Monday, November 20, 2006

The Library.

I thought I'd share with you a special heritage site, a home, actually a very unique dwelling place which is home to a book filled and active library.

"East Range"

During the year of 1875, the home was built on the most easterly side of the 10,000 acres in all, all belonging to one family, though separated into five farm parcels for the extended family to build their own individual homes on. This particular home was nicknamed “East Range” being the home furthest to the east on the land, and erected by a soon to be Colonel, commanding the local military district until after the Fenian alarms of 1866-1868.

The home was designed for comfortable living and gracious entertaining and all was situated along with the waterfront gentry. The grounds were a beautiful landscape with imported trees and a garden to wander through along it's many paths and curves to the waterside, giving the family a boost into the upper socialite status, a most important part of the British influence during that historical time period.

The original hand carved wooden crafted staircase in intact and in full use to this day, sturdy as can be and lovely!

The original staircase is still used today.

Over the years and after the deaths of former owners, the home was sold several more times, the home and grounds fell into disrepair but were lovingly restored to their former beauty with its many imported trees and gardens tended to.

It was once used as a summer resort for the famous golfing areas nearby, and later when not lived in permanently, it was rented out to summer vacationers. Historically it carries huge notoriety for being the chosen spot for a somewhat famous summer rental guest, that of "John Labatt" of the brewery family origins, who remained there for an entire summer. He was kidnapped during his long journey home, a local tale of wonder even though it was almost eighty years ago now when it had occurred!

It’s a beautiful spot still with dedicated parkland around it today, mature trees swaying and dancing in the wind and squirrels running all over the grounds in search of winter bounty. I love to visit this library upon occasion even if just to stand in the foyer, glance up those stairs and imagine life all those years ago within, a home that bestowed many happy times for a family of five all those years ago. History at its best, "living history" at its finest.