1:00 pm – Tour of the beautiful 1840s Thompson Family Mansion
2:00 pm – Presentation by Dr. Marty Wood entitled “The Thompson Women in the Great War: 1914-1918”
3:00 pm – Studio Babette Puppet Theatre performance of “From Ruthven to Passchendaele” (read a review of the performance here!)

Scheduled activities for this event will wrap up around 4:00 pm.

Cameras are welcome (and encouraged!) and the Hollyhock Gift Shop will be open in the Thompson Family Mansion, featuring items and books related to the Canadian military for interested shoppers.

We look forward to seeing you here for our feature November event!

Mark Your Calendar

Date: Saturday, November 11, 2017
Time: 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Tickets/RSVP: No
Cost: Regular admission rates apply to tour; talk and performance by donation
Address: 243 Haldimand Highway 54, Cayuga, Ontario, N0A 1E0
Location: the Thompson Family Mansion and the Coach House (map available at Ruthven Park entrance)

Three Upcoming Events Commemorating the Centenary of Passchendaele

2017 is a special year for a number of reasons, one being that the 100th anniversary – also known as a centenary – of the Battle of Passchendaele in WWI falls on this year.

Ruthven Park National Historic Site has a special connection to this particular battle as a member of the Thompson family who lived on the property fought and was injured in the melee. Major Andrew Ruthven Thompson was critically injured by gunfire at Passchendaele. Thankfully, he eventually recovered and returned home to Canada.

Staff are proud to announce that three events happening on site this month will commemorate and honour this battle and the sacrifices made by the Canadians who fought at Passchendaele. They are listed in chronological order below.

Lower Grand River Land Trust Annual General Meeting: Speaker Professor G. Hayes Presentation “Passchendaele and Canada: A Century On”

Date: Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Time: 7:00pm
Tickets/RSVP: No
Cost: Free
Address: 243 Haldimand Highway 54, Cayuga, Ontario, N0A 1E0
Location: Ruthven Park’s Coach House
Description: Professor Geoffrey Hayes teaches in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo. He describes his presentation as follows: “The Battle of Passchendaele has become deeply embedded in the popular imagination. This talk explores the context of the battle from a Canadian perspective. What Canadians too often forget is how this costly battle formed a background to two of the most dramatic events in Canadian history.” The Land Trust’s AGM will follow, and members of the public are welcome to stay for the remainder of the evening.

Passchendaele Commemoration Event

Date: Sunday, October 22, 2017
Time: 11:00am – 3:00pm
Tickets/RSVP: No
Cost: By Donation
Address: 243 Haldimand Highway 54, Cayuga, Ontario, N0A 1E0
Location: Ruthven Park’s Coach House and the grounds surrounding the building.
Description: This drop-in, rain or shine, all-ages event will feature three special guest partners. Members of the Canadian Great War Society will demonstrate trench wargare. Military Historian Andy Robertshaw will be on site to orchestrate drills and answer questions. At 1:00pm, Robert Land Academy students accompanied by a small band will present the Drum Head Service of Remembrance. This promises to be an excellent event that you won’t want to miss.

Military Historian Andy Robertshaw Presentation: “Eye Deep in Hell: The Experience of Passchendaele”

Date: Thursday, October 26, 2017
Time: 7:00pm
Tickets/RSVP: No
Cost: By Donation
Address: 243 Haldimand Highway 54, Cayuga, Ontario, N0A 1E0
Location: Ruthven Park’s Coach House and the grounds surrounding the building.
Description: Military Historian Andy Robertshaw returns to Ruthven Park once again for a presentation entitled “Eye Deep in Hell: The Experience of Passchendaele.” One of the UK’s most exciting military historians, Andy Robertshaw reveals what life was like on the frontline of history. Andy provides a unique, interactive illustration of military life to groups of all ages. He is a world-renowned expert on the First World War, and on trench warfare, in particular. He has worked on countless projects such as the films “War Horse” (2011) and “Wonder Woman” (2017). We look forward to welcoming Andy back and we hope you can join us for what promises to be a memorable evening.

Winter Hours – October 10/17 to May 18/18

The Gate House: (office) open Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm

The Mansion: by appointment only for groups of 6+ people

Contact Us:
Phone: (905) 772-0560 
Toll-free: (877) 705-7275

Mailing Address: 
243 Haldimand Hwy. #54,
Box 610
Cayuga, ON N0A 1E0

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