If you haven’t visited recently, here’s what you’ve missed

Kayakers going over the dam, Queensborough

Charlene McKeown of Stirling took this terrific photo (and a couple more that you’ll see if you read on) of kayakers going over the dam on the Black River in “downtown” Queensborough this past Saturday. Many of the kayakers like to end their trip down the river in style, with that jump right over the dam. Their reward: homemade pie, made by volunteers with the Queensborough Community Centre Committee. (Photo by Charlene McKeown, courtesty of Charlene and Bob McKeown)

I don’t think anyone would ever accuse me of being shy about proclaiming that Queensborough is a happening place. Sometimes people from “away” look at me askance when I go on about it, as if to say (though they are too polite to say it out loud): “It’s a tiny hamlet in the back country north of 7, for Pete’s sake – how can there be that much going on?” Well, that just shows how much they know.

Take just the past week, for instance. Why, on Wednesday night (April 15) there was the venerable and (justly) famous annual Ham Supper at St. Andrew’s United Church. As always, crowds of people came for a great feed of ham, scalloped potatoes, baked beans, salad, rolls – and of course homemade pie. All of it is cooked and served up (and the mountain of dishes washed) by the members and friends of St. Andrew’s, and it’s an evening of fellowship, fun and food for all concerned. (Plus a lot of hard work, but the fun and fellowship and food make up for that.) Along with local residents we had visitors from Madoc, Tweed, Stirling and beyond. And I know I am safe in saying that not a soul went away hungry.

We were very fortunate this year to have Terry and Eileen Pigden of Centre Hastings TV in Madoc stop by the supper and photograph scenes from it. Terry just recently posted his footage on YouTube, and I think you’ll agree that he’s done a great job of capturing the event itself and also (at the end of the video) some scenes showing how pretty Queensborough is in springtime. Here you go, and thank you (again) to Terry and Eileen for showing Queensborough events to the world!

But barely had the dishes been dried from the Ham Supper than it was time for the annual celebration of spring on the Black River in “downtown” Queensborough. That’s when kayakers from all over Ontario and beyond flock to our village to test their mettle against the fast-flowing waters of the river as part of the Marmora Area Canoe and Kayak Festival (MACKFest), and at the end of their watery exertions enjoy barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs, hot coffee and hot chocolate, and of course more homemade pie. This time the food is provided by the Queensborough Community Centre Committee and friends, and the proceeds of the food sales go to support the community work of the QCC.

Now, a combination of circumstances (which included a disadvantageously scheduled but unavoidable trip to Toronto) kept Raymond and me away from the festivities this year, though I’ve been on hand in previous years and have written about it here and here and here and here. It was too bad for us, because the weather this year could not have been better, especially on Saturday when temperature climbed to 20C and the sun shone all day long. I am reliably informed that the turnout – both in kayakers and spectators – was excellent. I’ve included a photo taken by one of those spectators, Charlene McKeown of Stirling, at the top of this post; here are a couple more, also courtesy of Charlene and her husband, Bob:

Beside the Black River with kayalers, Queensborough

What a beautiful day in Queensborough! A warm summer sun shines down on the historic Thompson house – built in the middle of the 19th century by Daniel Thompson, considered the founder of Queensborough – beside the Black River. On the lawn of the home, now owned by Elaine and Lud Kapusta, you can see the white awnings showing where a busy group of volunteers barbecues hamburgers and hot dogs and serves them up, along with hot coffee and homemade pie, to flocks of hungry kayakers. (Photo by Charlene McKeown)

Kayaker below the dam, Queensborough

Mission accomplished for this kayaker, who’s in the fast-moving water just below the dam. Homemade pie awaits! (Photo by Charlene McKeown)

So in a single week, we had a hamlet full of visitors for two great local events that featured great homemade food. Now who dares tell me that there’s not much going on in Queensborough?

8 thoughts on “If you haven’t visited recently, here’s what you’ve missed

  1. It was a beautiful day to just sit and relax in a nice place and soak up the scenery! BTW I am still full from the St Andrews Ham Supper!

    • Bob, we are so pleased that you and Charlene (and grandsons) come and visit Queensborough events! Of course, there are some great historic ties between your family and our village. And isn’t that nice?

  2. Kayaking on the Black River looks terrifying.

    Ham and scalloped potatoes…….not scary at all!

    The dishes generated by dinner? The stuff nightmares are made of!

      • Sorry – help/no help, dishwasher or not, I have to admit that I loathe dishes. It’s totally unreasonable, I know and not a side of my personality I’m proud of. The cats and doggie Kes are troopers and do try to help but I’m told that this is not vey hygienic.

  3. What’s frightening is that if I put down a very messy casserole (say a lovely piece of vintage Pyrex that I’d made scalloped potatoes in – and they got nice and bubbly and extremely baked on and crusty around the edges) and then called Kes and the Calico Girls, the dish would sparkle! Our male cat, Piper is not very interested (he is the most uncooperative cat I’ve every met) but the Girls, Rhubarb and Luna will try anything. And Kes……..well he is a dog.

    Katherine, you should consider a Golden Retriever. Our grandoggie, Jack, is an absolute whiz with dishes. He doesn’t mind a bit! He licks dishes even when he’s not supposed to! He would LOVE to attend the next ham supper.

    • Boy, when I think of all the plates with just a little bit left on them that I scraped into the garbage bin before piling them up for washing at the Ham Supper – Jack the Golden Retriever would have been in heaven, had he been there!

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