It’s been a busy month here at Among Brenda’s Quilts & Bags. If you’ve kept up with the newsletter you’ll know that my location will be moving from my in-house studio to a new address at 77 Thomas St. in Strathroy, Ontario where I’ll be designing and teaching bag making classes when I’m not on the road. It’ll be called the ABQ Sewing Studio, home of Among Brenda’s Quilts & Bags.
That location is a quick three-minute drive from my home and is a block west of downtown Strathroy. I’m renting part of a unique building. In the past the whole building was known as 79 Thomas St. It’s a yellow brick livery stable built in the 1880’s. It was still in operation up until 1965 when it was used by the Crandon family to house 3 horses that pulled milk wagons. The wagons carried milk processed at the Hunter Dairy just down the road on Albert Street. My rental is on the stable side of the building.
Everett Crandon had the last horse-drawn delivery wagon housed in the building. My neighbor, Dan Joynt, remembers the wagon and Mr. Crandon. Dan reports that the horse knew the route by heart. I guess it’s hard for a horse to unlearn a route because it has been reported by our local historical society that a new horse would have to be trained by Mr. Crandon when the route changed. Maybe that’s why there were three horses in the stable, one who knew the current milk route and a couple of retirees enjoying the good life.
Originally the Livery Stable, one of several in town, provided housing and chow to owners of horses who were staying at one of Strathroy’s many hotels. It seems like there must have been a hotel on just about every corner of our downtown at one time or another. Strathroy also had a brewery, which may explain all those hotels. The closest hotel to my location, the Albion Hotel was just next door. It burned down and is no longer there. Likely most of the Livery’s customers came from the Albion.
I’ve had time to reflect on those days and those horses as I’ve been working to get the space ready for my studio.
My brother Ralph, husband Rob, and I are the construction team. Rob helps when he’s got a day off from nursing and Ralph and I are there almost every day. Ralph is a jack of all trades and especially likes working with wood. He hates painting and I quite like it so we make a good team.
Currently, we are working on drywall. I am the drywall mudder. That’s mudder, not mother. Well, actually I act as mother too, making hot lunches and running around gathering building supplies for Ralph. Then I go home at night and work on the business. You can bet I sleep very well at night. Speaking of sleeping…..nighty, night you’all! -B.