10 May 2017

BACKYARD 05.10.17 ... " Parrotts, Beers & A Jail "

IT'S certainly not necessary to travel to remote or exotic locations or even, great distances from home for an adventure ... walking, hiking, paddling, vineyard & craft brewery tours, restaurants, music, museums, historical sites, drives.

This 'Travelogue Styled' series will feature some of the places we've found ... but, you can find them too, all right around the corner from where you live !


Part 1 in the Series, Exploring Our Backyard

... in which, we do some hiking, drink some beers and go to jail ...


Getting There
Open the map as [Full Screen], from the left-sided list choose a Numbered Location and click, zoom in/out 



Numbered Location: 1

" ... in 1966, the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority investigated the potential value of certain recreational sites within its watershed. Included in this study was Parrott's Bay, a wetland marsh located just west of Amherstview. "

We walked the trail system here a couple of times in the Spring (late April, early May). The forest was just opening up then, plants were beginning to blossom, the water was high. The Canada Geese and Tundra Swans were migrating, male Red-Winged Blackbirds were perched on the tops of marsh reeds noisily trying to attract a female. Although there are only a few kilometres of trail here, the walking is quite pleasant and often not crowded. A nice place to just escape for an hour or so. These trails are also used in the winter months for x-country skiing.

Some Photos


Craft Beers
Numbered Location: 

" ... at the Ontario Brewing Awards! Thrilled to be honoured with gold medals for BLACKLIST and our first REDACTED release, to receive a bronze medal for CHIVALROUS, and most exciting of all, to be recognized as New Brewery of the Year 2017! " 

I enjoyed a couple of their beers at local restaurants, before finding out the brewery is only a 10 minute drive from where we are located in Bath. Stopped by one day, met Geordian (owner and brew-master) and his mom Vickie. Stocked up on  a couple of their standards and an offering from their Redacted Series, ' These Monstrous Things '.

Numbered Location: 3

" Our ancestors settled this land in 1784, and through the generations built a thriving farm. We decided to add another element into the mix: a farm based brewery. We've renovated centuries old barns to house the equipment, and planted hops and malting barley in the fields. The character and history of this place shines through in every glass.  

Brothers Ivan and Daniel have returned to the farm, Ivan's daughters are 9th generation. Daniel holds a master's degree in brewing and distilling from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland and Ivan is a professional engineer with an automation and food processing background."

If You Go
You can buy some beer, but you can also do a brewery tour, visit their tasting shed or attend ' Back To The Farm ' an annual music event hosted on their farm property.



Numbered Location: 4

" ... locked to the public for 180 years, go behind the walls of Canada's oldest and most notorious maximum security prison, a National Historic Site that predates Canadian Confederation ... however, in much earlier times, citizens were allowed inside the prison to view the inmates for a few dollars each ... " 

This is the only Canadian penitentiary open to the public. We made the trip with ' The Raisins '. You can read more about their escapes escapades, by clicking here

September 11, 1923 
" ... On his first day as a reporter with the Toronto Daily Star, 24-year-old Ernest Hemingway was sent to KP to cover a dramatic jailbreak that occurred the day before. His report detailed the daring escape of five inmates, including burglar Norman “Red” Ryan, who Hemingway described as a “thick, freckle-faced man whose prison cap could not hide his flaming head.” Ryan was caught almost a year later while picking up his mail in Minneapolis. He was sent back to Kingston to face 30 lashings and life in prison. "

1954 Riot and Fire 
On August 14, 1954, a two-hour riot broke out in the penitentiary—the worst in its history up to that pointinvolving 900 inmates. During the riot a breakout was attempted, but was foiled by the guards at the gate. The trouble apparently began during a morning baseball game in the exercise yard, when a guard was attacked, followed by several inmates setting fire to various buildings in the yard, including the shops and a warehouse, causing an estimated $2 million in damages. The disturbance was quelled by the guards aided by 160 Canadian Army troops and a squad of Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers. The 50 ringleaders were placed in solitary confinement.

Family Residences
While the most aggressive inmates at the prison were kept apart and closely monitored through cell cameras, others were permitted to maintain some sort of family life with 72-hour conjugal visits in townhouses located inside prison walls.

1971 Riot
The prison experienced three major riots, with the third and most serious occurring in 1971 in the prison’s hub known as “ The Dome The dome was designed like the hub of a wheel, with the cell blocks (The Ranges) radiating from it like spokes. It was built between 1859 and 1861 and tied together four of the men's main cellblocks inside the pen. In the middle of the dome was the guards control centre.

During the unrest, a group of rioters broke into the prison’s custody wing, brought 14 inmates into the dome, and tied them to chairs. Rioters carried out a mock trial and began torturing them in front of 600 men around these railings, egging them on, throwing things down and setting fires. Six guards were taken hostage and two inmates died; probably the darkest chapter in the penitentiary's history. 

Canadian Armed Forces troops arrive at the Kingston penitentiary on April 15, 1971 to help prison officials after inmates took control of the main cell block. 

The guards control centre, in the bottom left of the first photo housed a small armory. Several types of weapons including handguns, shotguns and assault weapons were kept there. An armed guard sat inside and kept a rifle aimed at inmates as they left and returned to the individual ranges. A trap door, inside and on the floor was connected to an underground tunnel that allowed officers and guards to escape to the main gate in an emergency. 

The following two photos of dome scenes are from penitentiary archives.They show the dome without the guards control centre and the cell levels without heavy wire mesh and barricades.

The Cell Block Ranges

Segregation Cells
Vacant prison cells in the segregation unit recently housed convicted murderers such as Russell Williams and Paul BernardoThe small cells included a toilet, sink, shelf, bed and a larger fold-able shelf. Isolated prisoners were allowed out of the cells for 1 hour, once a day for exercise.

Meeting Cells
For non-trusted prisoners, locked containment, 2-way glass, phone communication

The Shops 
Outside the dome, we walked past a complex of massive stone buildings that made up administration offices, a hospital, a psychiatric hospital, a gymnasium, a vocational shop, a unit for sexual offenders and an impressive housing section for overnight family visits. The prison also had a chapel, school and library. Kingston Penitentiary had an active educational program, assisting inmates to upgrade their academic skills. Kingston Penitentiary also offered a wide range of programs dealing with substance abuse, family violence, violence prevention, health care, religious and psychiatric programs.


The Yard

Barred Windows
Guards would periodically hammer the window bars with a rubber mallet. They were listening for any changes in sound. As the bars rusted and weakened, inmates would attempt to saw through them using thin strings of wire or fabric.

Main Gate

If You Go
Don't miss a chance to visit the Canadian Penitentiary Museum across the street; admission is free.


To read all posts in this series click Exploring Our Backyard.

Crusty & Wry ... ' Enjoy Your TIME'


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TEAM: LOAF, Crumby, Wry & Crusty