As part of our 2015 Summer of Doing Manifesto; Explore Wellington County, we had an adventure day on Saturday June 6th. First stop, Fergus.
Each August, Fergus hosts The Highland Games and Scottish Festival which attracts over 30.000 visitors. The games represent the largest gathering of clans in the world outside of Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia (Canada). en.wikipedia.org · Text under CC-BY-SA license
The Little Falls as they are now, a little worn down from time.
We have been to Fergus many times but never really spend time looking around through tourist eyes. While walking through downtown Fergus on a Saturday morning, we were quite surprised at the late opening times of 11:00am for many of the shops. While it is still early in the season for the farmer’s market or the tourist trade, it made it difficult to browse in any shops. We also noticed that there were many shops empty of any trade – sad as I do remember Fergus as a hustle bustle town. Of the shops that were still in trade, many had very pretty and over flowing window baskets. Purple and yellow pansies seemed to be the standard.
We wandered through the Templin Gardens, improved and maintained by the Fergus Horticultural Society. As the gardens are stepped alongside the Grand River, it gave a really pretty view of the river, which was flowing freely after several days of heavy rain. There were a few fishermen testing their lines from the stairs, which would have been great photos for two years ago SPSH (Fisherman), but today made it cumbersome to travel up and down the stairs.
We checked out the rebuilt Fergus Library. The front of the building maintains the old charm of originality, complete with the carving of a Scottish dancer near the main entrance(stock photo). The addition at the back of the building is a little more current in style, but still in keeping with the surroundings. There is a balcony for patrons do a little sit and read.
We walked past the refurbished Grand Theatre. We have seen a couple of plays in there with the local theatre troupe. I don’t remember the seats as comfortable but I do know that the talent was fantastic. Umm, need to check out what is currently playing to make a return visit.
Fergus has two well known elements of their Scottish heritage; the bag piper sign at each city entrance. My favourite welcome sign is coming from the east along Wellington Road 18. This one is 3D and quite detailed. The others are flat painted pipers.
The other notable is the Scottish Warrior statue, who’s official name is George Fergusson, The Defender of Blairgowrie, named after the brother of one of the co-founders of Fergus, who once resided in the Breadalbane building, which is now a restaurant. The statue was carved in 2005/06 by Nick and Sean Kosonic from the trunk of a mighty but dying, 200 year old maple tree. They used the creation as a fundraiser for the Fergus Groves Memorial Hospital. For $200 or more you may have your name permanently placed on the 'Shield of Honour', carried on George's back. (no photo).
This year as part of the doing, we have tickets for all three days of the Scottish Festival in August and we are looking forward to a return wandering visit to Fergus.