History Still Lives on at The McEwen House in Beckwith

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History Still Lives on at The McEwen House in Beckwith

 

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1974

 

It took seven long years for the McEwen’s to build this stone house on the 7th line, about a half mile west of Highway 29. Made of local limestone it has a centre door way with Cross and Bible panels, sidelights, and a square fanlight at the top. Directly over the door is proudly marked 1873, the day that the house was finally completed.

Set in a grove of lovely trees the house has a snake fence separating it from the roadway and at the rear there was once barns, a stable, a tack house and a drive shed. The house that remained in the family for decades was one of the finest homes in Beckwith at one point.

 

 

 

The dining room has a ‘dado’ once known as a chair rail, and all the rooms were finished as it was truly a house of distinction with a boxed staircase located in the centre hall. The kitchen has an interesting porthole window facing West and recessed windows are all panelled and have bubble glass panes. Beamed ceilings, golden ash woodwork, and pegged floors grace the  house as well as matching doors throughout with 6 panels and enamelled doorknobs.

That large staircase carried the feet of a family that led upwards to three bedrooms complete with floors made of Balsam Poplar or Balm of Gilead. It was once a popular tree as it also had medicinal properties of balsam poplar that lie in the winter buds. These are black, upright and sticky, and are strongly aromatic and if chewed taste tarry and hot.

It is not surprising that the buds also contain and are covered with waxy resins, terpenes and phenolics with disinfectant properties.  It is among the fastest growing trees in Canada, up to a foot each year, especially when young. The trees are short-lived, normally up to about 100 years, but used as flooring like this home it can give a golden glow to the atmosphere of the home.

The former ell and woodshed was converted in the 70s by Eve and Peter Levers who bought the home from Clarence McEwen. Today the house is still there with a few minor changes.

When I had to turn either red or left on Highway 29; it was a no brainer, and I immediately felt drawn to the left. It was the right move as sure enough, barely half a mile now the road, was the McEwen home. It was set back farther than what I had originally thought and thought of living there the long cold winters in this secluded area. In fact I could still see in my mind “Bossin’ Billy” McEwen Muirhead trudging down the road after another argument with her husband with her coat hem blowing in the wind.

The barns were no longer there, but the property was well maintained and looked loved. That’s all that mattered to me, the history of the McEwen house still lives on– and that’s what counts.

 

 

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Jayne Munro-Ouimet–Hi Linda, Here is another McEwen house in Beckwith.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

 

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About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

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