Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mystery in Colebrook(e)

 I was on a photo quest one colour tour day this week, when I heeded that side road siren call, and made the turn into Colebrook (or is it Colebrooke, the road signs seem to debate the point.) I visited one of my favourite Georgian houses, and once more marvelled at the frame house next door with its very similar portico. And loved the leaves, and the reflections in the peaceful Napanee River.

 I was heading into Frontenac County, but for some reason, turned the wrong way onto Colebrooke Road and began immediately to look for a turnaround spot in this rural subdivision area. When I spotted this....this barn! What was someone thinking? Add your questions here: _________

Fortunately the place was for sale, so I searched for the Remax listing. It advertised 'Vacant Land' with a 60x40 barn in good condition. I'll say - although the neoclassical portico is on the wrong side of the building, technically, and the fanlight tracery is painted on. But what rules apply in this case, I just really don't know.
a frame front-gable house...

love how similar the two door treatments are
...with its haughty neighbour in limestone
 So if you are fortunate enough to live in Stone Mills township (as they call it post amalgamation), let me know the story! Here are some of the reasons I would consider myself fortunate, were I living in Colebrook with an E.


  1. Hi there, I was searching online to see if the barn you photographed had been sold since it is across the street from my Grandmother's house and my Dad grew up on the property. What a coincidence that you had such beautiful pictures of not only the restored barn but also my family's previous farmhouse and an old barn and drive house we still own further up the road. The door treatments are likely similar since all three properties are owned by the same person, who lives in the stone house. He bought the farm house next to the stone house and the restored barn and surrounding property from my Grandfather many years ago. I hope that helps with your quest!

  2. Thanks for writing, Laina, and solving the mystery in Colebrooke. Glad you found 'ancestralroofs' - do visit again.

  3. The house was built for Charles Warner in 1855, and is currently listed by sotheby's Realty for 2.25million, My son's question lead me to research this today.. Warner bought the sawmill from Eli Peters (the village was originally called Peters Mills) in 1842, and modernized. He built the large stone residence on the East side of the river in 1855. The Warners were politically connected, and when Yarker (Then Simcoe Falls) and Peters Mills duked it out over a post office, Peters Mills won and had to change its Colebrook was selected (Charles' son, the owner of the general store that would house the post, was A.C. "Cole" Warner. although the official version is it was named after a former Lieutenant- Governor of New likely is that?) Simcoe Falls got its own post office within a decade and had to change its name to Yarker. Other industries in Colebrook at the time included a feather- reconditioning factory! (sources:"Frank Edwards, "The Smiling Wilderness" and Orland French "Lennox and Addington") The house has been an occasional summer residence for as long as we have been here 30+years,for the current owner, who I am told was an interior designer from Toronto.

  4. I used to wonder about that barn as we drove past it on the way home from the cottage and finally asked family who were from the area about it and was told it was where the men used to meet ( in the 50's and 60's) that is was a freemasonic ledge. If so, that explains the pillars, known as the twin pillars of Boaz and Joachim that can be found outside of these lodges.

  5. Robert Mieklejohn was a recent longtime owner of many of the properties on Colebrook Road. He was a world class Industrial Designer, many of his creations around the world. He and his wife considered the big stone house their country home. We rented a house from him, across the road from his grand manor, and our place had many of his special grand touches. His wife had a lovely man made pond for swimming, quite close to that lovely barn. I suspect Mr Mieklejohn added that grand portico to the barn. He had such a wonderful flair for design. It’s sad to think they are no longer at their country place.

  6. So many lovely stories, thanks to everyone who visited this post.

  7. The reason why it’s Colebrook on one end and with an e on the other is that it is a road in 2 townships.