Westfield Heritage Village

If you’ve never heard of Westfield Heritage Village, you’re not alone.  I happened to stumble across it while looking at the Hamilton Conservation site.   As usual, the descriptions online were lacking so we were a little apprehensive when deciding to visit.

They have some special Halloween evenings coming up and then some Christmas activities after that.

View of the street
View of one of the streets.

Great History (but your kids won’t give a crap)

I love it when I stumble upon a hidden gem like this.  My husband and I had a great time reading about the history of the buildings and exploring.

But –

If your kids are young like mine – they won’t give a crap about any of it!

There are things that they will like though, keep reading 🙂

Westfield Heritage Village is a pioneer village with a number of historical buildings including a blacksmith shop, homes, a school, a Queen’s Rangers’ cabin and many more.

Trading Post c. 1841
Trading Post c.1841
View from the bandstand in the centre of 'town'
View from the bandstand in the centre of ‘town’

I assumed I was going to see a bunch of re-created buildings, but most of these are the real deal.  Buildings from the time periods 1775 to 1925 are arranged here to make a very lovely experience.  This is not the original location of the buildings but they are cared for here by the Hamilton Conservation Authority.  You can see a map and descriptions here.

Queen's Rangers' Cabin c1792. One of the oldest log cabins in Ontario.
Queen’s Rangers’ Cabin c1792. One of the oldest log cabins in Ontario.
Blacksmith shop
Blacksmith shop
Historical building
It was very interesting to read about the history of these buildings. Most of them were open and you can go inside.

So many Facebook picture opportunities :)…..This would also make a nice outing for extended family (grandparents) as each group can get something out of this trip.

The Pioneer Theme

There are costumed interpreters who work in the buildings and mingle so you can ask questions about what you are seeing.

Ladies preparing bread to be put in the oven.
Ladies preparing bread to be put in the oven.

We stopped at Eddie. D. Cat General Store – very nicely done inside and the prices were nice as well – a large assortment of candies and goods for .25 to $2.

Some of the goodies for sale in the general store
Some of the goodies for sale in the general store

Hint:

I scored big points with the family by buying us all candy sticks – @25 cents each.  My son even told me I’m the ‘best mom ever’.   Best.Mom.Ever.  Makes the cavities and the sugar high all worth it!

To illustrate some of the hardships our ancestors had to endure, they don’t take debit or credit in any of the stores.  Do you know how difficult it was for me to scrounge up 1 single dollar in change to buy some candy??

You can use plastic to pay the entrance fee but once you are inside its pioneer livin’ with cash only and no ATM on site.

Continuing with the theme, the toilets we saw were port-a-potty style.

The Stuff Your Kids will Care About

  • Train – no it doesn’t move (this is a pic of my son ‘leaving’ because he was upset the train doesn’t move).  Lots of other kids seemed excited though! There was a bench on the platform and some old fashioned suitcases that families were drawn to for picture opportunities.
    Take some cool pics with the train!
    Take some cool pics with the train!

    Train Station
    Train Station
  • Pumpkin games and activities – obviously pumpkins aren’t available year round, but they have a number of different theme days throughout the year, listed on their website.
    Playing croquet
    Playing croquet
    Pumpkin races
    Pumpkin races
    Balance a pumpkin on a wooden spoon
    Balance a pumpkin on a wooden spoon
    Corn table
    Corn table

    Sack races
    Sack races
  • Animals – a few sheep, chickens, horse and very large fluffy bunny.  Although I don’t think the animals are always there.  If this is a must see for your family you might want to call ahead.
    Kids loved to pet the bunny
    Kids loved to pet the bunny

    Friendly sheep
    Friendly sheep
  • General store:  yeah I know, candy.  But if you need to, you can use this stop as a nice teaching opportunity about what stores looked like before big box stores, bribe.

    Candy for sale in the general store.
    Some of the treats for sale in the general store.

The Bottom Line

We really enjoyed this place and we’re already considering coming back for another Halloween evening or maybe one of the Christmas theme activities.  If anyone has more info on the Christmas themes please let me know!  I think autumn was a great time to go as the tree colours made for a nice backdrop.

  • Westfield Heritage Village is located at 1049 Kirkwall Road, Rockton, ON.
  • Only open on Sundays (sometimes on other days as well – check online or call).
  • It was stroller friendly to walk along the paths and to view the buildings.  Some of the historic buildings did have stairs and/or were small so it would be difficult to navigate with a stroller inside.  We saw lots of people there with babies in strollers though.

    Note about strollers
    Note about strollers
  • The toilets are port-a-potty style and no sinks.  There are 2 sections with washrooms, both are closer to the entrance, so keep that in mind if you have littles that can’t wait and you are on the other side:)  However, as we were leaving we saw signs to another area of washrooms (in the first building before you pay your entrance fee).  Not sure if those are regular flush toilets?
  • Cash only, no ATM on site.  Prices are reasonable.
  • There is a small café/restaurant with standard hot dog/pizza fare.  Other treats and drinks available at the General Store.
  • Admission is free for 5 and under and it’s also dog friendly.
  • The drive here was also gorgeous. We took Concession Rd. 6 W off of Hwy 6.  We were the only car on the road, leaves rustling, car commercial type drive!  Kids saw lots of animals on the neighbouring farms as well.

I would love to know about your experience there at Westfield Heritage Village.  What time of year did you visit? What have you experienced?

Have fun this weekend.

 

 

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