Saturday, June 09, 2012

Delaware Outpost

Date of hike:  Sun. May 13 2012

Weather: 21C; bright sunshine and a clear blue sky                                                                                         

Duration of hike:  1 hour 28 minutes

Section:  4—from west side of Komoka Rd. bridge to Delaware Conservation Area parking lot

Distance:  6.0 km              Cumulative distance:  172.9 km

Picking up from where we left off at the Komoka Road bridge, this was another little stretch that had to follow the road.  It’s nice to keep sections like these on the short side.  After all, hiking long distances along the roadway doesn’t feel all that adventurous and it seems to deflate the attraction of wilderness pathways that could follow.  So we made quick work of this section, making only brief stops to take the odd photo.

 As we made our way south east on Gideon Drive, we soon came into the village of Delaware.  The original settlement was further west of where it stands now; where Belvoir Farms is located today.  We took a few moments to read some historical plaques that are erected in the town and learned about its founder, Gideon Tiffany.


This section of the TV Trail crosses paths with the “Southwest Ontario Barn Quilt Trail”.  Coming into Delaware along Gideon Drive, you will see two of these murals mounted on the sides of barns and one other on free-standing posts by the church. 
This is a relatively new quilt, recently put up--hence
its name is not available on the Barn Quilt web-site.
But it's located on the grounds of the church in Delaware.
Next Door Neighbour--symbolizing the
isolation of the pioneer life, while living
along the Thames.
Thames River--commemorating the Canadian Heritage
River designation of the Thames.
If you continue to travel east on Highway 2 (which is a right turn off of Gideon Drive as you pass through Delaware), you’ll see several more of these panels along the roadway.  These panels are part of a large community project to highlight the rich history of the area.  Each one tells a story about its location and can be found not just in Middlesex County, but in Brant, Elgin, Norfolk, and Oxford counties as well.  Hundreds of volunteers, including quilters and historians, have worked together to produce these stunningly visual pieces of artwork.

That brings me to elaborate on the history that this area possesses, especially with regards to the War of 1812.  Delaware itself was an established British outpost during this time and not far from here, the “Battle of the Thames” (also known as the Battle of Moraviantown) took place.  It was in this particular battle that Chief Tecumseh gave his life while unsuccessfully fighting off the American invaders.  The “Battle of Longwoods” was another significant milestone of this war that took place along the banks of the Thames. 
While the TV Trail starts to veer away from the Thames River, just after passing through Delaware, I think it would be a great idea to continue its course along the Thames, taking in some of these historical monuments.  Maybe even following it all the way to its mouth into Lake St. Clair!  But that would require a huge undertaking of many dedicated volunteers….maybe someday!
Turn around point--Delaware Conservation Area

Red-winged blackbird sitting on a post.

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