Heritage Building Designation

The hamlet of Rednersville is named after the Redner family, who settled in Prince Edward County in 1798. In its heart is one of the oldest country store buildings in Ontario, which for more than a century was continuously operated by members of the Redner family, United Empire Loyalists. In 1986 this store was designated a heritage building by the County.

Rednersville Loyalist History

The Loyalist Gazette, published twice yearly by the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada, contains articles and pictures of the American Revolutionary War period in the history of Prince Edward County.

There's an article in the Gazette from a few years back about Roger Redner, a local re-enactor of the loyalist history of Prince Edward County. In that article, Peter Johnson writes,
You won't find Roger Redner wearing a military uniform, nor the most elaborate forms of buckskin, but get him near blacksmith's equipment and his eyes will light up. Roger lives near Ameliasburgh ON, on one of the old family farms, and with the Redner surname it is a given that he has a Loyalist ancestor.
When James Redner bought the country store building in 1851 the local newspaper was the Picton Gazette, established in 1830, which survives today as the oldest community newspaper in Canada. But most of the news of the day concerning the early residents of Prince Edward County was shared by word of mouth. Over the years, the Rednersville Country Store became the hub of the neighbourhood, where locals would stop by and share the news while they picked up their mail and bought a few supplies.

Today, the country store is where Canadian and American tourists, and antique collectors from around the Qunite Region, stop by to find antiques and collectibles--and it's a great place to share stories of the Loyalist history of Prince Edward County, surrounded by artifacts of the period.

And Rednersville now has a community publication online, the Rednersville Loyalist. Okay, this is just a little weblog on the internet, but it's read around the world. So, if you've got a story to tell the neighbours or the whole world concerning our little community, just send an e-mail containing your news or gossip to news@rednersville.com and we'll help you get the word out.

What the heck is this?

Auction Notice: This antique can now be purchased on eBay. Click here to see how the auction is going.

About once a month, on the Rednersville Loyalist, we'll post a photograph of one of our antiques and collectibles from the Rednersville Country Store and ask the question we hear most often from our customers, "What the heck is this?"

Click on the photographs, once then again, for larger images.

If you know the answer, and want to show off your antiquarian intelligence, or just want to hazard a guess, write your thoughts in the comments below this post.

Check out the comments from time to time, to see what our readers think. If clues are needed, we'll be posting hints here every week until it's correctly identified.

Okay, here's the big hint!

If you know somebody who might know what the heck this is, you can easily e-mail them a link to this photo by clicking the "envelope" button below so they can get in on the fun.

County Scenes

An interesting customer walked into the store yesterday.
Peggy deWitt, a local commercial photographer, has a studio called Paper Images in nearby Picton. She was participating in the 2004 Amazing Loyalist Country Adventure Weekend, and must have noticed the roadside sign outside our store.

Anyway, Peggy was looking closely at our display of original paintings by Gary McMurray, an Ottawa artist who grew up in Belleville. She had seen many of the places in these paintings, being a professional photographer in the area for years. "Actually, I've photographed many of these places, myself," she said, opening a book she was holding. "Have you seen my book, County Scenes?"

I thought we might have found the perfect buyer for a painting, someone with a good eye and artistic appreciation; she thought I might like her book. She was right. County Scenes is a beautiful collection of photographs of Prince Edward County. I think I'll buy the book to keep here in the Rednersville Country Store.

Susan Moshynski, By the Bay Design

Everybody loves the painting of Rednersville Country Store, by Susan Moshynski, which we feature here. This painting is very special to us, not just because we recently restored the Rednersville Country Store and reopened for business selling antiques and collectibles and local artists' works. This painting is especially meaningful to us because it was painted by a talented local artist, who's our neighbour down the road on the Bay of Quinte. It's our favourite of all these wonderful digital postcards about Prince Edward County.

Susan has a BA in Fine Arts from York University and has been a Graphic Designer and Illustrator since 1976. Her editorial cartoons are a regular feature in The County News here in Prince Edward County and the Georgina Advocate in Keswick, Ontario. Susan's celebrity caricatures have been published in Macleans Magazine and Tribute Magazine. She also has had editorial illustrations and caricatures published in the Globe and Mail.

Susan Moshynski is the owner of By the Bay Design and Illustration Studio, located on the shores of the beautiful Bay of Quinte. In addition to her fine art, and political cartoons, her commecial graphic art is evident around Prince Edward County. Did you know that Susan Moshynski did the commercial graphics for Campbell's Orchards on Rednersville Road? If you've got a local business and you're looking for an experienced graphic artist to provide Logo Design, Ad Layout, Brochures, Flyers, Business Cards & Letterhead, and Product Illustrations, you'll be doing yourself and a neighbour a favour if you email Susan.

Please do us a favour, too, and send a digital postcard from Prince Edward County to your friends to tell them about the Rednersville Country Store, which they can visit online at Rednersville.com on the internet.

Struck by Lightning

In her book, The Legendary Guide to Prince Edward County, Janet Kellough writes about an exciting night in Rednersville almost eighty years ago.
The Rednersville Local 899 Orange Lodge used to meet on the second floor of what is now the Rednersville Country Store. On July 9, 1926 initiation ceremonies for entrance into the Lodge were being held in the hall when lightning struck the building and followed along the pipes which fed the gas lights. John Wellington Bowers and his son William were sitting on opposite sides of the hall, but both were struck and killed. All but two of the other members were knocked unconscious. These two rushed down the stairs and out of the parking lot where they attempted to start their cars to go and get help. The lightning had apparently played havoc with the vehicles -- none of them would start with the exception of the Bowers car, which was the only one left unaffected!
And the good news for the Rednersville Country Store is that lightning doesn't strike twice. This book is available at the Archives & Collections Society in Picton, along with other titles referring to Prince Edward County and the Quinte Region. More great legends and real stories from her book are recounted by Janet Kellough here.

Janet Kellough will be "telling spellbinding tales of local lore" and Loyalist history right here in Prince Edward County this weekend.
History and heritage has always been a mainstay of the Loyalist Adventure. But the 2004 Amazing Loyalist Country Adventure Weekend frames an historical showcase of the Loyalists who pioneered the land in 1784 that would become Upper Canada. Re-enactments on Saturday and Sunday will dramatize the first years of Loyalist settlement; how they lived, traveled, fought and struggled. Muskets and cannons, Red Coats, Natives and settler camps will once again come to life to illustrate how the first pioneer families lived. And to bring the past to the present you’ll be able to visit 9th generation family farms and meet UEL descendents. Experience history as County storytellers share the many true stories of Prince Edward County.
It's going to be a busy weekend in Rednersville and all around Prince Edward County. I'm sure the history buffs will want to stop by the Rednersville Country Store to see where the United Empire Loyalists used to shop at James Redner's general store.

Tribute - Gabriel Krekk

Painted from a photo of the Rednersville Store, Rednersville, Ontario, taken by the artist, Gabriel Krekk.
A highly symbolic Can-Americana style painting in tribute to those who lost their loved ones on September 11th, 2001. I pray as Canadians, that we never let their memories fade and that we remain vigilant and brave.

Who are the Redners of Rednersville?

The Settlement of Prince Edward County
Here's an excerpt of the book by Nick and Helma Mika, describing the pioneers of Prince Edward County.
The Redner family, whose name was originally spelled Ridenour, fled to Holland to escape persecution in their war-torn Palatinate-on-the-Rhine home which is now part of Germany. From Holland the Redners travelled to London, England, and by 1710 some of the family settled in America.

Yohann Redner was the Palatine father of Henry Redner, the man who became the founder of the family in Prince Edward County. Henry was also born in the Palatinate region of Germany, but he, his wife, Maria Jane Pollis, and their five children made their home in New Jersey until the American Revolution. Henry Redner supported Britain, so when the Americans seized his property, he and his family joined the other United Empire Loyalists who left America in 1783, and moved to Canada. Henry, Maria and their children, Henry, John, Maria, Sophia and Peter, spent their first Canadian winter in Sorel, Quebec, before arriving in Adolphustown on June 16, 1784.

The family lived in Adolphustown until 1798, at which time they moved to Prince Edward County to settle on land which is now called Rednersville. As a United Empire Loyalist, Henry Redner was granted three hundred acres of Crown Land on which he built a log cabin. Most of their personal belongings had been confiscated by the American revolutionists so, as was the predicament of many other Loyalists, the Redners had to construct their furniture with the available crude materials. The oldest son, Henry Jr., eventually acquired his own farm and sawmill, located at what is now called Allisonville. He and his wife, a Miss Ostrander, became the parents of five children: James, Henry, Phoebe, Mary and Sarah.

John, the second son of Henry and Maria Jane Redner, married Elizabeth Demille. They had seven children. John was given part of his father's land, before the death of the pioneer, but he exchanged farms with his brother Henry Jr.

The youngest son, Peter, who married Catharine Brickman, was also given land by his father. Catherine and Peter Redner had eight children: Mary, William, Rynard, Sophia, Naomi, Lewis, Henry P., and Sarah Jane. Peter Redner was a farmer and a preacher in the Wesleyan Methodist Church. He and his wife assisted with the building, in 1849, of the first Church of Ameliasburgh.

Mary Redner married William Herman, another descendant of palatines. They became the parents of three children.

Sophia was the second daughter of Henry and Maria Jane Redner. She married John Cole, and they had eight children.

The founders of the Redners of Prince Edward County belonged to the Anglican Church. Henry and Maria Jane were buried in the Old Pioneer Burying Ground, located two miles west of Rednersville. Other descendants of the Redners rest in Albury Cemetery, Belleville Cemetery, and the Old Pioneer Burying Ground in Hillier.

The third generation of Prince Edward County Redners included James, the oldest of the five children born to Henry Redner the second. James lived in Rednersville for many years and worked as a merchant and grain buyer. His brother, the third Henry of the County's Redners, became a successful farmer and the father of six children.

The children of John Redner and Elizabeth Demille include another John, who married Olive Doolittle of Prince Edward County. John Redner Jr., was a skilled carpenter who built many of the earliest barns in Hillier and , in 1858, the first ferry to run regularly from Rossmore, across the Bay of Quinte to Belleville.

Another third generation Redner was Mary, the daughter of Peter and Catharine Redner. Mary, who was also called Polly, married Henry Ainsworth, the son of other county pioneers. Mary's brother William married Rachel Outendike, and they had two children. Another brother, Rynard, married Nancy VanAlstine, also a descendant of United Empire Loyalists.

Sophia Redner, the second daughter of Peter and Catharine Redner, married the founder of another prominent family of Prince Edward County, William Burr.

Another daughter from the family of Peter and Catharine Redner was Naomi. Naomi Redner married Isaac Way of Prince Edward County, and they became the parents of Sophronia and Reuben.

Lewis Redner, a preacher, married Jane Clute. They raised four children. Lewis's brother Henry P. Redner, was a schoolteacher who left Prince Edward County and later became a merchandiser. The youngest child of Peter and Catharine Redner was Sarah Jane. She married William Stafford, the one-time owner of the tannery near Ameliasburgh.

The Redner family helped to populate Prince Edward County with their numbers, and through their enterprise they helped to develop the farmland and business of the area.
Many of the Redner family still live in the neighbourhood, including the 96 year old family patriarch, Bernard Redner, who once owned and worked in the Rednersville Country Store. His daughter Lynda and son Gord also live in the area, and we look forward to them dropping by the store for a visit. Hopefully they'll tell some memorable stories about Rednersville that we can share with our readers here at the Rednersville Loyalist.

Rednersville #1 on Prince Edward County Map

Click this link for a nice interactive map of Prince Edward County.

Rednersville is at the intersection of County Road 3, which the locals call Rednersville Road, and County Road 23, which is the way to Ameliasburgh.

There are four entry points to Prince Edward County.

Highway 33 West is accessed from Highway 401 by Wooler Road at Exit 522, just west of Trenton. Highway 62 is accessible from 401 at Exit 543, Belleville. These are the two most frequently used routes to the Rednersville Country Store from Highway 401, the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway.

Another entry to Prince Edward County is Highway 49 at Exit 566 at Marysville. Travellers from Kingston can access Prince Edward County by way of Glenora Ferry on Highway 33 East.

The closest access from the United States of America is via the Thousand Islands Bridge to Canada from US Highway 81 near Watertown, in New York State.

Places to Visit near Rednersville, Ontario, Canada

Rednersville Country Store
The historic General Store with 1845 architecture on Rednersville Road, on the south shore of the Bay of Quinte in Prince Edward County, offering Canadiana, fine antiques, rare collectibles, primitives, furniture, tools, toys, pottery, stoneware, housewares, postcards, advertising, and ephemera.

More Antique Shops in Prince Edward County
Bluejay Lane Antiques Shop offers antiques, collectibles, decorative and tole painted items, linens, mirrors, and lamps. Butler Creek Antiques, in nearby Picton, has refinished furniture from Quebec and Ontario, including harvest tables, chairs, sideboards, chests, dressers, blanket boxes and spinning wheels. Loyalist Antiques has exceptional pre-confederation Canadian antiques.

Sandbanks Provincial Park
Near Picton, Sandbanks boasts three sandy beaches, Outlet Beach, Sandbanks Beach and Dunes Beach, among the largest and most beautiful beaches in Ontario, with golden sand and sparkling water. Windsurfing, sailing, canoeing and boating compete with sunbathing and swimming as favourite park activities.

United Empire Loyalist Heritage Centre & Park
An amazing slice of Canadian history on Adolphus Reach of the Bay of Quinte, where they re-enact annually the story of the Loyalist settlers.

Sweet Water Cabin Gifts
The Hubbs family have produced maple syrup from their farm near Rednersville over four generations since about 1850. The log cabin at their Rednersville site (circa 1830) was originally a homestead cabin built in MacDonald's Corners, Lanark County. Sample pure maple syrup from the sugarbush.

Campbell's Orchards
You can "pick your own" fruit or vegetables of the season locally, on Rednersville Road. And you can shop in Campbell's quaint country market, which sells the best apple cider pressed right at the orchard. It doesn't get any fresher than that!

Old Stone Road in the Country
Old Stone Road is a waterfront residential development project on the Bay of Quinte by Rollins Housing. Rednersville Road, the location of this prime real estate development, is the most sought after water frontage in the Quinte region. The homes along the Rednersville Road range up to $2,500,000.

Editor's Note: If you know of a good place to visit along Rednersville Road, or around the Bay of Quinte and Prince Edward County, just mention it in the comments below and we'll see if we can write something and link to it here.