2009 Tour

Lamplighter Goes to the Beach

GRIMSBY BEACH

Through the last half of the 19th Century to the late 1920's, Grimsby Beach (then known variously as Grimsby Campground, Grimsby Park or the Chautauqua of Canada) was the place to go in the summer months.  People came by steamship, by train or by automobile.  In the early years, you could rent a tent for $2.50 from July to August, enjoy the sun and sand or hop on a train to visit Niagara Falls.  Originally, owned by the Methodist Church, the park was sold in the early 1900's and became a favourite vacation spot for Americans and Canadians alike.

Grimsby_Beach_Bathing_Beauties

In 1875, the first cottages appeared and the cottagers took great pride in keeping them neatly painted with flowers planted out front.  The front and back doors to the cottages would often open onto different laneways.  The prime locations were around Auditorium Circle so you could be closer to the preaching, but cottages built on the lake were more private and not situated as closely together.

In its heyday, Grimsby Park boasted a merry-go-round, a Dance Hall (known as the Casino) and even a roller coaster, but in the late 1920's, Muskoka gradually began to replace Grimsby Park as the summer destination of choice and this truly unique site faded into history.

 


First Play

METHODISTS AND MORALS

1874

Playwright: Marilyn Bellfontaine

 

The young Phelps family is about to have their fifth child. It will of course be an at-home birth.  But what happens if the doctor can't be found when the baby is about to arrive?

  methodists_and_Morals_4_1  methodists_and_Morals_3_1methodists_and_Morals_5_1

CAST IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

Adaline Phelps (mother)                                           Sharon Fecik

 

Lottie Phelps (daughter)                                     Samantha Cooke

 

Wesley Phelps (son)                                                 Nathan Kretz

 

Marus Phelps (cousin)                                              Jackson Rotz

 

Margret (maid)                                                    Alison Everington

 

Noah Phelps (father)                                               Steve de Boer

 

Doc Fitch                                                                          Ted Han

 

Location

Carole and Ted Crowther

1 Fifth Street

fifthstreet

Purchased by the Crowthers in 1989, this cottage was transformed into a 4500 square foot home in 1999 and featured in a magazine article.

The house and property encompass what used to be seven tent lots. The original cottage was retained and an addition was put on the back of the house. The stone fireplace and the lattice work on the front of the house and the porch are all part of the original cottage.

 


Second Play

GUEST OF HONOUR

1888

Playwright:  Liz Benneian

 It is the eve of the dedication of the Methodist Temple.  Noah Phelps has done all he can to ensure that this will be an event to remember and be proud of.  But what will he do when the guest he has invited to open the Temple doesn't quite measure up.

>Guest_of_Honour_1_3  Guest_of_Honour_8  Guest_of_Honour_2_4    

CAST IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

Adaline Phelps (mother)                                 Janet Urquhart

Lottie Phelps (daughter)                          Megan Van Weldon

John McDowell (friend)                                        Mike Cipryk

Noah Phelps (father)                                      Mark Miszturak

Sir John A. MacDonald (Prime Minister)            Jens Hansen

Molly (maid)                                                       Betsy Tauro

Maitland Phelps (son)                                          Ben Cipryk

 

Location

SEAGULL COTTAGE, Circa 1885

Alan and Liz Buchan

17 Fair Avenue 

17_Fair

This is one of the original Methodist cottages.  Purchased in 1992 by the Buchan family, it has been lovingly restored. The board and batten siding, gingerbread trim, and much of the woodwork are all typical of what would have existed in the 1800's.  The street name of "Fair Avenue" is in honour of George Fair who played an important role in Grimsby Beach as Park Superintendent and caretaker.

 


Third Play

WINDS OF CHANGE

1910

Playwright:  Bob Friesen

 Lottie Phelps Holmes and her family arrive from Toronto to spend their summer at Grimsby Beach as they have always done.  Lottie's daughter Sarah is now old enough to be interested in the answers to some important questions that her mother may find a bit difficult to answer.

     Winds_of_Change_3_1  Winds_of_Change_6_1  Winds_of_Change_2_1

CAST IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

Sarah Holmes (daughter)                         Sarah Bradshaw

Lottie Phelps Holmes (wife/mother)         Caroline Hansen

Fred Holmes (father)                                        Rob Murre

Eli (local farmer)                                         Jason Swenor

Katherine (Sarah's friend)                          Emma Swenor

 

Location

VICTORIA TERRACE, Circa 1877

Bob and Michelle Friesen

41 Victoria Terrace

41Victoria

The street Victoria Terrace was named in honour of Queen Victoria.  Although much of what once existed of the street has now eroded away and is not accessible by car, this cottage still maintains this address, adding to its uniqueness.  Named "Escape" by a former owner, this cottage features a fireplace constructed from stones found on the beach of Lake Ontario and if you look closely, you will see the carvings of elephants and faces within the stone façade. 

 


          THE LAMPLIGHTER GUIDES

Lamplighter_guide_5  lamplighter_guide_1 Lamplighter_guide_4 Lamplighter_guide_6 Lamplighter_guide_3   

 


Fourth Play

ON AUDITORIUM CIRCLE 

1915-1920

THE CIRCUIT RIDER PREACHER

Adapted from "Journals and Notes from Brother Nathan Bangs"

By Andrew Fecik and Bev Haskins

auditorium_Circle_1

Brother                     Andrew Fecik 

 

THE LATEST NEWS

By Katherine Albers

auditorium_Circle_6

Newsboy                     Erik Bajzert

 

EXCERPT FROM "TOM SAWYER" 

Adapted by Bev Haskins

auditorium_Circle_8 

Tom                                 Calvin Quirk

Mary                            Laura Harkness

 

THE IDEAL HUSBAND

Adapted from "A Model Husband" by Ardid Parshall

(essay, 1894)  -  Script by Bev Haskins

auditorium_Circle_7     auditorium_circle_2_1

Rebecca           Mackenzie Soccio-Marandola

Martha                                            Aly Kotwa

Lynn                                            Jenn Yurkiw

 


Fifth Play

HOPES AND DREAMS

1924

Playwright: Sue Culp

Hopes_and_Dreams_1_8       Hopes_and_Dreams_2 

Lottie Phelps Holmes is now 56 years old.  After Fred's death, she has returned with her daughter Sarah to live full time in Grimsby Beach.  Is this where she will spend the remaining years of her life?  Or will something much more exciting and daring lure her away?

      CAST IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE

Marion Hilliard (medical student)                      Katherine Cooke

Helen Trotter (literature student)                        Margaret Daley

Ruth Woburn (literature student)                         Jeannette Heil

Lottie Phelps Holmes (mother)         Lee Anne Facey-Crowther

Sarah Holmes (daughter)            Heather Bennett-Chamberlain

 

Location

St. Phillips by the Lake

Anglican Church

377 Park Road North 

 St._Philips

Originally located in a cottage owned by Wray Betts, the church was replaced in 1952 and is located now on Park Road near the spot of the original roller coaster from Grimsby Park days. The name St. Phillips was derived partly from Prince Philip who was on tour in Ontario during the time. Shortly after World War II, Grimsby Beach became a permanent community rather then a seasonal one, and it was during this time that the Anglicans decided they wanted their own "St. Phillips by the Lake."  George Fair, one of the patrons of the church, negotiated the land for St. Phillips from Canada Steamship lines. In recognition of his support of the church and his years of faithful service to the community, the Ladies Aid Society of St. Phillips raised funds to purchase an electronic bell system in his memory. This bell system still rings out faithfully every Sunday.

 


For more photos, click to the "Gallery" and "The Tours" menus at the top of the page.