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The Fabulous Fifties

Fenelon Falls' TinkertoyAerial View of Falls and CanalThe end of the Second World War, with Canada and the United States not only victorious, but also having been spared the most destructive fighting, heralded an unprecedented era of prosperity. The fabulous fifties revolutionized ordinary life as modern conveniences became nearly universal. The days of carrying water, ice blocks and wood, braving February blizzards en route to the outhouse and baking while preparing dinner on a cookstove in July were over. Before long almost every family had indoor plumbing, telephones, electricity, countless modern gadgets, an electric range, refrigeration and television. Steaming the lakes had once been a very special outing, while cottages were only for the most affluent, but now gasoline launches and waterfront life were within common reach.

Jackett's Ice Delivery TruckLife was not as local anymore. Where neighbours had gathered in their kitchens to tell stories of their friends, horses and the good old days, now they congregated in front of Hockey Night in Canada, I Love Lucy or Wayne and Schuster. Farmers had once travelled to town on Saturday night to shop and see friends who lived a few miles away, but with the automobile people could travel to distant centres at their convenience. Spades and cant hooks made by the neighbourhood blacksmith were giving way to cheaper models produced in a distant factory.

This summer, the Langton Gallery is showcasing the post-war boom in the Kawarthas. Local businesses, architectural innovations, modern innovations, culture, tourism and leisure are on display. We recall the era's strict manners, widespread support for prohibition, reverence for authority, embrace of tobacco, family values and social conscience. Maryboro Lodge is also hosting fifties-themed events, including our popular afternoon teas. Come and relive the Fabulous Fifties.