• C.J. Maxwell

Visits to Greenwood slowly resume

PHOTO COURTESY GENEVIÈVE GRENIER

Greenwood’s extensive gardens are the perfect place for family groups to enjoy a cold drink and some individually packaged goodies while learning about the home and grounds’ history.

As the region continue its slow return to some semblance of normality, another area landmark has put out the welcome mat to visitors – Hudson's Greenwood Centre for Living History held a soft-opening June 20 with reduced fanfare in order to ensure new operations were COVID-19 compliant.

“Normally we would give a pretty extensive tour inside the house that would have included a lot of the details about the history of the (Shepherd) family,” said Executive Director Geneviève Grenier. “But because of the small space, we're now giving the majority of the tour outside.”

Guests are encouraged to come in groups of family members and are offered masks for the short indoor portion of the tour if they don't have already their own. Hand sanitizers are in place and visitors are asked, for the time being, to refrain from touching some of the home's numerous displays.

Staff and volunteers also wear masks and rather than take part in the traditional indoor tea service with home-baked treats, this year guest are given bottled drinks and the treats, while still available, are now individually wrapped.

“The change in operations is working,” Grenier said. “The outdoor tour of the gardens, which are quite vast, allows guests to keep more to themselves.”

Grenier said visitors to both the Greenwood home and the vintage shop, which offers various donated home-ware items, furniture, and books about the centre, have been understanding of the restrictions and waiting their turn.

“People are cooperating and it's all been working very well.”

PHOTO COURTESY GENEVIÈVE GRENIER

Tours at the Greenwood Centre for Living History will now focus more on the exterior of the facility though the interior is still open to visitors with certain distancing rules in place.

Grenier said besides area residents, more visitors are coming from extended regions, often taking the ferry over from Oka to spend some time in Hudson.

“People are looking for something to do,” she said. “A lot of people know Hudson but have never heard of Greenwood so it's a new experience for them.”

Located on the shores of the Ottawa River, the non-profit heritage home is run by volunteers dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history of the home and the Hudson area.

Besides the summer tours, annual events include Treasures in the Attic, which offers antique appraisals, and the legendary literary festival StoryFest which welcomes renowned authors to host writing workshops and speak about their work. The procedures and dates for these events have yet to be determined.

Greenwood Centre for Living History will welcome guests between 1 and 4 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday and ask that people call to place a reservation at (450) 458-5396). They also visitors bring a mask for everyone's safety. Greenwood is located at 254 Main Road. For more info, consult www.greenwood-centre-hudson.org

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