The book “Archtectural Styles in the Port of Goderich”, is the work of a most talented “Heritage Goderich” volunteer – Mr. Bob Davis. A retired school teacher, he and his wife Sheilagh came to town seven years ago and he’s been educating himself about local architecture ever since. This hobby has evolved into several cultural heritage projects!
As a new member to the municipal heritage committee in 2005, one of his first challenges was to coordinate a wonderful map and illustration for the town’s first Doors Open event - when 18 locations participated. Bob Davis volunteered his skills and many hours over a two year period – in the creation of the town’s ‘Municipal Register of Significant Cultural Heritage Properties’. It is a valuable resource to municipal staff as well as to the general public. He worked with ‘Marine Heritage” volunteers and friends of the ‘Light’ to come up with a two sided interpretive sign for Lighthouse Park – and recently restored Lighthouse (a project honoured this year by a provincial Communities in Bloom preservation award!).
Bob’s creative skills were pivotal in the redesign of the “Port of Goderich Marine Signage Tour” brochure. Mapping it from a lakeshore approach, it leads you on a journey of local history. Fifty interpretive signs dot the lake bank, boardwalk and trails.
These signs have been an ongoing project that included the efforts of many volunteers over the past ten years. When people come to the Port of Goderich to enjoy the Harbour and Lake Huron…it is much more than a trip to the Beach or Marina! Bob’s skills also revived the “Heritage Hunt” contest of ten years ago and the new brochure has become a creative visual learning tool for local residents, “architourists” as well for students at the three schools here in town!
In 2006, Bob reorganized the historic buildings tour. With hundreds of historic properties and several ‘character areas’ in quite a compact space; he devised four separate self guided walks – each intersecting the historic downtown. They come in one packet and each are an easy 45 minute walk. These little self guided tours have become popular with ‘Nordic pole’ urban hiking folks, and have been used for school field trips! A ‘natural’ enhancement to a healthful walking experience…one can walk past lovely gardens, historic architecture and also learn something new about something old! It is hoped such resources will be attractive to tour bus excursions and continue a steady increase of ‘rurban daytrippers’ to the area!
On this recent project “Architectural Styles in the Port of Goderich” - Bob invited local architects to look at his draft hoping to catch any glaring errors we volunteers may have missed! They were pleased to see such a resource and impressed with his knowledge, organized layout and images. The “Heritage Goderich” committee is very grateful to all the heritage professionals and volunteers who share their special skills – but a very big thank you is due to Bob Davis for work he has done and continues to do! We are delighted that receipts of book sales go to the heritage fund to continue support of cultural heritage projects and improvements. The committee hopes many folks will want this book and will share the gratitude we extend to property owners - spanning 17 decades of caregiving! We salute the many distinctive residential and commercial buildings and features - here to enjoy at the Port of Goderich.
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