A Successful Tour of Rural Norfolk (Simcoe Area)

On March 9th, I spent the afternoon touring up and down the Windham roads between Simcoe and Delhi. I ended up working my way over to the opposite side of Simcoe, venturing out past Cockshutt Road. Things started out slow but definitely heated up! I have a good haul of photos for you to check out, along with a mental list of places I desperately want to get ‘up close and personal’ with. A couple of these houses are questionable as far as “abandoned” status, making me wonder if they’re just momentarily empty or if they’ve completely crossed over in to total abandonment? I’m not totally sure.

While on this tour, I made a couple of observations. One, the Windham roads are brutal; probably the roughest (paved!) roads I’ve traveled in some time. Yikes… I hope for the sake of local residents that they improve once the frost subsides. Two, there are some interesting place and road names in Norfolk. I snapped some photos of my favorites from this tour. Finally, a very sweet young woman saw my truck pulled off to the side of the road and me wandering around (she didn’t see my camera) and turned around to check if my truck had broken down. A beautiful soul – thanks for looking out for me, whoever you were.

Now, on to the good stuff…!


The first home I encountered on this tour was pretty unassuming, but I thought it was worth documenting because I would bet money it’s over 100 years old. I’m a sucker for any century farmhouse, no matter how plain-Jane she may be! I’m not completely sure what the status is of this place, since the hydro meter is still on the home. The lack of traffic in or out, combined with the dangling porch light and emaciated barn make me think it’s long empty.

The second and third homes I came across were right down the road from each other. They’ve definitely seen better days, and I doubt they are much longer for this world. I would also estimate both of these farmhouses are over 100 years old. I wonder when they were left to rot away?

I had no idea there was a place in Norfolk County called “Rattlesnake Harbour”. I wonder what the history is behind that unique name? I took a photo of that – and a couple other – interesting signs. (Sadly, there was no school on Egypt School Road. I felt cheated!)

The next abandoned old farmhouse I came across was right on one of the busy main roads, so naturally it looked “well explored”. I imagine the inside is completely trashed and the boarded up windows tell me that they were all smashed out long ago. I did however enjoy the snail graffiti. Kind of ridiculous and amusing!

This home was on the same property as another empty place. I feel like they were both more ’empty’ than abandoned, but I wasn’t really sure. I only photographed this older farmhouse, as the other home was sort of a ’60’s era, white brick rancher and not terribly interesting. I wonder what the story is with this property? Oh, a word of caution – watch that first step on your way out the front door!

I had accepted that I wasn’t going to find any brick beauties on this tour, and that was okay. Not every tour can be a winner. On what was going to be the final road I explored on this tour, I found not one, but TWO stunning homes. I was both shocked and elated! The brick home was my first find on this road and I loved every charming detail about it. The millwork, corbels, stained glass and the yellow brick accents. So lovely! When I looked at the photos after downloading them from my Nikon, I noticed some details in the middle of the stained glass above the front door. I cropped and enhanced that area of the stained glass, revealing a stunning blue bird. I love this home and I would give anything to take a look around inside. I want to see that stained glass with sunlight filtering through it…

Just a little further up the road I found the last, and most stunning home of the day. This impressive stone house took my breath away. I don’t get to see too many of these old stone beauties as they are few and far between in our area. I am hoping that someone is working on restoring this iconic home, but I can’t say for sure what’s going on. A couple of the windows looked like they were recent replacements, which gives me hope. There was no evidence of any recent visits to the home as the snow was undisturbed; perhaps the person doing the reno took the winter off. I would love to see this house brought back to it’s former glory. It could be absolutely magnificent.


I hope you enjoyed the fruits of this Norfolk County tour. If you need me, I’ll be daydreaming about sipping a coffee in front of a roaring fire in that stone house…

~Bandit

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