First of all, it’s WAY prettier here in the summer than it is in the winter or spring. But on to the other reasons – and if you are reading this before Saturday June 9, you should skip to reason # 3 first, and then read the rest. If reading before Canada Day, skip to reason #2 first, and read the rest.
10. Otterville has one of the few preserved black pioneer burial grounds in the province.
9. We have a historic grist mill. Built in 1845 by Edward Bullock, the mill is run by water power supplied by a dam on the river. The South Norwich Historical Society, on a lease basis, maintains this historic site and offers tours on request (519) 879-6804 – ask for Gail Lewis. A beautiful setting in the center of the village, the mill and its surrounding meadow is the site of an annual barbecue.
8. We have a really nice waterfall (going over the dam mentioned above).
7. We have a Grand Trunk Railway Station Museum and Blacksmith Shop. The South Norwich Historical Society has restored this 1875 station to its condition as a 1881 Grand Trunk Railway station. The waiting room and office are restored authentically, the baggage room is an interpretation room for displays of the area’s history. Permanent displays feature railway construction of the 1880s with many artifacts of all periods. The Underground Railroad and early Black settlement of the area is another highlight, as well as the story of early Quaker heritage in the area. I’m told it is open 2-4 most Sundays? or Saturdays (let me check that) during the summer. Or, you can call the number I gave for the mill. They actually have guided tours to many of these places.
6. Got kids? Bring them to Otterville Park. This is our hidden gem. You have to cross a walking bridge over the creek to get to it: 10 acres of parklands graced with beautiful tall pines, with a swimming pool, ball diamond, horseshoe pitch, tennis and basketball courts, and children’s playground. I use the pool often on summer afternoons, and it’s quite nice. You don’t have to be a member, just walk in the door, pay a small fee, and you can cool off on a hot summer day. There is also a nice sort of hiking trail along the creek. The entrance is close to the playground.
5. Otterville now has a bed and breakfast to stay in.
4. Otter Creek Golf Club. Winner of Best New Golf Course in Ontario, by ScoreGolf & Fairways Magazine 2009. Runner-up Best New Golf Course in Canada (Golf Digest). Rated one of the top 25 public courses in Ontario, by Ontario Golf Magazine 2011. I don’t play golf, but I have eaten lunch there and it’s lovely!
3. This Saturday is the 17th Annual Otterville Mill Classic Car Show. Always a fun day. Also, the townspeople have cleverly chosen this to be the day they hold their garage sales.
2. It’s Otterville’s turn (in Norwich township) to hold the Canada Day Celebrations! Lots of fun things planned June 29 – July 2.
1. I am here! My gallery is located on the Main Street, just three houses away from the mill and the waterfall. There is a sign out front so you can easily find me, and if it doesn’t say “Open”, don’t be discouraged. Call the number on the sign, or knock at the front, if it says “closed”. My only request is that you wait until after 11 a.m., please. If it does say “Open”, come on back to the patio doors. And remember, I’m not the only artist in Otterville, so if you don’t find something you like here, I can direct you to the others. Please come and visit!