Local history on display

There’s a Parthenon at Ravenna… thanks to the Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary Club.

A new pavilion sponsored and built by the club had its official dedication Thursday evening amongst the snow squalls blowing through, but that didn’t seriously detract from the moment. Club members have taken to calling the structure the Parthenon, due to its superficial resemblance to a Greek temple.

The pavilion represents the three distinct and notable anniversaries. The Thornbury-Clarksburg club is marking its 80th birthday, while the Rotary International Foundation is celebrating its 100th. And, of course, it’s Canada’s 150th birthday as well.

The most interesting feature of the new pavilion, though, has deep roots to local history.

Two headstones dating back to the 1860s are mounted at the pavilion. The headstones marked the graves of two young children from separate branches of the Walter family.

The Walters were some of the earliest settlers in the area, back when Ravenna was a bustling village/town with as many as five hotels, club members said during the dedication.

The headstones were unearthed in 1986 by Harvey McKinlay during work for a new drainage tile back in 1986. They were found more than three underground.

The stones have been held in trust since that time, waiting for an appropriate disposition.

When plans for the pavilion were underway, it was agreed the new structure would house the headstones, which had been restored.

Mayor John McKean and other representatives from the town were on hand for the ribbon-cutting, as were many residents of Ravenna and members of the McKinlay families.

The opening of the facility squeaked in on deadline, which the club had set for Nov. 11 so it could be used in the Remembrance Day services.

 

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