(Above: Boyd House and farm, Winter 1987.)
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.
The house on Huntmar today is empty inside. There’s grafitti on some of the walls, peeling paint, old carpet and wallpaper. Structurally the house is sound but whoever takes it over will have a big make-over job inside.
Up until a couple years ago, the house was a family home. I’ve obtained a few photos that give some idea of what it looked like inside. Keep in mind the house has gone through several renovations, including a major remodeling in the 1970s and an addition in the early 1980s.
Most of the woodwork in the home is original, but some of it was re-arranged during the various renovations. The original house was built with linoleum floors (that was the style back then), but subsequent owners added carpeting and later, oak flooring. I was surprised to find out there was no fireplace in the original house. Wood stoves were the latest and greatest in home furnishing when the house was built in the late 19th century, and there were three chimneys on top of the house to connect the stovepipes.
Another unique feature of the house at one time was the organ. Descendents of the Boyds recall a pump organ in the front parlor of the house.
The stone for this house (and for the old Hartin house next door on Maple Grove Road), was quarried from a location that’s now an industrial building at 5977 Hazeldean Road, just east of the Rona. The stone was transported by sled during the winter to the site of the houses.
The woodwork on the stairs is probably original. The stairs were originally located next to one of the outer walls of the house. They’ve sinced been relocated to the middle of the house.
A couple of views here of a large room on the main floor of the house. The fireplace is relatively new (post-1975). Originally, there was a wall where the fireplace is now, diving the space into two rooms: a parlor and a bedroom.
This room is part of the addition to the house, built around 1984. The stone wall is part of the original home. The bannister in this photo is a replica created to match the style of the rest of the woodwork in the home.
I still would like to get access to the house to take some photos inside. I’m curious to see what shape it’s in (windows have been broken and there have been trespassers inside). But I also want to look up close at the old wood and stone and get a feel for what it would have been like to live inside the place during the 19th century.
There are several stone houses still standing within the same general area in Stittsville. Boyd House was the last with original barns still standing. They were both demolished around September 2013, which was a huge heritage loss to the area.
Here are a couple of photos of the interior of the large barn, built in 1901 and torn down sometime in the last few weeks.
And this is what the inside of the smaller barn looked like before it was torn down. This was the first barn on the property and is probably older than the Boyd House. It was once used as a pig farm by the Boyd’s, and by later owners as a garage and storage area.
|Photo courtesy of Don Francis.|
There was a third barn on the site, used for stables. It was intact as late as the 1950’s but was gone by the late 1970’s. There’s still some concrete on the property between the house and the big barn that marks its location. And there are some stones just to the south of the main house that were likely the site of the original log home that pre-dated the stone house.
NEXT IN THIS SERIES: Memories of growing up on the farm
PREVIOUSLY: The old farmhouse and barns, from the outside
Sources used to research this story include:
- City of Ottawa Report: Designation of the Boyd House, October 30, 2014
- Information provided by Don and John Francis, descendants of the Burroughs family
SUPPORT LOCAL STITTSVILLE