Lambton Heritage Museum
Grand Bend, Ontario

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Grand Bend - Our Stories, Our Voice
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When our family acquired this property in 2004, there were remnants of woven wire fence surrounding the grounds. One small section remains to this day at the northeast corner. The question arose as to why there was fence around the yard. A visit to Nola gave the answer. Her reply was "Well, that was to keep the neighbours' cows out of our garden." Apparently it was common practice years ago for people to let their cows out in the evenings to let them graze on the grass at the side of the road. Nola explained that their neighbours had only a small amount of pasture, so after being milked late in the day, the cows were allowed to roam freely along the roadside until the next morning. Nola said that, along with the woven wire fence, there was a gate at the end of their laneway which was always kept closed. Can you imagine letting cows roam freely on Grand Bend Line these days!

Nola also told the story of two men walking home along the B-Line one night after dark. You have to visualize just how dark the nights would be, and the fact that there would be no street lights or lighting from houses or cars to give any sight of where they were walking. Nola mentioned too that these men had a few drinks before they made their journey home. Apparently, all of a sudden they fell right over two cows that were lying right in the middle of the road! That would be quite the surprise for everyone involved.

Another story told by Nola was about her uncle (Mansel's brother Jim) who worked at the train station in Parkhill. He lost his leg in an accident on the train tracks. There were no telephones at that time so his parents (James B. and Catherine Hodgins) were not notified of the accident until he arrived home in the back of a wagon - with the leg wrapped in rags beside him. His leg was buried and he was bedridden until he could recover. He suffered terrible phantom pains and when his grandmother came to visit she claimed the pain was occurring because the leg wasn't laid straight when it was buried. Upon her insistence, the leg was removed from the ground, straightened and then reburied. When his father did this, the pain mysteriously stopped. Eventually Jim was fitted for a wooden leg.


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