Posts Tagged ‘Pioneer Tower’
I walked along the Grand River in Homer Watson Park yesterday. It was very cold and bleak as I stepped over big chunks of river ice which were thrown up on the banks during the recent thaw. This is one of the few areas of the river that has open water within the city limits. The nearby water treatment plant discharges treated water here and it seldom freezes over in this area opposite the Pioneer Tower. I was looking for birds and saw the usual species in the trees and water. Then I noticed some unusual birds on the edge of the ice. Robins! A flock of about 30 birds was in the trees below the tower and they came to the edge of the river for a drink. The light was poor and the bottom picture was taken with digital zoom but there is no mistaking these birds.
The trail in Homer Watson Park opposite Kitchener’s Pioneer Tower was flooded for much of 2009. The flood of December 2008 had uprooted many trees as well making it difficult to walk along the dry sections of the path. Today the temperature was -15C and the trail was frozen and hard but protected from the north wind. The fallen trees have been cleaned up and I was surprised at how the trail has changed in the past year. It is still one of my favourite places along the river.
Photo by Ruth Kinzie
Kitchener’s Pioneer Tower is a frequently photographed landmark. The tower was completed in 1926 to celebrate the German origins of the region, particularly to memorialize the Pennsylvania Dutch and Mennonite settlers who settled here in the early 1800’s. The city of Berlin, Ontario was renamed Kitchener during World War 1 and this tower was built in an effort to heal nationalistic wounds. The architecture is Swiss in influence, as Switzerland is the ancestral home of some Mennonite families in the area.
The tower is often open and the steep steel steps lead to an upper balcony which offers a wide panoramic view of the Grand River and surrounding countryside. At the edge of the bluff is a small pioneer cemetery where members of the Sherk and Betzner families are buried. The Schoerg (Sherk) and Betzner homesteads are nearby and the farmhouses built around 1830 still stand. A small park with some playground equipment is adjacent to the tower. The picture above was taken on a summer evening. Sunrise and sunset light are friends of any photographer who may want to take an exceptional picture of this landmark.
Nearby attractions: Walter Bean Trail