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Once Upon A Time In Washington


Today, at the start of the 21st century, Washington is a quiet place, a crossroad with a few houses, a church, and an old school (now the Masonic Lodge). A small creek winds its way south of town and there is little to indicate that this had once been a community of some importance, with thriving businesses and a growing population.

Imagine the same place on a sunny June morning in 1862. People and animals mingle on the street. Two women head for Chamberlain's general store. One of them needs groceries; the other has eggs to sell. A young couple has just gone into Dunn's general store to look at shoes. An elderly man with an aching back is already there looking for medicine to relieve his pain. Behind him a young woman considers the store's assortment of crockery. She's still there a few minutes later when a farmer comes in wanting a sharpening stone and some coal oil...

This was Washington, Ontario, in the Township of Blenheim, in the County of Oxford, as it might have looked a century and a half ago.