By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement
At the Oshawa Museum, we put a great amount of time, energy, thought, and enthusiasm into our events and event planning. Late in the year is when we start putting thought into the events for the following year, and in late 2014, we knew we wanted to shake up our usual events and try new things! Accessioned: a behind the scenes tour of the Museum, Tea & Talks, Sunday FUNdays, and Grandpa Henry’s Picnic was what we came up with!
Why Grandpa Henry’s Picnic? After Thomas Henry passed away in 1879, his daughter-in-law Polly-Ann Henry wrote Memoir Of Rev. Thomas Henry Christian Minister, York Pioneer, And Soldier Of 1812. For Museum staff or those wanting to research the Henry Family, this book is a fantastic resource as it details Thomas’s early life, his experiences both with the War of 1812 and the 1837 Rebellion, his work with the Christian Church, and his private family life. Polly-Ann also shared this wonderful passage:
Father Henry was very fond of children, and his grandchildren will carry to their graves pleasant memories of “Grandpa’s parties.” These parties were given on the 24th of May, and the grandchildren were all invited. The children also were welcome if they came, but the grandchildren were the honored guests. We shall always remember the long table, surrounded by children, with grandpa at the head dispensing the good cheer provided for the occasion, with a face scarcely less bright and happy than the children around him.
We wanted to host an event for families, much like Thomas Henry would have done 100 years before us.
Thomas typically held this event on May 24, but we decided to host it in the beginning of July. Historically speaking, when we host events around the May long weekend, Mother Nature tends to rain on our parade; those who attended Acessioned on May 31 can attest to that! On July 5, the Henry House Gardens will be taken over by games of croquet, ice cream making, and yoke races! Costumed guides will be in Henry House to provide information on the history of the house and the Henry Family.
We hope you’ll join us for Grandpa Henry’s Picnic! It’s going to be a fun afternoon!