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Aging Gracefully

In this fast-paced age of instant gratification, it’s often easy to overlook and underappreciate the value of a hard day’s work. Sometimes the best results come from patience, process, and purpose; after all, good things come to those who wait.



Rarely is our heritage, history and patriotism as Canadians more symbolic than with the collective branches of our armed services. And if you want to know what’s it like for an entire nation to live on “small town” values and principles, then the Dunnville Museum is the place for you.

Relearn, revisit, and reappreciate the people, places and events that made us what we are today through countless exhibits, artifacts, documents, and imagery. Get a hands-on feel for what it was like for Canadian, Australian and British fighter pilots to train for WWII from 1940-1944, as you browse through a former airfield that once housed five hangars and three double-runways onsite. Unfortunately, most of these buildings were taken down after the war, and until 1999, the property was used to raise turkeys! But three noble men (Russ Cameron, Vic Powell and Dan Silverthorne), knew a bastion of history when they saw one, and purchased the site with the goal of rejuvenating it and turning it back into a cultural treasure. Their dedication, hard work and financial support paid off, and in 2003, the museum was born.

Contact for hours and days of operation, or to book an appointment 905-701-7223.


One of the great things about living in an area so rich in history, is that you are constantly reminded of the past at seemingly every turn. Which makes the Village of Selkirk such an ideal addition to Aging Gracefully. Known as the oldest village in Walpole Township, Selkirk definitely has its share of stories to tell. Settled by the Hoover family in 1800, the town has gained fame for its local fisheries, mills, farming communities, the famous Bluewater Hotel and hanging “American sympathizers” from the gallows during The War of 1812. Over the years, the town has gone by many names –Williamsville, Walpole, and Enterprise, to name a few—before eventually settling on Selkirk in honour of the late Lord Selkirk, a prominent landowner. Today, this picturesque setting boasts some of the best bike trails, golf courses, bird-watching and fishing around, all skirted by a serene Lake Eerie shoreline and quiet countryside. And if you’re looking for a quick weekend jaunt or a longer holiday away from the stresses of life, Selkirk offers over three dozen historical sites to witness, visit and experience, complete with official Walking Tour Map. Each new step is like a journey into the past!


Photo Credits: Oasis Drive In

Sometimes, a little nostalgia goes a long way. There are certain sights that spark a youthful exuberance in us, and perhaps none more so than a good old-fashioned drive-in diner. Something about the experience transports you back in time, allowing you to experience the best of days gone by. And if a blast from the past is your cup of tea, then there is no better snapshot into the history than The Oasis Drive-In in Caledonia. Considered Ontario’s—and likely Canada’s—oldest functioning drive-in restaurant, The Oasis has been serving customers great food and free smiles since 1927 and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon. Appropriately named The Oasis, it greets you like mirage from your youth, seeming almost too amazing to be true…until the food convinces you of its authenticity. All of your classic favourites are here, from traditional drive-in eats like burgers, hot dogs and homemade fries, to perfect after dinner treats like hand-spun milkshakes and old-fashioned ice cream cones. Visions of old Chevys and sounds of Bebop music race back from your memory, and you could almost swear you could see a waitress cruising by on roller skates (you didn’t). As charming a place as you’d ever want to eat, the atmosphere and history may originally attract you, but the food will have you coming back for more!


Photo Credits: Knights Beach Resorts

As collective members of the human race, we all have similar stories, memories and experiences that leave a profound impact on our lives. We all remember our first haircut, lost tooth, romantic crush, or learning the hard way why we shouldn’t stick things in electrical sockets. And included in that group for many of us, are the nights spent camping out under the stars or frolicking in sand and surf at the beach. It’s almost impossible to do either without enjoyment—if you discount the presence of bugs while camping—but to do both simultaneously is almost assuredly a good time. Enter the good folks of Knights Beach Resort.

For over 50 years, this hidden gem has been providing camping, beach, cottage and RV fun for singles and families alike, and has no shortage of amenities or activities to treat you. Located in Haldimand, ON on the banks of the mighty Lake Erie, Knights Beach is the perfect spot for a weekend away, day trip, or social gathering. The term “something for everyone” tends to get thrown around quite often, but in this case it is quite literally true! The resort offers everything from on-site laundry service, to sporting courts, to wagon and trails rides, a games room, children’s outdoor playground, and everything in between. Be sure to visit this reigning “Campground of the Year” winner!


The tale of the weary traveler is something we are all familiar with. Working long hours over great distances and leaving behind family and loved ones in the name of one’s livelihood, are all feelings most of us can connect with on a personal level. We all yearn for a warm bed to sleep in and a hearty and delicious meal to fill and power us through the day ahead. Finding an ideal “home away from home” is harder than it seems, and it takes a special blend of comfort and familiarity to replicate such a feeling. But if your travels happen to land you in the Fisherville area, look no further than the good people and friendly confines of the Fisherville Hotel and Tavern. Originally opened in 1893 with the specific purpose of accommodating traveling salesmen, the Fisherville has been a lighthouse for those seeking comfortable lodgings and delicious, home-cooked meals ever since. Head Chef Kathleen Milroy has developed quite the local following for her award-winning soups, new twists on traditional pub grub, and a menu that is sure to complement any of the craft beers routinely featured at the tavern. Rooms at the hotel feature modern amenities combined with simplistic, rustic charm, providing plenty of comfort and relaxation for your journey ahead.


In 1887 James Hewitt, began delivering milk to the people of Hagersville with a horse-drawn Democrat but it wasn’t until 1962 that they opened up their beloved Dairy Bar. Still today the tradition of quality remains beyond reproach.

Read more articles from Live Small Town Magazine.