Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Blessing of Locusts II

The Mitchell homestead 

Tall, gnarled and sinuous, stands of black locust trees invariably signal a very early homestead. The locust tree was the settlers' ornamental, some say. Sometimes these poetic trees mark only an empty spot overgrown perhaps with day lilies or lilacs, where a home once stood.

This particular grove signalled something special, and the trees were right. On a hot afternoon in Leeds and the Thousand Islands (its long post-amalgamation name does not trip lightly off the tongue) I met Locust Grove farm and the enlightened and gracious heritage activist, managed forest keeper, and steward of this most worthy early stone house on highway 2 southeast of Lansdowne.

I will revisit this place, and this post, to tell you more of the old Mitchell homestead, and the wonderful folk who understood its worth. But for now, just stand in the shade of the locusts, and do a bit of time-travelling. And if you want to read more, have a look at this 1996 article in the annals of the newsletter of the Historical Society of the Front of Leeds & Lansdowne.

1 comment:

  1. From the 1996 article: "Broken glass was mixed with the foun- dation material to deter rodents from entering the basement." Interesting. I guess this was an issue that we today don´t appreciate. Back in the day, people didn´t live in hermetically sealed abodes. Instead, the houses were allowed to breathe in a natural fashion, even if it created dilemmas with other things.