Journal the Fourth

June 20th to June 30th

The last two weeks have certainly been busy- and been wet. I’m not sure if a day went by without a bit of rain.

All last week we have school programs, with teachers anxious to get one last trip in before the school year ended. Strangely, we didn’t have any school groups in this week- you’d think that a chance to make old fashioned ice cream and explore our grounds would make a great intro to summer.

We have had plenty of other visitors, in any case. Here’s one of them.


Flat Stanley is a children’s book character who is making the rounds across Canada this summer, seeing as many different places, peoples and events as he can. When he got to the Homestead we all looked around for events and activities to include him with. So I took him with me when I went (model) sailing!


I also worked with a pair of architectural students who were doing a research project for a class in preserving built heritage. I hope that I was some help to them, though they were mostly interested in finding good images for their presentation.

In any case, we’ve been busy. Our plans for our summer camp days have been approved, and we’ll be testing our recipes and crafts next week to see if they’re any good. Expect my next post to be full of pictures!

We’ve also been preparing for Canada 150. Believe or not, but the Homestead isn’t open on Canada day, so instead some of our staff will be at Brantford’s big celebration. They’ll be taking with them some of the activities that I was using at Glenhyrst back in May, but they’ll also be taking along our working replicas of Bell’s original commercial telephones from way back in 1877.

There aren’t separate speakers and microphones on these models- you talk and listen at the same hole!

Since Brian, our curator (who using prepares the replicas for use) was on holiday, it was up to me to figure out how to wire the two sets together.

Enter a caption
All ready to go.

We got them working fairly quickly. The interesting thing about these 1877 models is that they don’t require any outside power to work- instead of battery power, they run off the power of your voice! Unfortunately, sound quality wasn’t all that great during our tests, but hopefully it works better during Canada Day.

I’ve also had a chance to do a bit of cataloguing here and there in past two weeks. As the Homestead itself is also our artifact storage building, searching for artifacts to check their locations means going behind the ropes to check over everything. Good thing everything has an accession number! I’ve mostly been working with the books in the Bell’s library, which means a lot of sorting through shelves. The books are all in really good condition, though. I can only do cataloguing when Brian ins’t using his computer, since his is the only one through which I can access their electronic catalogue. This means that the cataloguing is very much a secondary task for me- I’ve got plenty of other work to keep me busy.

This includes my research project, which I think is starting to shape up nicely, though I’ve not got too much news to share right now. Research is certainly all done, and so now I’m developing the instructional set and the background information that will travel with the historic documents to provide context for the classroom courthouses.

To end on a lighter note, here’s Alex, our dummy.


If you’d like to know what he’s for, well, that’s a good question. So far, he seems only good for scaring people as they round the corner. Oh well.

That’s all for now

Scott W.E. Dickinson



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