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Firing up the Stewart Farm's wood stove

A Day in the Life of the Stewart Farm

Many City of Surrey staff don business suits or dresses and spend their day in front of a computer screen. Some put on overalls and safety vests and head outdoors to improve municipal plantings and roads. But staff and volunteers at the Historic Stewart Farm have a very different kind of day in store. Read on to see what a typical day at this 123-year old heritage site looks like.​

Good Morning, Stewart Farm!

9:30am – Arrive at the Farm. Say good morning to Horace and Bessie in the pole barn as we open up the site. Then turn back the clock and get into Victorian costume. Female staff and volunteers wear petticoats, long skirts, blouses, aprons and their hair pinned up. Hand crocheted shawls are available for chilly trips out to the wood shed. Gentlemen wear trousers, suspenders and a flannel shirt.

9:50am – Fire up the woodstove in the kitchen. Gather kindling and logs from the woodshed and start the fire. It will be 20 or 30 minutes before it's hot enough to bake in.

10:00am – School's in! A class of thirty 8-year olds are descending on the verandah for one of our school programs. It's time to teach the young'uns about Surrey's pioneers. Common questions from young visitors include "Are you Mrs. Stewart?" "Do you live here?" "Are there ghosts?"​

Afternoon Chores

12:30pm – Participants at the Farm's teas can't get enough of our delicious scones. Gather baking supplies, roll out the dough, cut the scones and pop them into the woodstove to bake. It takes staff and volunteers quite a while to get the hang of baking in the woodstove – keeping the temperature steady is the challenge.

2:00pm – Give a tour of the farmhouse to drop-in visitors. Introduce visitors to Bessie the Cow, tell the story of the Stewart family and explain what a chamber pot is.

3:00pm – It's time to prep some crafts. We need to get 600 bunny ears ready for our upcoming Old-Fashioned Easter event on April15!

3:30pm – Laundry time. Imagine how dirty long skirt hems get during Farm walkabouts! We can do laundry the old-fashioned way by pumping water like Mrs. Stewart did, or we can sneak into our time machine and use the washer and dryer in the bunkhouse.

​Closing Time

4:00pm – Ensure the fire is out and close up the site. Say goodnight to Bessie and Horace in the barn. Then change back into 21st century clothing and go home. Good night!