In a small log home just inside the front gate and near the sawmill, visitors will find the village broommaker hard at work. In the 1860s, making brooms was not a full-time occupation. Most were farmers who also made brooms to supplement the family income and hence, it was a small home trade done in the family home or in an adjacent farm-building. At this time, there was also competition from mass-produced brooms from the United States and Canada.
Broom corn was grown in Canada, near Sarnia, but much of it came from the central United States. Planted in rows like Indian corn, which it resembles, broom corn is a form of sorghum whose seeds are formed in a large brush at the top of the plant. Once the seeds are separated from the harvested brush, it is dried, baled and sent to market. Even in the 1860s, broom handles and thread were already being commercially produced.
Our village broommaker makes two styles of brooms: a round, earlier style and a more "modern" flat broom. Visitors are encouraged to watch a broom being made, inspect the tools and machinery of the time, and then visit the village gift shop where our brooms are sold. The broommaker's house is a small log cabin built in the 1820s with an impressive stone fireplace of large, hammer-dressed limestone blocks. With its flagstone floor, the house is an excellent example of the skill of our early Scottish stonemasons.