A couple of readers have pointed out that in yesterday’s post – about travelling north through the centre of Hastings County on the historic Old Hastings Road, and passing through the hamlet of Ormsby on the way home to Queensborough – I neglected to mention the very remarkable thing that is to be found in Ormsby: the Old Hastings Mercantile and Gallery, a wonderful (by all accounts) old-fashioned general store and – well, emporium seems like a good word to describe this sprawling, funky operation.
But there was a reason I didn’t mention it! It’s that Raymond and I haven’t had a chance to visit it yet, so we haven’t seen it for ourselves. (At least on the inside; we stopped and had a look at the outside on our Old Hastings Road drive, but it was a weekday and the store is only open on weekends until Victoria Day. Then it’s open seven days a week until Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.)
Our not having been there yet is most certainly not for lack of interest. Ever since I read about the Mercantile a little over a year ago in an article in Country Roads magazine by our friend Lindi Pierce – you can read it here – I’ve been dying to check it out. The problem has been our always-limited time and perpetually long list of things that need doing at the Manse. But so many people in the Queensborough/Madoc/Hazzard’s Corners/Tweed/Eldorado area have mentioned Ormsby to us, and raved not only about the store but about the beautiful little church that the people who opened the store have restored (where a lovely Christmas service is held each year), and the restaurant/tearoom they have created in the village’s old schoolhouse. “You have to go!” they say. And I suspect they say it not just because it’s a great place to visit, but because they know that the folks behind the Ormsby renaissance are kindred spirits to Raymond and me.
That is: people who have lived and worked in the big city but have (like me with Queensborough) felt the call of Hastings County, and home.
That is something to celebrate and support. You can be sure that Raymond and I will be visiting the Old Hastings Mercantile (and The Old Schoolhouse restaurant/tearoom) very, very soon.
And I urge you to do so too!