As you likely know, Canada celebrated her 100th birthday in 1967, and as a result, most areas planned parades, pageants and shows all pertaining to the 'Olden Days'. Caledonia was no exception.
All who participated in the Centennial fun agreed that it was a shame not to follow up on the ground work laid for that occasion, so I ,along with several other 'Antique Buffs' organized the Golden Horseshoe Antique Society Incorporated, (G.H.A.S.). Our plan was to have monthly meetings for members, of which there are now more than one hundred, with the August weekend show as a climax. In 1968, the first weekend in August, we held our first giant show, and plans are well under way for a bigger and better one to be held at the same time this year.
The area around the southern tip of Lake Ontario is known as the Golden Horseshoe, hence the name. For me, this a is long time dream come true. The following is an account of last year's show, which took place in Caledonia's five acre Fair Grounds:
The Main Street of Golden Horseshoe City was dominated by the 'new' City Hall, a two story, barn-board structure containing ancient furniture over-looked by Queen Victoria and a feather-boaed girl advertising cigars. Across the 'street' stood the Livery stable, where one could obtain food and lodging for one's animals, and next door to City Hall was McDonald's farm, a huge barn full of poultry, sheep, ponies and the other types of animals one finds on a farm.
Continuing along the street, you could get a bargain in the Trading Post or at the General Store, get your car fixed at the Gray Dort Garage, look over the supply of guns at the Gun shop, or place an order for farm implements or gas engines at several shops. Food was the order of the day and at every turn you could refresh your self with fried chicken, hamburgs and pop.
At the far end of the street, a steam caliope ground out music to the time of the threshing machines, shingle mill, gas and steam engines all doing their 'Thing'. Drivers attired in pleasing costumes of a century ago directed horses, carriages and vintage cars along the dusty street trying to avoid pedestrians clothed in a mixture of mini skirts, bustles, top hats and cut-away coats.
During the weekend, there was an opening dance, a free teen-age dance, archery contests, daily grand stand shows conducted by well known M.C.'s, and daily parades featuring over 200 entries of steam and gas vehicles, horses, bands, and antique cars.
Visitors from 11 countries signed the; guest book, as well as interested people from 7 provinces and as many States. All levels of Canada's Government were rep resented by officiating guests.
August 2, 3 and 4 of 1969 will bring a repeat of this gala show. Won't you add your name to the guest book, we would be pleased to have you.
Signed: Fred Thompson, President.