One of the items that garnered a spot in the crowded travel trunks of the Immigrants that came to Canada in the early 1800’s was a musical instrument. Fiddles and flutes were common instruments that were brought and used for entertainment in the long, winter evenings and local community events. Music brought both solace and joy to the isolated lives of the settlers. Most communities had a great deal of musical talent to draw on for entertainment at social functions. Middleville had a string band formed in the 1870’s that was still in existence into the 1900’s. John Blackburn, George Affleck, James Borrowman, A.M. Blackburn, James Rankin, David Guthrie, Wm. Borrowman, John K. Affleck, William Middleton and James C. Kemp were members of the band.
A Grand Concert was planned for February 18, 1910 in the Town Hall in Middleville. The admission of 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children would help to raise funds to build 'granolithic' sidewalks in the village. The program promised ‘readings, recitations, dialogues, drills, vocal and instrumental music’.
In the Music Exhibit, The Middleville and District Museum has a cello made by John Blackburn, a dulcimer, a concertina accordion, a Victor record player owned by James and Mary Bowes and two flutes played by John Blackburn and Archibald Penman. There is a partial violin made by Thomas Pretty in the late 1800’s. The Rosetta Violin of 1896 and its story is a delightful artifact for music fans.
The Middleville and District Museum has several examples of sheet music from yesteryear.
This journal is written, researched, and maintained by the volunteers of the Middleville Museum.