Ok, can you find the clues that reveal this late April scene to be the location of a pioneer homestead? Some years ago, my friend who owns this property, just as a bush lot, was lamenting that he had never found the site of any pioneer home on the 50 acres. I looked across the field, spotted a cluster of unique trees, and said "How about over there?" And I was right!
You can't see all the clues in this photo, but you can see two of them, the shrubs on the left and the taller trees on the right.
The first clue that there may have been a homestead nearby, was this old stone fencerow.
It's one of the most remarkable stone fencerows I've seen here, because it isn't constructed of smaller rocks or boulders piled up, it's just a line of enormous boulders! I can't even fathom how they moved these with just horses and pioneer ingenuity.
And here's the clump of shrubs. Do you recognize them by their growth form, or the remnant seed cases against the sky? I'm sure most of you have seen these, or even have them in your yard.
They're Lilacs, here with large swollen buds ready to burst into purple flower. I'm sure they're a very old variety, and have just slowly spread from some small original plantings.
And here's the other most obvious ornamental plant - Day Lilies! Just the common orange 'Ditch Lilies', but 150 years ago that was probably all the pioneers had.
Finally, the trees, though I can't blame you for not recognizing these at this time of year. They're Silver Poplar, or European White Poplar, with leaves that are actually white underneath, and maple-leaf shaped. Theyre another popular plant found around pioneer homesteads. I'll get a picture later in the season for you.
And crawling around in the underbrush under those trees, what did we find but a small pile of rocks that I expect was once the corner foundation of a log cabin.
Half-buried in the dirt, I found a red brick when I walked here Monday.
So this is a little flat patch, right in front of a stream, where I believe a small log cabin was built by the pioneers who homesteaded here, and planted a few Lilacs, Day Lilies and Silver Poplar to bring civilization to the wilderness that was then southern Ontario. Those plants were undoubtedly precious to people who probably travelled from Britain to make a new life!
At this time of year, there's even a little stream that is dropping down into a karst depression, and disappearing down a sinkhole. Hope you enjoyed our sleuthing expedition!
And as well as firewood for warmth, the stream for that all important fact of life we cannot do without, water. Beautiful detective work out there.ReplyDelete
Great sleuthing work! I can't imagine how they built that amazing rock wall either. I've never seen anything like it. I always enjoy seeing the pioneer homesteads in various campgrounds that we visit. Sometimes you look around the sites and wonder how they ever farmed the land with so many trees and rocks to clear.ReplyDelete
I certainly did enjoy this sleuthing. You found so many things that point to a vibrant life that is now almost completely covered over. Amazing find, and thank you for the description and pictures. :-)ReplyDelete
How cool to find this old homestead.ReplyDelete
You have a good eye. Where we are the forest quickly reclaims everything. You really have to know where to look and then dig through the trees and underbrush. - MargyReplyDelete
oh what a lovely spot, I'm not surprised it was a homestead.ReplyDelete
Well done, Sherlock! How on earth did they move those bolders?ReplyDelete
How good to find this lovely spot ...ReplyDelete
How nice to have Lilacs, Day Lilies and Silver Poplar ...
Many thanks for your recent visit and comment on the low carb diabetic blog ...
I always enjoy my visits to your blog and seeing your lovely photo's.
So I was pleased to see you on the low carb diabetic and hope you may visit again soon.
We do have a variety of articles, recipes, news items etc and every Saturday has a regular music night spot!
We hope something for everyone to read and enjoy.
Hope your week is going well.
All the best Jan
Hello, the homestead was a neat find. Wonderful photos! Happy Thursday, enjoy your day!ReplyDelete
Great detective work, amazing what you can find just by looking.ReplyDelete
Hello!:) The huge boulders are an amazing boundry find, as are the various trees and lilies, ...all survivers of the pianeer days. Thank you for discovering, and uncovering, a little bit of history to share.ReplyDelete
You are a great detective. I have found newer OLD homesteads down this way by a rare agricultural hand tool or daffodils.ReplyDelete
It's remarkable how the signs start showing themselves when you really look!ReplyDelete
Wow wonderful photos. You are quite the detective. : )ReplyDelete
A very interesting discovery. I enjoy going to old homesteads and thinking what about the family that might have loved it.ReplyDelete
Wonderful post. good hunting for the parts of the old homestead. InterestingReplyDelete
interesting to think about what once stood where you find little clues like these! love those lilac buds!ReplyDelete
I like seeing all of your clues. Sometimes it is too obvious in our area on the prairie and in some places everything has been cleared to plant corn. The stray brick that might show when plowing is the only evidence. Old cedar trees were always planted for windbreaks and sometimes an old hand dug cistern could still be around. The old fashion caves also are still around.ReplyDelete
wow, those huge stones lined up IS impressive!!! great find!ReplyDelete
Archaeology in action! I'd love to know why so many of these homesteads were abandoned after so much hard work?ReplyDelete
What a neat little sleuthing outing you had. I think your clues were spot on. That rock wall was something else.ReplyDelete