We then returned via all the other streets, if that's not a geographical impossibility. The heat made it a challenge...but the hospitality at the delightful Dickens-themed Gad's Hill Place pub and restaurant had fortified us adequately.
|William Mirick house (ca. 1821)|
Merrickville, however, is an exception. There were Merricks. Although as of 1996, when Going to Town was published, Ms. Ashenburg regrets that there are no Merricks no more.
She also records that two impressive Merrick houses, father William's and son Aaron's, are at the extreme opposite ends of the street we trudged. Which may imply lots, or nothing at all. There is certainly a difference in their style, and vintage .
|Merrickville woolen mill ruins - the scenic |
NHS Industrial Heritage Complex
A second owner, industrialist William Pearson, appeared in 1869; he added the bargeboard and likely the verandah and carriage house.
William Mirick (1760-1841), UEL from Massachussets, arrived in the early 1790's, and established a mill on a spot along the Rideau which featured a handy fourteen foot drop.
|river somewhat tamed by a flight of locks|
Today, there is an interesting complex of early industrial buildings some still operating, and others artistically remembered in the fine National Historic Site ruins and find educational displays (more on this later, as the place was really a treat)
Sometime later, the spelling of his name changed (one never knows if this was the owner's decision or the dodgy spelling of early registry office clerks).
|special seat in heaven for folks who preserve early chimneys|
Ashenburg comments on 'the secretive look that comes from few and small windows and recessed door." With the wild profusion of old fashioned flowers, it looks to me a most inviting place indeed.
|Aaron Merrick's house (1844 with later changes)|
Of more interest to lovers of old houses however is the 'presence' this house exudes. The four French doors speak to its Regency taste (Ashenburg reports that there was a full verandah until the 1920's - wouldn't that have been lovely in this almost-country spot? She then remarks on the classical influences: symmetry, sharply pitched roof and its tall two and a half stories. Although tough to see from a distance, the stonework (attributed to Samuel Langford, Merrickville's legendary builder) is of the finest quality.
Once question remains. Who can explain the giant portrait tulips lining the drive?