The last interesting sight on our hike into Spirit Rock that I'm going to share with you is the old barn foundation and evidence of a homestead just as we began our hike. If you read this blog much you'll know that I'm fascinated with evidence of the past history of settlement here in southern Ontario.
The old barn foundation was just past this beautiful big Sugar Maple, right beside the trail. I've been driving past this corner for many years and have no recollection of a farm here, so I expect this was abandoned several decades ago.
It's still mostly standing, but certainly not in good shape. However, there were obviously several windows and a couple of doors at ground level. Here I'm standing on top of the old ramp up to the haymow, looking down at the barn.
The most amazing aspect of all the old barns I see is the care with which the corners are constructed. All these limestone blocks, cut into huge blocks with flat sides, with only hand tools to work with. And lined up to form square corners, though they are far to heavy to lift easily. The outer walls are usually built of larger rocks and these blocks, and mortared, to keep out the weather.
The inner sides of the walls like this, are often built of small boulders like this, and sometimes not even mortared carefully.
Almost all this barn was limestone, the light-coloured rocks, but there are a few metamorphic or igneous rocks included, usually with a darker or reddish tint. Of course this was sitting right on top of the limestone cliff, so it was not surprising they used mostly limestone.
Looking through a window into the barn. It's a long time since this barn saw cattle in there!
The Bruce Trail Conservancy honours major donors with small plaques, and the donors get some choice in where these plaques are placed. Obviously this old barn is a popular spot, as there were three different plaques outside the foundation. This property is now owned and managed by the Bruce Trail Conservancy, paid for with private donations.
The barn was of course the main evidence of the former homestead, but this patch of lilacs (the more densely branched shrubs to the left of centre) silhouetted against the sky, suggests a former house. Old lilacs and day lilies are one of the most common bits of evidence of pioneer homes here in southern Ontario. And I expect that big Sugar Maple in the first picture above was also planted, about 150 years ago. Hope you enjoyed my 3 posts on our Spirit Rock hike!
The temperature rose, and the rain came, making the past two days dreary, dark and wet but unfortunately typical November days. All our snow is gone, though this afternoon the temperature plunged again, and we had wet snow on our drive back from Owen Sound this evening. Tomorrow is another pre-Christmas Saturday, which means Christmas fairs and markets.
The foundation reminds me of the homestead we found in the bush, but ours was worn down all the way to the cement foundation. I love finding bits of history like this. - MargyReplyDelete
Another cool discovery! Thanks for sharing it with us.ReplyDelete
It certainly looks as though it's been abandoned for a good while. In Britain you often find that the stones used for constructing the corners have been re-cycled, some even date back to buildings originally constructed by the Romans. In the vicinity of Hadrian's Wall some farms have particularly fine foundation stones.ReplyDelete
Great find FG. I'll have to check it on on my way past.ReplyDelete
What a cool discovery. A neat place to explore and take photos. Thanks for sharing, have a happy weekend!ReplyDelete
It does make me wonder who lived there, when, and what kind of life they lived. That corner you showed me is definitely well constructed. We are still in the midst of our sunny days with rain coming early next week. I've enjoyed the sun but I won't mind the rain when it comes, either. :-)ReplyDelete
This is really interesting! We went to visit the location of hubby's Chesterville farm house. It is gone, another home built beside. The foundations weren't removed and there is now a pond where their home was. The old barns are gone (one each for chicken, cows, etc.).ReplyDelete
If those walls could talk.ReplyDelete
I am fascinated with stone building and walls. Love them.ReplyDelete
That sugar maple is a beautiful tree. I am amazed at the number of abandoned homesteads you visit,ReplyDelete
From the looks of the quoins (corner stones) the foundation was probably constructed by a skilled stone worker, not the landowner. In areas where contrasting colored stone was available the quoins were often made from stones of one color and the infill from the other color.ReplyDelete
That sugar maple looks like it would make a beautiful subject for photography on a crystal clear day when the fall color was at its peak.
I like the old rock foundations!ReplyDelete
Quite an appealing ruin!ReplyDelete
Great images of a very interesting place! I'd love to see those trees in spring and autumn!ReplyDelete
I'd love to see that wonderful sugar maple in it's fall color. Old stone work is a treat to find and this is no exception! Thanks for sharing this week and I hope that you will return again.ReplyDelete