1973 newspaper clipping. If you have a photo of the current home–please send it to me.
About a mile east from Black’s Corners a deed for this hillside property was given in 1824 to John McTavish, but the home was not built until the 1870s. Foundation stones of the first dwelling which was either wood or log were found by former owner Donald Miller who owned the farm from 1950 until 1970 when it was sold to David Butler.
The McTavish tenure on the home lasted for upwards of 100 years when Hugh Timmins bought the property in 1932. After that former owners were: William J. Simpson, Elsie M. Lewis and Cecil Leslie Munro until Donald Miller took over.
Built similarly to two homes standing on a hill overlooking the countryside–warm mellow sandstone with gingerbread trim and a centre doorway that opens into a large hall welcomed family and friends for years. The highlight of this home was and hopefully still is— not only the exterior, but an interior ceiling medallion of a hand painted beaver with three maple leaves in his mouth crouching on a fallen log. There is no notation of who the artist is, and if it still is there I would love to see it.
Jayne Munro-Ouimet sent me this photo-–Linda here is a recent photo of the house on the hill between the school and the park in Beckwith. Alex Sharpe is my cousin and quite a family history buff. His mum Ruth lived there. Some of the family members went to the one room school on the ninth line. Ruth’s brother Cecil Leslie Munro bought the farm from his parents. I will see if I can find out when my great uncle purchased the farm. One of the Hudson ladies lives on Glen Isle.
There used to be a rumour that plaster ceiling medallions were put there to keep the soot from candliers or gasoliers from showing. Ceiling medallions were popular decorative elements in 19th-century middle and upper class homes. Throughout decorating history, even residential ceilings were embellished with colour, striping, cast-plaster ornaments, corner fans, borders, specialty papers, and murals.
Stencils also appeared early on, but the late 19th-century Victorian era was the heyday of the embellished ceiling. Faced with ceiling heights of 9′ or more on the main floor, decorators always considered the ceiling along with the walls They were popular during the 1830s through the 1890s. According to period advertisements, the ceiling medallions that were meant for the centre of the ceiling above hanging light fixtures were sometimes called “centres.”
I guess we will never know but today you can buy medallions in all home renovation stores, and even though my original plaster ones disappeared in our home fire of 1995 I still made sure that all ceiling medallions were replaced. I hand painted most of them and when I began to paint them the renovators thought it was funny, but by the last one they wouldn’t put one up unless I painted it. The last one I did was was the angel medallion in the living room.
820 CENSUS BECKWITH TOWNSHIP
LANARK CO., ONT., CANADA
PAGE 1 OF 1
AS OF APRIL 1820
(Head of Household)
McTAVISH, Alexander: (1)
McTAVISH, John: 1 female (2)
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