Middle Side Road

Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe expands business in Amherstburg, continues to grow


By Jolene Perron


What started out as a small business on Dalhousie Street has now grown into an a complete service quilt shop, complete with machine embroidery, long arm quilting, sewing machines and more.

Owner Cheryl Barber has called Amherstburg her home for 34 years. She was first a registered nurse at Grace Hospital, and later became a teacher and principal locally. Her interest in quilting was sparked when Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe was first opened on Dalhousie Street 11 years ago, and it wasn’t long before she became what she calls an accomplished quilter and took an active role in the shop. After the shop moved to it’s current location at 580 Middle Side Road and the previous owner looked forward to retirement, Barber was also contemplating her retirement from teaching and took the opportunity to take over the shop with open arms.

“Quilting, sewing and embroidering is making a big comeback and is enjoyed by young and old alike and men are taking an interest as well”, said Barber. “Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe offers many classes for beginners, yes, even for those who have never touched a sewing machine, to experienced quilters. We carry high quality 100 per cent cotton fabrics, patterns, books, sewing and quilting notions, gift certificates and of course, Brother sewing, quilting and embroidery machines. The Brother Scan N Cut cutting machine is an awesome tool not only for quilters and those who appliqué but also for scrap bookers and the home crafter.”

With the closure of Wesley United Church, the opportunity to expand into the rest of the building on Middle Side Road came up. It allowed the business to offer more stock, better displays and more room for Barber’s husband Paul, who is also a certified Brother technician, to work on site. It also allows Barber to offer larger classrooms.

“Every year the shop has run a program called Block of the Month Club in which the participants are given the necessary fabric and instructions to complete a section or ‘block’ of a quilt, each block featuring a different technique and design,” explained Barber. “It’s a basically a mystery quilt in which participants do not know what the final product will look like.”

Barber explained, this year in honor of Canada’s 150th, she designed the Canada 150 quilt featuring red and white fabrics. The finished design was recently put on display and immediately received the acclaim of club members and others alike. Social media has also been buzzing about it and requests for patterns and kits have started to come in from as far away as Nova Scotia. Barber explained that it wasn’t unusual.

“I have customers from across Canada, the U.S. and Europe,” she explained. “People from Toronto, Kitchener, Wallaceburg and Detroit even come here to take our classes. Rose Cottage Quilt Shoppe was also honored by being featured in a Canadian Quilting Magazine.”

Looking towards the future, Barber explained there is always something happening at her “destination shop.” In the near future, she is currently looking forward to Dec. 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when she will be holding her annual Christmas Open House.

For more information, on these events, other upcoming classes, store hours and our news, you can visit www.RoseCottageQuilt.com.


Male and female sought after two-vehicle crash



The Amherstburg Police Service is on the lookout for a male and a female after both allegedly fled the scene of an accident Friday afternoon.

Amherstburg police states that around 4:50 p.m. Friday, officers responded to a two-vehicle collision at County Road 9 (Howard Ave.) and County Road 10 (Middle Side Road). A gray 2000 Pontiac Grand Am was southbound and struck an eastbound white 2016 Jeep Cherokee, police state.

Following the collision, police say that a male and a female were observed fleeing from the scene towards Fox Glen Golf Course. They were then picked up by a newer four-door charcoal gray Ford Fusion which then headed northbound on Howard Ave. towards Windsor.

The male is described as white, mid to late 20’s, thin build, clean shaven, blonde brush cut, with tattoos on his neck, wearing black clothing. The female is described as white, mid 20’s, approximately 5’5″, medium build, with medium length reddish brown curly hair wearing black clothing.

The driver of the Jeep was transported to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone with information about the collision or the male and female occupants of the Grand Am is asked to contact police at 519-736-3622 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 519-258-8744 (TIPS).

End of an era for Wesley United Church


By Ron Giofu

After over two centuries of existence, Wesley United Church is no more.

The church held its last service June 25 with declining numbers being a reason the church has closed.

“We didn’t have critical mass anymore,” explained Rev. Murray Rounding. “There was not enough people or money to keep the church going.”

Rounding said the congregation experienced a “significant decrease in attendance and participation over the past few years” and the congregation determined it is no longer feasible to keep the doors open.

“In March of this year the congregation voted to request permission from Essex Presbytery to disband and that permission has been granted,” said Rounding.

Rev. Murray Rounding stands outside Wesley United Church. The final service at the church was held June 25.

Rev. Murray Rounding stands outside Wesley United Church. The final service at the church was held June 25.

While their rolls show more people, the actual church attendance was far fewer than that, he added.

“We were only averaging about 15 on a Sunday,” said Rounding.

According to Rounding, about 225 years ago the first protestant worship service in the Amherstburg area was held at the home of Simon Girty south of town.

“Out of that the Methodist church found a home in Amherstburg. In 1925 the Methodist Church of Canada and some of the Presbyterian Church came together to form the United Church of Canada and Wesley United Church, Amherstburg was formed. Since then Wesley has had a presence and has held weekly Sunday worship services in a few different locations in Amherstburg.”

The final site for the church was on Middle Side Road, just west of Concession 2 North. Wesley United Church operated out of four other buildings in Amherstburg, including structures at the corner of Richmond and Ramsay Streets, on Seymour St., at the corner of Richmond and Bathurst Streets and at 385 Sandwich St. S.

“Over the years Wesley United Church has been a strong visible presence in the community, welcoming and supporting many community organizations and ministries, including programs for young people and for seniors,” said Rounding. “They have been active in community activities and a wide variety of mission projects. One of the past Moderators of the United Church of Canada, Dr. Anne Squire (nee Park), born in Amherstburg, had her earliest experiences of being a member of a church at Wesley.”

The united church experienced a surge in the 1950’s and 1960’s, Rounding added, including in Amherstburg.

“It was bursting at the seams,” he said.

Buildings became bigger to accommodate the increasing rise in church congregations with Wesley United Church’s Sandwich St. S. building going up in the early 1960’s. As times changed, the building aged and the congregation declined, Wesley United Church sold the site and rented the Middle Side Road facility.

“We’re done leasing at the end of August,” said Rounding. “Now, we’re just packing up. I’m free to look for a new position.”

Those who worshipped at Wesley United Church until the end experienced sadness, Rounding said.

“There are people in this congregation who grew up here and spent their whole lives here,” he stated. “It’s difficult to say goodbye.”

However, it was tough to keep the church going with so few people and not enough money and now people are free to go to another church.

“You don’t want to watch something you love keep on struggling,” Rounding said. “The people that are still here are tired. It’s not good stewardship of money, energy and people. People were getting worn down.”

Extensive damage after Middle Side Road blaze



By Ron Giofu


Extensive damage is being reported after a fire in the 3300 block of Middle Side Road early Tuesday morning.

A home was destroyed in the fire, which saw firefighters from all three Amherstburg stations respond. Assistant deputy fire chief Ron Meloche said the fire started in the three-car garage and spread into the attic. The roof would eventually collapse.

Firefighters were dispatched to a medical call, but when the firefighter at station two jumped in the rescue truck, he saw the fire across the road and immediately alerted the homeowner.

A fire early Tuesday morning destroyed a home on Middle Side Road. No one was injured as a result of the fire.

A fire early Tuesday morning destroyed a home on Middle Side Road. No one was injured as a result of the fire.

The occupants of the home escaped safely out the back door, said Meloche.

“They got out and we began our attack,” said Meloche.

The call came in around 4:30 a.m. and firefighters spent much of the next four hours extinguishing the blaze. Meloche estimated they had it under control within 60-90 minutes. No firefighters were injured.

An early estimate of the damage is between $750,000-$900,000. A cause was not known as of press time as firefighters were not able to enter the garage at that point due to the structure’s instability.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office was contacted, Meloche added.

Amherstburg Fire Department investigating garage fire


By RTT Staff

The Amherstburg Fire Department were on scene for several hours for a garage fire in McGregor early Friday morning.

Amherstburg firefighters battled an overnight blaze in McGregor. A vehicle and garage sustained "extensive damage."

Amherstburg firefighters battled an overnight blaze in McGregor. A vehicle and garage sustained “extensive damage.” (Amherstburg Fire Department photo)

Amherstburg firefighters attended a fully involved garage fire at roughly 2 a.m. and were at the home in the 8600 block of Middle Side Road and were there for at least three hours. The fire department reports there was “extensive damage” to both the garage and a vehicle.

An investigator attended the scene.

(UPDATE — The Amherstburg Fire Department has estimated the damage at $200,000. The garage and a vehicle were destroyed.)