Before purchasing our property, we had only been to McDonalds Corners once before, 25 years ago, when looking to buy a wood stove for our first house. Wood ‘N Energy was there and they sold Vermont Casting stoves. The store was located in an old wood framed building that is still standing, looking at it now, I’m not sure how it never burned down.
The village has general store with post office, a church, an agricultural society that hosts a fall fair; bird auctions twice a year; and this year The Festival of Small Halls. It is also home to the Lanark Highlands Basketry Museum run by Ankaret Dean. Close by is the Purdon Conservation Area, known for its display of lady slipper orchids. Just 15 minutes away is Back Forty Artisan Cheese and their handcrafted cheeses (I like their Bonnechere). But my main interest was in an organization called the McDonalds Corners/Elphin Recreation and Arts (MERA for short). I was just a knitter when I first heard of MERA and knew they had an active knitting group. By the time we bought our property and I joined MERA, I had begun weaving and discovered what an active weaving group they had. I have learned a lot from this group of weavers, but more importantly, I have made some lovely dear friends.
MERA offers more than just knitting and weaving. A weekly Farmer’s Market runs from May through October, workshops taught by some of the many talented people in the area, a pottery group, quilting group, visual arts group and a book group, plus music concerts and more.
Now, if someone were to open a pub, the village would be complete.
A few years ago my husband and I purchased a piece of property outside of McDonald Corners, Ontario (that we are now getting ready to start building on). One of the things that drew us there (at least for me) is an organization called MERA (McDonalds Corners-Elphin Recreation and Arts).
From May to October there is a lovely farmer’s market with live entertainment. An artist is featured artist every month in the Dean Hall (and this area has a lot of talented artists). There are workshops (stained glass, basket making, felting to name a few), music concerts and much more, but it was the Schoolhouse Weavers that I was most interested in. I have learned a lot from this group, it has given me more confidence and allowed me to progress with my own weaving.
The MERA Schoolhouse Weavers would like to make more progress too, by purchasing more equipment, such as an 8-harness loom. To help achieve this goal they are selling raffle tickets. First price is an antique coverlet woven by A. MacGillivray Grant in 1912 (currently on display in the Dean Hall). Second price is a multi-coloured rug woven by Ankaret Dean, a schoolhouse weaver. Third price is a silk scarf woven by Lise Loader, also a schoolhouse weaver. The draw will be held on November 18, 2017 at the annual MERA Christmas sale.
As these items cannot be shipped, ticket sales are limited to the Ottawa area, and members will be located at various events to sell tickets. If you are interested in purchasing a ticket, please let me know.
close-up of coverlet
Angus MacGillivray Grant, Weaver