Lyman Boyd (son of Byron and Gertrude) with his neice, Karen Boyd on left and friend, David MacBeth, early 1950s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.

Boyd House: Family memories of Christmas on the farm, and more (Part 5)

(Above: Lyman Boyd with his niece Karen Boyd on left and friend, David MacBeth, early 1950s.)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This series on Boyd House, an old stone farmhouse on Huntmar Drive, originally appeared a year ago on OttawaStart.com.  We’re updating and republishing the original research over the next few weeks on StittsvilleCentral.ca. Photos and research by Glen Gower. This post features excerpts from emails and interviews with descendants of the Boyd family who have contacted me over the past year.  You’ll notice in the photos that the stone house features prominently in many of the pictures.  It must have been an important part of the Boyd family.

Lyman Boyd at south side of farm house, showing how much snow there was, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.
Lyman Boyd at south side of farm house, showing how much snow there was, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.
Maybelle (nee Boyd) and Frank McCullough, with nephew and niece Barry and Karen, children of Vincent Boyd, early 1950s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.
Maybelle (nee Boyd) and Frank McCullough, with nephew and niece Barry and Karen, children of Vincent Boyd, early 1950s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.

Karen Payne (nee Boyd) still lives in Ottawa, on a farm near Manotick. She remembers visiting her grandmother and uncle Lyman on the farm.  Lyman Boyd. Lyman James Boyd was the last of the Boyd family to own the farm, before selling it in the 1970s.  He was the son of Byron and Gertrude, making him the grandson of James and Jane Boyd.

I can remember going out there and visiting my grandmother at Christmastime. (My grandfather died when I was six.) She would have platefuls of cookies to put out.  There were deep window sills with curtains on them, and she’d put curtains there with cookies on them.  My grandfather used to nibble on them.

Lyman lived with my grandmother. My grandfather died in 1952, Lyman went back to work the farm and help.  My grandmother died in  1968.  Lyman sold in Spring 1970.

I remember raspberry picking with my grandmother back in the field, and eating too many of them and getting sick.  I remember going out for Christmas and uncle Lyman wouldn’t clean the lane – he had no need to use it – he used to come to the road and pick us up in horse & sleigh. We’d park at the neighbours and he’d come and pick us up.

I remember going out for March break or easter break or whatever they called it – he was trying to clean it and snow being up high on the tires of the tractor.

I remember the old barn and the milk house and the shed. I remember the ice house – at the back of a garage/shed.  I can remember the sawdust in it. And hearing stories of them cutting the ice.  Where they used to cut the ice – where the Rona store is now – in behind there,- there was a pond. I think we have the saws from that.

They never had a lawn.  There were were hollyhocks out there, they just grew wild, so pretty. Peonies, lilies along that fence facing the other lawn.

My dad, aunt, and uncle went to school at the old building in Kanata – it’s now a community center or something. Behind the school it dropped way down, it was all bush.

I remember across the road was Scott James. They were big horse people. Was Scott the father or the son? I used to go with my uncle down the road – he’d go into Black’s – Don Black – 4H -my uncle was a leader for years.

Years ago they had horses. My dad and uncle were both in 4H.  Some of the pictures have uncle Lyman with a horse, cows.

On why Lyman Boyd sold the farm in the 1970s:

Lyman had gotten remarried. His wife had a place in Stittsville, and he decided not to farm it anymore.   He decided to sell it – that will be 44 years as of spring 2014.I have one cousin – 90 this year – she’s the only one left of that generation.  My mother is 98 and has dementia.  Uncle Lyman was the best one – he knew everybody from here to there and back again.I went up the lane about three years ago and there was nobody home, and I took some pictures around the yard.

I remember the first time going in after they put up the big building (the arena), thinking “oh my God”. If my grandparents could see that now, they would be shocked.

Lyman Boyd (son of Byron and Gertrude) with his neice, Karen Boyd on left and friend, David MacBeth, early 1950s
Lyman Boyd with his neice Karen Boyd and friend David MacBeth, in the early 1950s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullogh.

Byron Boyd (son of James) and his daughter Maybelle Boyd, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullogh.
Byron Boyd (son of James) and his daughter Maybelle Boyd, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullogh.
Gertrude Boyd (married to Byron), 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullogh.
Gertrude Boyd (married to Byron), 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullogh.

Melodie McCullough now lives in Peterborough.  Her mother, Maybelle Boyd, was born and raised in Boyd House and Melodie spent many summers there when she was young.

James was always known as Jimmy.  His son was Byron. Byron farmed married Gertie McKay from Eagleson’s corners. They had 3 children, Vincent, Lyman, Maybelle.  Maybelle is my mother, and she grew up on the farm.

I’m in Peterborough now. My sister is in Calgary and I have a brother in Brockville.

In the 1960’s there were just open fields. Kanata did not exist. My grandmother – when they were talking about building the model city of Kanata -she would laugh because she considered it swampland!

We had total freedom to roam the farm as children. There was a creek that ran through it, one of our favourite spots. It went through the neighbouring farms too.

They had jersey cows. My grandmother had chickens. They had Clydesdale horses.

They had electricity in the barn in the 30’s and 40’s before they had it in the house. There was the main house, and the summer kitchen. They used that in the summer because they didn’t want to cook using the stove –  it would heat up the house.

There was a cistern in the seller – no running water, even in the 1960s.  There was a pump in the kitchen, we pumped the water up from the cistern.

Inside the house – a lot of old farmhouses had two sets of stairs, front and back. There were two sets in this house. But it was funny – because the front stairs were used by the women and the back stairs were used by the men.

Grandmother lived at the front, and my uncle was at the back along with the hired man.

They had feather mattresses – the most delicious thing in the world! And an outhouse! I remember chamberpots, so on a cold morning you didn’t have to go out the outhouse. Grandmother each morning would make the beds, fluff up the mattresses and take out the chamberpots.

The only time they would have a goose was at Christmas, they would cook a goose.

If you look at the old photo of Boyd House, it’s hard to tell, in the corner of the house on the front veranda, there is a Christmas cactus.  I have that plant, the original plant.

The cactus was at the farm until they sold the farm in 1969; then, my mother inherited it – since she was the only daughter, and these kind of things tend to get passed onto the females in the family. We had it at our home in Westboro until she died in 1993, and then I took it.

This Christmas cactus, now in Peterborough, is visible in a 1900's photo of Boyd House. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.
This Christmas cactus, now in Peterborough, is visible in a 1900’s photo of Boyd House. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.

There’s an old tree in the picture – that’s where the well was. On the bottom right – there is a horse & buggy in the background.
On the north side there was a white picket fence. My grandmother always had beautiful white peonies.

My cousin Karen Boyd told me a story about old Mr. Hartin (a next-door neighbour). He would come across the fields to the Boyd house when she was little and he would have hard candy in his pockets and he’d offer it to them. But it was all covered in fluff from his pockets. They would take it but they didn’t really want it!

On why Lyman sold the farm:

Gertie and Byron farmed – they married in around 1912.  Byron died approximately 1954. My uncle Lyman (Byron’s son) had married and left the farm – but they split up. When his father died, he came back and worked the farm. Then my grandmother and uncle Lyman lived there when I used to go there.

My grandmother died in 1968.  Around that time the milk board told them that they had to upgrade the barn to make it more sanitary. That was a major consideration, a major cost.

Back left to right, Unknown, Vincent, son of Byron and Gertrude     Front left to right, Maybelle  and Lyman Boyd, children of Byron and Gertrude (around 1930). Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullogh.
Back left to right, Unknown, Vincent, son of Byron and Gertrude
Front left to right, Maybelle and Lyman Boyd, children of Byron and Gertrude (around 1930). Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullogh.

 


Brenda (Richardson) Elliott:

My father’s aunt lived in Boyd house. She was Gertie McKay and married Byron Boyd. Bryon was my grandmother’s brother. My grandmother was Mabel Magellan Boyd.

The area referred to Golden Ridge came about when my father sold most of our farm to Bill Teron when Kanata was first being developed in 1960. Dad changed the farm name to Golden Ridge Farm. Originally when the first Richardson’s settled on our farm it was called The Evergreens because of the 40  or 50 evergreen tress planted on the yard next the road. I suspect to help block wind and back weather from hitting the house. We had show horses and he wanted a name to out on the registration papers of the purebred foals as they arrived. It was nice to see a street in Kanata was later named Gold Ridge Road.

I believe, but I need to confirm the Boyd Farm was referred to as White Plains.

Hartinville was so called because Milton Hartin and his brother Beattie built a lot of the little bungalows along John Street and actually Beattie and his family lived in one (second or third from corner of Hazeldean Rd) until Milton’s parents and wife passed away and he found himself living alone in the big old family stone home built by Patrick Hartin.

Beattie and his wife and son moved in with Milton. Sadly Beattie’s son was killed one Halloween night when a car struck him crossing the highway as he and a friend were trick or treating. He was about 12 years old.

Both Milton and Beattie were great friends of our family and we spent many evenings visiting back and forth. The little stone ‘house’ on the property was originally a blacksmith shop. That was Milton’s trade back in the day.

I hope these details have answered some of your questions and provided you with some insight to the local history. I hope Boyd a House will not be torn down.

Boyd-McCullough wedding, Aug. 26, 1950. The wedding was at Stittsville United Church and the reception was at the home of the bride - the Boyd farm house. Left to right: Byron and Gertrude Boyd, parents of the bride; Maybelle Boyd (bride), Frank McCullough (groom, from Navan, Ontario); Annie and George McCullough (parents of groom  Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.
Boyd-McCullough wedding, Aug. 26, 1950. The wedding was at Stittsville United Church and the reception was at the home of the bride – the Boyd farm house.
Left to right: Byron and Gertrude Boyd, parents of the bride; Maybelle Boyd (bride), Frank McCullough (groom, from Navan, Ontario); Annie and George McCullough (parents of groom
Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.

Lynda O’Connor:

My grandmother was Gertrude Beatrice Boyd. She married Edward O’Connor on May 10, 1899. Edward was of Irish Catholic decent and Gertrude converted to Catholicism. I don’t know whether her family was upset or not. They had two daughters, Beatrice and Rita, and five sons: Edward, Boyd, James, Gerald and Gordon.

James was my father. I found you blog very interesting and was happy to learn about the house where my Grandmother lived.

I think when I was born, Gertie’s parents were long gone. I wish I had seen the house. I may take a drive out that way in the near future.

Maybelle and Lyman Boyd, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.
Maybelle and Lyman Boyd, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.

Jeff Lintell (Vankleek Hill):

For sentimental reasons I visited the Boyd farm just yesterday. This was the birth place and home of my grandmother Margaret Ann Boyd, eldest child of James and Jane (Bradley) Boyd, builders of this fine stone home.The early 1900’s picture with grandma Jane on the back porch is a copy of the original I have. I also have a picture of James and Jane Boyd taken in the early 1900’s as well as a picture of Rev. John McLaren who married my grandparents Margaret and William Linttell March 8, 1899 and also a bible wedding gift from Rev McLaren.

The land was farmed by Byron Boyd and then Lyman Boyd, son and grandson of James and Jane.  Lyman was the last family member to own this land.

I certainly hope a Heritage designation will be awarded this house as it is a great example of the early stone architecture of the Ottawa area, too few of which are still standing. Thanks ever so much for the work you have put into this and the picture/info that you have posted. This is a way more than I ever knew of the place.

Byron, Maybelle and Gertrude Boyd, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.
Byron, Maybelle and Gertrude Boyd, 1940s. Photo courtesy of Melodie McCullough.

NEXT IN THIS SERIES: Mysteries of the old house and farm

PREVIOUSLY: A look inside Boyd House


Do you know anything about this house or the Boyd family who lived there?  Send us a note at feedback@stittsvillecentral.ca.


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3 thoughts on “Boyd House: Family memories of Christmas on the farm, and more (Part 5)”

    1. Thanks for sharing the link Andre. We plan on posting info about other old buildings in the neighbourhood in the new year. If there are any buildings our readers are curious about, please let me know!

  1. I have been to this house in the 1960s with my Aunt Mae (Archibald) and Uncle Jack McBeth, and cousins David, Cheryl and Bonnie.
    The owners Vincent and Boyd lived there and their daughter Karen.
    You should contact David McBeth for more info on this house, and no doubt some interesting photos.

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