Occasionally we will be struck by wild hairs and end up in some very interesting places. Usually we're driving along minding our own business when we will see a road sign pointing to this or that feature. A turn of the wheel and off we go on another adventure, not really sure where we're going or when we'll get there but having fun none the less.
Yesterday was one of those days and the interesting place turned out to be Historic Merrickville on the Rideau Canal. We followed the rather obscure signage and found ourselves in a town full of interesting shops made even more interesting by their architecture. Many of the buildings were of stone and dated from the building of the Rideau Canal, late in the 1800's. I spent as much time gawking as I did shopping.
The most interesting shop was Mrs. McCariggles Mustard Shop, home of the handmade gourmet mustards. They also housed a fine selection of candies, kitchenware, and chutneys and sauces from around the world. The shop was full to overflowing with interesting things to look at and really tasty sampling stations throughout the store. The kitchen where all the mustards are made was visible at the back of the shop where 5 gallon pails lined the walls and stainless steal gleamed.
The next most interesting shop was the Knick Knock shop. They carried various home decorator items, some furniture, and different sizes of quilts and throws. This shop wasn't interesting for its wares as it was for the architecture of the building. Climbing the stairs to the furniture showroom we were greeted by the vaulted ceiling, stencilled ceiling moulding, and tongue and groove planks laid out in a zigzag pattern. I must say we spent more time in the up stairs looking at the original decor than we did shopping for one of a kind pieces of furniture.
Unfortunately, the majority of stores lock up at 5pm so we missed one or two shops we had hoped to visit, including the Wood -N- Feathers Creations in Wood. We did peak in the window and saw the hints of a truly unique shopping experience had we made it there in time. As we plan to visit the Mustard shop again, there will be other chances to see the woodcarvings on display and delve into the more mysterious sections of the shop, not easily seen with my nose plastered against the glass as I tried to see into the darkened store.
Definitely a trip worth the time it takes to get there. Next time we'll bring a camera so we can photograph the old buildings, the canal, and maybe we'll even visit the Blockhouse Museum. If you decide to visit Merrickville, bring your appetite and some spending money as you'll find plenty of things to see and buy.