The area to the east of Combermere was settled by Polish immigrants in the 1800s. The land was rocky and poorly suited for farming and few settlers spoke English which greatly compounded the challenges they faced in their new land.
One requirement for obtaining land was the necessity to build a house within two years and the house had to be 24 feet by 18 feet. In Wilno, Ontario there is an excellent pioneer settlement dedicated to the early history of Polish settlement in the area.
The upstairs of the house in the first picture had three tiny bedrooms where six children and their parents slept. Remember back then there was no indoor bathrooms or central heating.
The balcksmith shop an essential establishment in every village at the time.
For these new settlers their faith was what sustained them throughout their lives as they struggled to wrestle a living from such poor soil. Today as you drive through the area you will notice huge crosses at many of the crossroads. Unable to get to church on many winter mornings because of the weather or just too weak to walk the miles, the families would gather at these crosses for prayer and a short service.
As they struggled in their new land their families back in Poland struggle for democracy. This struggle is remember in this park dedicated to the youth of Poland who fought against Fascism and Communism.
Mary is always interested in old quilts and gets a chance to inspect one close up at the museum. The folks there have done an excellent job of preserving and displaying their history for us to enjoy. It is an area we will explore more often as we drive the country roads throughout Hastings county.
Thanks for stopping by.