Saturday in Welland

One Saturday morning recently, Ken and I went out to explore Welland.

On a previous quick drive through there, I spotted so many incredible old buildings. Old buildings are like a magnet for us. If we had an unlimited supply of cash, I think we’d spend our entire life going from old house to old house, happily restoring them. Alas, that is not our life situation, so I will gaze and dream from afar.

I had printed off a Historic Tour brochure from the City of Welland’s website, so I was armed with a list of 39 heritage properties to look at with longing. I didn’t think we could do all thirty-nine in one day, but was going to give it a good shot.

But first, we required sustenance. So a stop at the Welland Farmer’s Market was in order.

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Before I proceed with the happenings of our time in Welland, I just need to prepare you a bit. You will see (Gasp! Horror!) SNOW in these pictures. Thankfully, our time for snow has passed. I think. And if this post inspires you to head out to Welland yourself, you know you’ll have better weather on your side.

Now let’s get back to the Welland Farmer’s Market.

Every Saturday since 1907, people have been descending on this gem of a market to get their fill of local fruit, veggies, meats, cheese, and baked goods. Additionally, there are lots of local artisans also offering products for sale. I’m told that it’s an especially happening place in the summer, but sadly, a summer visit is probably not in the cards for me. With operating hours from 6am-12pm, it’s a bit difficult to get there by that time when you have a B&B to run. You’ll have to go and tell me about it, okay?

But I’m so glad I got there when I could.

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While walking through the first building, I was thrilled to find Kevin and Louis from The Smokin’ Buddha.

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They have so many delicious things to choose from, but that day I had their special breakfast burrito.

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As expected, it was very tasty, and fueled me up for further exploration.

Off we went into the cold, to cross over to the other building. It was so chilly that day, but these brave souls were set up outside in between the buildings.

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Inside the second building, we were incredibly grateful for the warmth. So many local products to choose from, even in the winter.

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When we were finished at the market, we dashed across the street to The European Pantry, which I had been wanting to visit for awhile. The European Pantry specializes in selling imported foods from The Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, France, Scandinavia, and more.

When I was a kid, my Mom used to take me to our neighbourhood German deli. To my youthful mind, that German deli symbolized a world of exotic foods that I didn’t even know existed – and my fondness for European chocolates, meats, and sauerkraut was firmly established. This German deli also had a very particular aroma – a delicious one smelling of spices, cured meats, and probably a hint of chocolate. If I encounter this same aroma now, I am instantly transported back to that German deli and my childhood.

Well, I didn’t smell that same aroma at The European Pantry, but I certainly felt that childhood nostalgia. What a tremendous array of products!

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In the chocolate photo below, notice the ladybugs. All I have to do is see them, and I’m five years old again.

Ken will attest to this. Though he thinks I act like a five year old quite often.

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Jacqui, who is one of the owners, was so gracious and attentive to all of her customers, and I was glad to chat with her for a bit.

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I’ve got to go back soon. Must get more ladybugs.

But next, we were on our way to get cupcakes, at Above & Beyond Cupcakes

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Though they are known for their gourmet cupcakes and cakes, they have so many things to choose from. They are “above and beyond” just cupcakes.

Such a lovely shop they have too.

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I decided to get a selection of cupcakes, and one of the ones I purchased was allergen free – free of peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, egg, sugar, soy and sesame. They all tasted divine.

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Now we were well fortified, and ready for some historic property gazing. Boy, did we find some beauties.

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I couldn’t find the one above in the Historic Tour brochure, but it’s gorgeous. Anyone know the story of this house?

The one below is The Cooper Mansion. It was built in 1913-1914 for Robert Cooper, who established the Riverside Mills in 1892.

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Next, the Reilly-Coulson House, which has been in the present owner’s family since 1906. I think that is just amazing.

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Of course, you can’t miss the Court House, dating back to 1856.

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Or the gorgeous Rose-Rohaly House.

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Or the one that I think is my favourite, Schooley House.

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There is just something about this house. When I saw it, there was only one thing I could think of. One of my favourite authors, Kate Morton, bases her books on the telling of a fictional story of a house that she is drawn to. I really wish she could do one on this house.

Especially when I saw this picture.

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While I contemplated a new career writing mysterious house stories, Ken was getting nibbly. So we decided to stop for another bite at Evelyn’s Sandwich Factory.

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Who doesn’t love a good sandwich, especially when you can build your own?

Here’s Ken’s

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And here’s mine

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There are so many different sandwich combinations possible at Evelyn’s, I’m sure you could create a totally different sandwich every day of the year. If you live in Welland, perhaps you could test this theory out for me? You’ll have a year of fantastic sandwiches, that’s for sure.

At this point, our morning was drawing to a close, and we had to get back to Niagara-on-the-Lake for another event. I wanted to see some of the Welland Murals before we left, so we did a quick drive-by to see a couple.

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I encourage you to click on this link, which will tell you the story of the murals. Such a wonderful way to convey the history of Welland.

And on our drive out, I had to stop for one more historic house picture. What can I tell you except that I must be addicted.

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Such a lovely morning, filled with great food, hospitable people, beautiful historic buildings and a sense of the past. All the makings of a good time for me.

I’m looking forward to returning.

Do you have any other suggestions for places I can’t miss the next time I’m in Welland? Leave your comments here, or on any of my social media. I’d love to hear them.