Glenn Stott, local historian & reenactor

Our super historian and the barn quilts’ biggest supporter, Glenn Stott, telling about the origins of the local barn quilt trails:


Wardsville Legacy Portrait display wraps up

The Wardsville Legacy Portraits in the Heritage Gallery at the Arts and Cookery Bank will be replaced by a new show featuring the natural beauty of our region.

The Legacy Potraits occupied the Great Hall gallery September 30, 2011 – March 31, 2014

Legacy Portrait, Wardsville

“Photographs Capturing a Moment in History”

How the Subjects Were Photographed

Over the course of two days in June 2011, about 260 people posed in 69 groupings in a temporary studio set up in the pavilion of the Wardsville baseball park.  A team of “wranglers” provided logistical support as folks signed in and queued up for the sittings.  David Chidley, an accomplished local photographer, shot each group using a digital camera and provided invaluable on-site counsel and equipment. The local “Package Nanny” (Heather Rowe) set up a digital printer in the ‘studio’ and every group received a high-quality color print on the spot.

Larry Merin used a vintage Hasselblad camera for the portraits, since archivally processed film can be safely stored for decades without deterioration. The project was designed to provide the people of Wardsville with a ‘shoebox’ of images that could be stored in a form that could be seen easily in the future.  Stored in archives, the Legacy negatives should remain in pristine condition for many years.  Hopefully, they will be printed anew in 2110.

Folks grouped themselves for the sittings; most were couples and families.  We also photographed people linked by work (the Wardsville Volunteer Fire Department) and by hobbies (barbershop singers, ballroom dancers, barn quilt painters, a brass band).  It was a special honor to photograph a group of War Brides.

There was no 1-2-3 and no “Say Cheese.”  Larry reminded each group that the purpose of the photography session was to produce a historical record.  He asked them to look into the camera and imagine that their expression and pose would be the way future generations would come to know them.  Some responded with smiles, while others were pensive.  Some adopted formal poses while others were spontaneous.  The photographs reveal the people of Wardsville the way they see themselves and wish others to see them:  straightforward, friendly, proud of their village and comfortable with their way of life.

I am grateful to all who presented themselves to our cameras and allowed Dave Chidley and I to record their names and faces for coming generations.

Lawrence Merin, September 2011, Nashville


In Memory of Lawrence M. Merin

July 5, 1951 – November 7, 2012
Lawrence Mitchell Merin, a beloved family man and gifted photographer whose work improved the lives of others, died Wednesday, Nov. 7, at home. He was 61.
Larry was the founder and director of the Vanderbilt Ophthalmic Imaging Center at Vanderbilt University and an assistant professor of ophthalmology. Through the center’s program, Larry and his staff took their cameras to every county in Tennessee, screening indigent and uninsured patients for diabetic retinopathy, a condition that leads to blindness. It was the first fully mobile service of its kind.A Detroit native, Larry developed an early interest in photography, and studied mass communications and photography at Wayne State University, where he earned a baccalaureate with honors. Larry’s career as an ophthalmic photographer and instructor included positions at Sinai Hospital of Detroit, Riverside Community Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.While in Riverside, Larry met and married the love of his life, the former Becky Vazquez. The couple celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary Sept. 4.
Upon joining Vanderbilt in Nashville in 2000, Larry obtained the support and funding to start the Vanderbilt Ophthalmic Imaging Center. A leading expert in his field, he contributed to textbooks and professional journals, and taught courses in the United States as well as in Poland, England, Scotland, Italy, Japan and Singapore. He was a registered biological photographer, a fellow and former president of the Ophthalmic Photographers Society and a fellow of the Institute of Medical Illustrators in London. Other affiliations included the American Academy of Ophthalmology. During his career, he earned numerous certifications and awards. Larry’s photography extended beyond the medical field, and he had several exhibits through the years, including one of Vietnam War protest photos taken when he marched as a protester in Washington. For the bicentennial of his mother’s hometown of Wardsville, Canada, Larry took portraits of every resident for a time capsule that will be opened in 2110.
A loving father, husband and brother, Larry was devoted to his family. He served on the advisory board of the Choral Arts Link/MET Singers Honor Choir of Metro Nashville Public Schools, and he provided leadership as a committee member for Boy Scout Troop 3 in East Nashville, where his son, David, is an Eagle Scout. He also was a community steering committee member of the Tennessee State University Prostate Cancer Screening Barriers Study; an associate member of Grupo Comunitario Hispano de Tennessee; and an associate member of the Nashville Latino Health Council. He was an avid reader, car enthusiast and model railroader, and he enjoyed chasing steam locomotives. Larry had a lively sense of humor and a passion for social justice, and he was a proud survivor of breast cancer.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Anne Gayle and Earl Merin. He is survived by his wife, Rebecca Ruth Merin, daughter, Sydney Rachel Merin, and son, David Alexander Merin, all of Nashville; sister, Elaine Merin Perri of Chicago; mother-in-law and father-in-law Esther and John Cervantes of Riverside, Calif.; three sisters-in-law, Julie (Doug) King, Riverside, Calif., Anna (Mike) Lemos, Venture, Calif., and Debra Vazquez, San Diego, Calif.; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.


Eugene Lamont: a true collector

By IAN GILLESPIE, THE LONDON FREE PRESS. Click here for article in lfp.  January 17, 2012 11:41pm

Gerald Fagan recalls the sight that greeted him the first time he visited the Wortley Rd. home of Eugene (Gene) Lamont.

“You just have to believe me when I say this, but every wall was filled with paintings,” recalls Fagan, who first met Lamont in the late 1970s. “And when I say filled, I mean each wall might have 20 paintings on it. And on the floors, the paintings were stacked in rows, end on end. That’s how many he had.”

A farm boy born in Tait’s Corner and schooled in Glencoe, southwest of London, Lamont served in the RCAF during the Second World War. After the war he established the Lamont and Perkins drugstore in Wortley Village that he operated for decades until converting it into an antique shop in the early 1980s. Before he died last year at age 95, Lamont amassed an incredible collection of paintings, most by London and area artists.

And more than 400 of those items — including a range of books, antiques and furniture – will be up for bid Sunday when part of Lamont’s estate is auctioned off by Gardner Galleries.

“You’ll never see another (collection) like it,” says Craig Snively, manager at Gardner Galleries. “It’s very much focused on the London and Ontario art community . . . There’s a whole range of local artists who will be attractive to the local community.”

Though a few of the pieces are expensive — particularly a watercolour by Western Canadian artist W.J. Phillips that organizers estimate may fetch between $9,000 and $14,000 — many are expected to sell in the $200 to $500 range.

“He really was a connoisseur of good art,” says Fagan, artistic director of the Gerald Fagan Singers and Fanshawe London Chorus. “But he wasn’t going to go out and buy a Group of Seven when he could buy 10 minor artists of the same period and enjoy them.”

Lamont’s collection includes a startling range of items, including a double-sided painting by Sir Frederick Banting; four works by Eva Bradshaw, described by Nancy Poole in her book The Art of London as “probably the first woman in London to attempt to support herself exclusively from her art;” and 10 pieces by Hortense Gordon, a Hamilton-based member of the influential Painters Eleven, Canada’s first English-speaking group of abstract artists.

Museum London executive director Brian Meehan says gallery officials will likely bid on a few pieces that fill gaps in the local collection.

“Some people collect (art) to fill their wall space, and other people collect because they can’t help it,” says Meehan. “And you really get the sense that Gene collected because he loved it. He was a true collector; he couldn’t help himself.”

Posted by Mary Simpson

Royal Scots Highlighted on CBC Television

August 22, 2011 –

The Royal Scots were highlighted on CBC Television last night although the producers were obviously confused about the location. During the almost one minute of footage of our “Royal Ambush” the filmmakers flashed the name of our very own “Wardsville” on the screen! Of course we all know that the reenactment takes place in Delaware but what the hell, let’s take the credit anyhoot, besides it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been lied to by a Producer. You can watch the entire film on the 1 Day website.

Favourite quotes from the film “We’re defending the pants” and “I think we’re dead”

Gary and Barb

Wardsville teen enters the Dragon’s Den

Amy faced the Dragons but is sworn to secrecy. Just heard Amy and her Mom on CBC radio this morning.

Everyone in Wardsville needs a copy! I’ll seek out the order form and post it here. Here’s Jesse’s story about Amy’s book:

May 12, 2011, Jesse Cnockaert, West Elgin Chronicle, Article ID# 3121296

On May 16, 13-year-old Amy Cairns of Wardsville will face the Dragons.

In 2009, Amy Cairns wrote a children’s book “The Curse of the Holiday Head Lice.” Amy had experienced repeated problems with head lice, and had written a book so she could look back on the experience and laugh.

Amy’s book tells about dealing with head lice; the teasing from school kids, and all the different treatments she tries. Illustrations in the book were done by Jenica Slaats.

Continue reading



Wardsville gets hyped for Battle of Bands


Posted 16 hours ago

Wardsville will come alive with music this Saturday with the first “Showdown in Wardsville”, a battle of the bands event featuring live bands and artists.

Crocodile Productions, a video production company based in Wardsville, will be hosting the event at the Wardsville Community Hall. The doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 2: 00 p.m. Call 519-693-1092 for more details and admission cost.

“We want to keep it going as it once was. We want to involve the community and hold events here,” said Barbara Urbach of Crocodile Productions. “I think it’s great for the town. It needs something to revitalize it. This is perfect.”

The five bands performing are The Longlots, Longway, Sexually Transmitted Funk, All Hazed, and Nikki Richard.

“There’re so many bands out there that are dying for exposure. This is a great place,” said Urbach.

First prize will be a music video of the winning band, produced by Crocodile Productions. Second prize will be $150, and third will be $50.

“Johan and Gale Baartman, from Spirit Sound 2000, are providing the sound and light show. So it’s going to be a professional show for sure,” said Urbach.

Food and beverages will be provided by Dave’s Café.

Jesse Cnockaert

The Chronicle


WHEN:APRIL 30, 2011