Bringing history alive
The CDHS has been a proud sponsor of the Chesterville Spin-In since it began in 1999. From the left: organizer Nancy MacMillan, CDHS director Lester McInnis, CDHS treasurer Verne MacMillian and CDHS secretary Kim McInnis. The spinning wheel displayed was created by Paul Walters for his wife Betsey and features a stainless steel tree of life motif on the wheel. Thompson Goddard photo

A great group of spinners provided visitors with an opportunity to watch the process of turning wool into yarn at the 2020 Chesterville Spin-In held at the Chesterville Legion on Feb. 15. Thompson Goddard photo

CHESTERVILLE – Once again the Chesterville Spin-In organized by Nancy MacMillan and sponsored by the Chesterville & District Historical Society was a resounding success. The event, developed by former CDHS member and long-time local resident Margot Dixon in 1999, was held on Sat., Feb. 15 at the Chesterville Legion.

MacMillan estimates between 100 and 200 people visited the Spin-In and were able to see first-hand the ancient art of spinning wool into yarn. As the spinners spun, there was plenty of time to enjoy visiting with old friends and making new ones or perhaps having a sample of some of the delicious baking provided by the CDHS. Spinners came from as far away as Ottawa, Vankleek Hill, Belleville and locations in Quebec to participate in the day-long event.

The 23 vendors at the event included those associated with wool and wool products as well as an Embrun author and an artist from Cornwall.

MacMillan said it takes hours and hours of phone calls and emails to coordinate the event, and noted she was “thrilled to see the considerable number of gentlemen” attending this year. Throughout the day there were several presentations, including one by Kim Link of J&K Smocking, who demon­strated the traditional art of smocking for attendees.

MacMillan thanked CDHS for its support, the Chesterville Legion for the donation of the hall for the event, and Chesterville Pharmachoice Pharmacy, Mike Dean’s Super Food Stores Chesterville and Louis’ Restaurant for their donations to the event.

Looking forward, MacMillan, the hard­working and dedicated volunteer organizer of the Chesterville Spin-In, is anticipating continued growth of this popular event. She says there is a waiting list of vendors wishing to attend, spinners who enjoy coming to the Spin-In and a supportive community.

Now that the Spin-In is over for this year, MacMillan will resume work on another project. She is designing an e-book of knitting patterns based on the life story of local resident Isabell Harper, the war-bride of Wendell Harper. The family’s nickname for Isabell was Tibby, so MacMillan’s book, Tibby’s Tale, will be released for Isabell’s birthdate on Sept. 10.