The fact that the accomplice and I both had the day off work – the same day – is something akin to a miracle. To add to our good fortune, our favorite fellow hunters had a free day as well and the weather felt just like the beginning of spring. There were several times throughout the day I swore the hellish days of winter had already passed, but when the sun began to sink before 5 p.m. I was jarred from my fantasy. We packed up our cameras and headed out for the long haul to Lambton County, specifically targeting the Watford/Strathroy region as we had been advised to do by a blog reader. What follows below are the amazing places we had the good fortune to find, explore and photograph unhindered by irritated property owners or vigilant passers by.
This stripped down farmhouse is actually two pieces. The larger piece to the left is what would have been built originally, with the smaller piece to the right being added later on. The amazing thing about this addition is the enormous gap between it and the original house! Perhaps this exceptionally poor construction contributed to the home’s ultimate destiny of being yet another abandoned and forgotten home.
This house boasts proudly that it has stood since 1899, and by the look of it I wouldn’t be surprised if it saw 2099. It looks incredibly sturdy, and it makes me wonder why it was left to sit uninhabited in what is now a grazing area for cattle. There seem to be two houses making up one here, as there are two different types of blocks used exclusively on each “piece”. Was it originally just the front piece, and the back was added on later? Does anyone really know, or care? I doubt it, seeing as this home has been turned out to pasture in the most literal sense.
I feel that any and all words I may use in attempting to describe this home are simply a lost cause. The photos do all the talking in this case, and they speak volumes. This stately home is simply breathtaking and one of the most intriguing places we’ve ever come across. I cannot imagine letting a home of this magnitude slowly revert back to nature; it seems borderline criminal. Seeing inside this beauty is a must do before it’s too late. Note that photos 1 through 4 show the back/sides, while photos 5 through 7 show the front of the house which faces the road.
These completely adorable barn kittens were kind enough to allow us to photograph them briefly. They were so sweet we could have just scooped them up and snuggled them for an eternity. Enjoy the overload of cuteness.
As our daylight was gradually starting to wane, we headed down a series of gravel back roads to see if anything else might turn up on the way home. The small yellow brick house didn’t strike us as anything special at first glance, or even as we walked around it snapping photos. The real magic happened when we gingerly pushed on the door and found it swung open with little effort, inviting us in to a time warp like none other I’ve ever experienced. I was transformed wholly in to a bygone era, neatly kept and somehow spared from the usual destruction of vandals. The delicate painted iron beds were made up like they were waiting for a body to fall into them for a restful night. An enamel top kitchen table was set with dishes you’d only see now at a thrift shop, and delicate orange curtains hung over the most eye catching vintage wallpaper. I truly hope that this little place remains free from vandalism and lives on as a 1960’s museum that only a handful of people will ever tour.
Humming grain dryers, wagons heaped with corn and an idle combine made us feel as though we shouldn’t stick around terribly long to photograph this dilapidated Ontario farmhouse. “Ontario farmhouse” refers to this extremely common style of home with a “T” or “L” shape (in this case “T”), characterized by one, two, or in rare cases three peaked gables. These gables almost always contained a pointed Gothic window or rounded top window originally, but today many are changed to simple rectangular windows or even doors, as this house has. Note the lean-to added to the back of the house. This style of home could easily be stretched out or squeezed down depending on how much square footage one desired, and this versatility helped make them the signature home of the Ontario countryside.
Our final home of the day was this shack, left alone to wonder what purpose it serves by continuing to stand vigilantly against the elements.
Hope you enjoyed reading about the fruits of our day as much as we enjoyed ensuring that a piece of them lives on in time forever.