|Blockhouse, The Narrows
The brochure describes the significant position of the settlement during the days of the unimaginably difficult carving of the Rideau Canal from the unyielding granite of the area. The town that became Newboro grew on the isthmus separating the Rideau River system from the Cataraqui. All that remained to achieve the strategic water route was to claw through the granite ridge separating the two drainage systems, hidden beneath the underbrush here. The keystone of the Rideau Arch. So many died. "The Isthmus" became New Borough, then Newboro.
|Union Bank building c1903
Above, along Drummond Street (County road 42 that races through town) is the Union Bank Building, dating from about 1903. I love how small town banks of the day still mustered up a bit of Romanesque Revival 'your money is safe in our fortress' styling. It's lovely, with the residential second storey's porches cuddled up in the ell.
|adorable false front shops, sadly empty
Like many neighbouring areas blessed with forests and lakes, Newboro became a vacation destination early - and continues to be, with at least one historic lodge still welcoming guests.
|the John Draffin House (c1860)
|home of John Draffin, merchant
Down the street, I paused at the 1861 St. Mary's Anglican Gothic Revival church, in its peaceful setting.
Above, an unadorned version, with siding, and an altered doorcase with original fluted pilasters.
Below, a yellow-painted version with a lovely recreated verandah. And a delightful garden. Both with round-headed windows in the gable.
Several large house/store structures, and two which resemble hotels standing along Main Street assist with time-travel back to the day. Although I don't have much information about this substantial green clapboard store, or the stuccoed symmetrical building (photo below) at the corner I expect they were busy spots in the day.
|R.O.Legget house and shop c1870
This house is the c1865 Dominion House Hotel, built by Thomas Kenny and son. Good enough for Sir John A. to chalk up a visit. The semi-elliptical fan transom draws the eye, for sure. Great to see this early doorcase still intact.
Another old beauty along Main Street is the R.O. Leggett house and shop, dating from around 1870. Mr. Leggett operated a furniture and undertaking business at this address (closely allied trades) and a livery service, for transporting the bereaved and the departed. He housed the family in the red brick ell, with that lovely verandah in the trees. It's great to see the original shop front intact, with the well-worn sandstone doorstep in place.
|1 Main Street
This simple Georgian structure with the low-pitched roofline, close eaves, small windows, the altered half-sidelight doorcase (is that a round fan above?) and the quarter fans in the wide eaves, sitting at the corner of Main and Drummond, close by the canal, just has to have been an old inn.
Despite silence from the walking tour brochure, I remain convinced. The empty corner fills up with pedestrians and loaded wagons and carriages, as I study it. Someone loves it - even the end chimneys endure.
|John Webster house 1860s
The pamphlet reveals that John Webster provided accommodation for travellers here. Nice entrance, with half-sidelights and rectangular transom. The guide explains that the fluted pilasters and 'bracketed shelf" above the door were after-thoughts. Love the round-headed casement window centre top.
|fading bargeboard beside Kilborn's
The house next door, with its lovely doorcase and Gothic bargeboard, caught my eye. Not sure about the strapping. Needs help.
|Stagecoach Inn c1855
Here's a glimpse of two other Newboro businesses. The stage Coach Inn is part of the Kilborn's in the Rideau complex, and looks very appealing indeed.
|Historic Stirling Lodge
Newboro early realized its tourism potential. The Historic Stirling Lodge still welcomes guests, and offers itself as "a fishing destination", catering to American visitors. Its guest-book entries give a hint as to its heyday - Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor slept (and fished, one assumes) here.
There's a stone section of the inn, vying for attention with blue siding. Love the no-airs flat roof. Interested to see that it's also under the Kilborn's banner - a full-service destination that suggests significant vision, means, and hard work on someone's part!
|a pleasant By Street home
|John Poole Tett house c.1896
The guide reminds us that it was not always thus - in Newboro's industrial heyday, a furniture factory, then a tannery 'graced' the lakeshore. Newboro early realized that their lakeshore was much better used for dwellings than industries.
If I had more patience with genealogical records online, I would check to see what the family connection is, with Benjamin Tett, who built the mill at Brewer's Mills. Even if they're only distantly related, it's worth observing that the 'nation-builder' gene ran in the family.
|view from Poole Tett house, over Newboro Lake
But I think I would rather contemplate the view from the sloping property with its encircling wall, or seated on the huge L-shaped verandah.
Now back to 'the main drag' as my father used to call downtown.
|J.T.Gallagher house, c.1885
This red brick wonder was built around 1885 by J.T.Gallagher. Its said that Gallagher engaged in some one-upmanship with John Poole Tett, who was building his home on By Street (photos above) at the same time. Who won?
Treillage-trimmed verandah. What a wonder this house is - and what wonders the owners, who appear determined to maintain its heritage elements.
Just appreciation for this lovely historic spot which seems to be doing quite well, thank you very much.
We plan to be back next year. Perhaps we'll run into each other along Drummond Street.