I’m no stranger to Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons, having visited years ago when I was just a little girl. A couple of months ago I thought it would be fun to inject a little bit of history into my children’s summer and introduce them to some fascinating sights in our province with my dear friend Desiree Fawn from SoFawned.com and her daughter. First up – Sainte Marie Among the Hurons.
This historic site is a popular spot in Ontario and is visited annually by people from around the world. It was Ontario’s first European community and the 17th century fortress and headquarters for the French Jesuit mission to the Huron nation. In 1639 the Jesuits and local workers began to develop the land by building barracks, a church, workshops, residences, and a sheltered area for Native visitors. By 1648, sixty-six Frenchmen lived in Sainte-Marie. Centuries later, the grounds now include 17 reconstructed buildings and structures that have been recreated on the original site.
Visiting Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons is like going back in time. Everyone is dressed up in historical outfits and costumes, adding a level of authenticity to the daily activities and reenactments. The waterway demonstration was very entertaining and eye-opening. It was amazing to see how the bridge opened and flooded out in order to help the travelers get through.
We listened to traditional native storytelling in the longhouse. The thick clouds of smoke from the fire, mixed with scent of sweetgrass added to the ambience. This was the most realistic experience of the day for me as I really felt as though I stepped into history in the longhouse.
We learned about historic medicine and blacksmithing. The kids tried their hands at sculpting.
And they learned how to wash clothes the old fashioned way.
Although we spent most of our time outside, there is an award-winning interpretive museum filled with artifacts and information on the Sainte-Marie story.
We spent nearly 3 hours at Sainte-Marie Among The Hurons and it wasn’t nearly enough. You could easily spend 5-6 hours here as there is so much to do and see! Packing a lunch is a good idea if you plan on making this a day event, however there is a restaurant on site as well.
Disclosure: We were provided with complimentary passes to this attraction, however all thoughts and opinions are my own as always.