Today Jennifer Ferris and I were driving the back roads of Lanark County. We had lunch in the Village of Lanark and we passed by the Northern Gothic Airbnb. Built in 1865 by the Caldwell family and now known as “the Hielans,” this great house is a treasure of the Ottawa Valley, situated in the heart of the village of Lanark on the Clyde river”. It’s pretty spectacular I tell you sitting on top of the hill and here is info on the place and their Instagram page.
I follow Northern Gothic on Instagram and had no idea that was the house in the village of Lanark until Jennifer pointed it out. She began to tell me about one of their ceiling medallions with a beaver on it. They had told her only the Caldwell homes had it. Hold on a minute!!!
I wrote about another house on a hill in Beckwith which also had a medallion with a beaver on it and then another one in Middleville. So they are not only Caldwell homes, so I questioned Jennifer again. She then told me another story that Alice Borrowman from the Middleville Museum told her: there was a travelling artist who would stay in homes and in thanks would paint a beaver on the medallion. The number of leaves he painted was the number of the homes he had stayed in. Example: Three leaves, third home. Now this beaver still exists in the Beckwith McTavish house with three maple leaves in his mouth crouching on a fallen log.
The central hall Of the “Vertical Board House” in Middleville has a similar one to the McTavish home in Beckwith and it too has an interior ceiling medallion of a hand painted beaver. No idea how many leaves so time to contact everyone to solve this mystery! Update- Just heard there was 6 leaves on this medallion!