Allen Wood Play Space Grand Opening at Maryboro Lodge

Submitted by Sharon Walker

Last weekend, Maryboro Lodge hosted the grand opening of the Allen Wood Play Space. The opening event was a huge success and we hope to see you and your little ones at the museum to enjoy the Play Space soon!

On Saturday, grand opening attendees were treated to the following speech from Kawartha Heritage President Jenny Crawford:

I would like to thank everyone for joining us to celebrate the Kawarthas' heritage of toy manufacturing. Crayola, the Yip Stick, Kawartha Dairy, Tinkertoys and Allen Wood Products--our region has done so much to make childhoods special.

For a generation, Allen Wood Products was a pillar of this community, and throughout this project I have been surprised by how many people have fond memories of the company. Manufacturing a great variety of toys, including the tinkertoy, pounding benches, croquet, bowling, ring toss and bead action figures to name a few, Allen Wood defined the experience of childhood in the 1950s and 1960s, something we now have the pleasure of recreating for today's youth.

As the president of a historical society, it is always special when we can help bring history to life. Even during construction, the community response to this Play Space has been remarkable. It has been a wonderful thing to hear all the joyful noises coming from this room over the summer.

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to make today a success. Doug Elmslie was a tireless advocate for this project. Without him, there are many obstacles it never would have cleared. The Kawartha Lakes Community Futures Development Corporation, the Eastern Ontario Development Program and City of Kawartha Lakes provided necessary funding. Without the support of the Development Corporation, none of this would have been possible. We would also like to thank our numerous sponsors including Fenelon Falls Home Hardware, Kawartha Dairy, Bob Mark New Holland, Tradewind Toys, BRIO, Memory Lane Motors and the Fenelon Falls and District Lions Club. Many volunteers made huge contributions to this project, particularly Will Bowyer, Judy Kennedy and Robbie Preston. I would especially like to thank Glenn Walker for his vision for this project and his tireless efforts to build many of the items that are now in this room. His imagination has become reality and children are reaping the benefits of his efforts.

Fenelon Falls' waterfront core has come a long way in recent years. From the rebirth of the park, the renovation of the museum, the new splashpad, the restored theatre marquee, and now this first step towards children's activities at the museum. It's hard to think what this place looked like not so long ago. Our community is laying the groundwork for becoming a destination for families.

Without further ado, I would like to call on Bob Allen to cut the ribbon and open: The Allen Wood Play Space!