Making History

Photo supplied. A Peony blooms in a local garden at the last Blocks and Blooms event. The next one is scheduled for Saturday, June 15th from 10 am to 4pm.

Maintaining a record of our local history and encouraging people to be interested in various aspects of the past is a lot of what we do as MCHS, but now and then we just have to make a little history ourselves.

Our Blocks & Blooms event in June 2018 did that, shining the spotlight on three aspects of our heritage that make us proud: historic properties, spectacular gardens, and the craft of quilting that makes a practical skill into an art form.   We built this project on the initial celebration of Blocks & Blooms in 2015, organized in collaboration with the Millbrook and Area Garden Club.  That experience taught us much and encouraged us to think big, so that in 2018, we were able to attract visitors from as far away as Kingston in the east, Mississauga in the west, and from the Kawarthas, Prince Edward County and Northumberland. It also gave people here a chance to tour around, meet the neighbours and learn more about their own community.

It’s time to do this again!  Blocks & Blooms 2024 will take place on Saturday, June 15, 10 am to 4 pm., with tickets going on sale May 1.  Again, many of Millbrook’s cherished heritage properties will be showcased, with – and this is new – Open Houses in several locations.  Once again, beautifully landscaped gardens will be featured, and for those with green thumbs, your Common Ground columnist, Jill Williams, will be on hand next to the Millbrook Community Garden to chat with you about saving seeds and planting cottage gardens.  This year we also take you beyond the boundaries of Millbrook to tour a few glorious gardens in country settings.

Photo supplied.

Kate deKlerk, the dynamo behind The Quilter’s Bolt, is curating the Airing of the Quilts for the event.  From her vast store of resources – so many local quilters – she will turn this community into an art gallery like no other, with both traditional and contemporary quilts on display.

We are excited that so many organizations and local businesses are joining us in celebrating this place we’re so proud to call home.  The Millbrook Cavan Firefighters Association will have the Old Fire Hall Museum open.  Boosting the food and refreshment offerings downtown, Branch 402 of the Royal Canadian Legion will fire up the grill on the back patio and the Masonic Lodge will be open for business.  Downtown Millbrook promises to be all decked out for the party!

Blocks & Blooms, besides being a wonderful way to celebrate and showcase heritage, is also a fundraiser for MCHS, which is entirely volunteer-run.  Proceeds will be used to make our archived collection of documents and deeds, photographs and family histories more readily accessible by upgrading our technology capabilities.  It will also allow us to expand the collection and preserve it responsibly.

Tickets will take the form of a booklet, describing the locations and exhibits.  Your booklet will be your pass into the venues.  There will be ticket outlets both in Cavan Monaghan and beyond, and also on line through our website,, where you will also be able to find a full list of the participating sites.  Tickets are $20.

We at MCHS are looking forward to making history!  We will have all the details to share with you in the April issue of the Millbrook Times.  This is going to be great.

Now & Then by Celia Hunter

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