(Photo: Great Lakes Barn Restoration web site)
In follow-up to our story about the Bradley-Craig barn and Darby Ace’s related thesis, Patricia Barlosky of the Goulbourn Township Historical Society (GTHS) got in touch with me to relate what she discovered about the Stitt family in follow-up to a research request last summer. Patricia is the Research Coordinator for GTHS.
Here’s a bit of background on Jackson Stitt for whom Stittsville was named. The community businesses were few but those that existed were integral to any small village – a tanner, general store, blacksmith and a traveller’s inn. Mr. Stitt was the proprietor of the stopping place, as inns were referred to in those days, and hence, the village, including the Fair Green cattle and horse sales marketplace, was known as Stitt’s Corners. Jackson Stitt was named as our first postmaster so it was only fitting that the village’s name be changed to Stittsville in 1854. Jackson Stitt eventually departed the village and his descendants scattered throughout Canada and the United States.
Last summer Patricia received a question which was sent from someone in northern Michigan. It resulted in a correspondence in which she learned that some members of the original Stitt family who settled in what became Stittsville, Ontario, had moved to Norwich Township in Michigan and founded a town of Stittsville there. Stittsville, Michigan was a thriving logging town through most of the 1800s, but is now essentially a ghost town. Photos of what is left of the town can be seen here: http://99wfmk.com/
However, the reason why Patricia is commenting on an article about barn preservation is this: “while researching my response to the question, I found an article in the GTHS collection: They Give Old Barns New Life: Family of barnwrights are preserving history, which originally appeared in the Feb/Mar 2003 edition of Country Magazine. http://greatlakesbarn.com/
It tells the story of Sam Stitt III, a direct descendant of the original Stitt settlers. His company, Great Lakes Barn Preservation, has worked to restore and preserve heritage barns in Michigan.”
Another Stitt descendant is Mark Stitt, who has his own company, Stitt Barn Preservation: https://www.
Patricia went on to say, “It has been so interesting to learn that descendants of the original Stitt family have been passionate about the preservation and restoration of heritage barns in Michigan – and what an amazing connection to the ongoing effort in Stittsville, Ontario to preserve the Bradley-Craig barn and the heritage it represents!”
**Editor’s Note: I’m sure Jackson Stitt would be proud of the work his descendants are doing to preserve heritage. It is worth reading the Country Magazine’s short article, if not just to see the dilapidated barn at the end of article that was restored by Sam Stitt III. Perhaps Richcraft could consult or hire either or both of the Stitt family members to help with the restoration of our own Bradley-Craig barn especially because of their connection to Stittsville.