(The Bradley-Craig house circa 1890. The photo was donated to the Goulbourn Township Historical Society from the photo album of Mrs. John Clifford Bradley.)
As you travel down Hazeldean Road, you may have noticed that the farmhouse on the Bradley-Craig farm is covered in scaffolding. Richcraft owns the land on which the farmhouse and barn sit. Richcraft had applied for permits to restore both the barn and the farmhouse for which approval from the City was received earlier this year. The foundation work on the barn began in the fall of 2020, with work ongoing. The farmhouse is now being focused on for preservation.
The farm, at one time 120-acres, dates back to a land grant given to John Colbert for the property located at Concession XI, Lot 29W, now known as 590 Hazeldean Road. John and William Colbert, along with their families were part of the Talbot Party Emigration in 1818 coming to Canada, and settling in the Goulbourn area.
In October, 1821, two brothers, Joshua and Jacob Bradley, petitioned for land when they arrived in Upper Canada from County Wexford, Ireland. In 1824, the brothers received their Crown land in Goulbourn Township. Joshua received his land from John Colbert, Sr., taking over what is today the location of the farmhouse and barn of the Bradley-Craig farm. Jacob received the west part of Lot 18 on Concession XI (Hazeldean Road). The farmstead remained in the same family from 1824 until 2006 when it was sold to Richcraft by Eldon and Norma (nee Bradley) Craig.
The barn was constructed in 1873 and in 2010, was designated heritage by the City under the Ontario Heritage Act and is on the City’s Heritage Watch List. The Gothic Revival style farmhouse was built during the 1870s. The farmhouse is a red brick, two-and-a-half-storey home with gingerbread trim along the eaves, decorative woodwork highlighting the front verandah, and a rare blue and purple glass transom window over the front door. As farmers in the former Goulbourn Township became more affluent, they constructed more elaborate and prominent houses that is evidenced in the Bradley-Craig house. Several features of the house convey an example of the heritage value of the Gothic Revival farmhouse such as:
- Steeply pitched gable roof;
- Decorative bargeboard in the gable ends;
- The front veranda decorative woodwork;
- Red brick cladding and contrasting white brick quoins, voussoirs and string courses;
- Front door with original sidelights and elliptical transom window of rare blue and purple glass; and
- Metal grills on the exterior of the front door.
With the barn preservation work well on its way – restoration of the stone foundation, missing barn boards and rotten wood being replaced – Richcraft is now focusing on the farmhouse. With scaffolding in place, Richcraft are re-pointing the brickwork, waterproofing the stone foundation and removing the front verandah enclosure, but retaining the posts.
The work is monitored and inspected regularly by City inspectors, ensuring that the heritage elements are not lost. In April 2021, Councillor Gower, along with heritage staff, went on a site visit to the see the work being done on the stone foundation of the barn.
On the work being performed on the farmstead, Councillor Gower told Stittsville Central, “It’s great to see the investment being made in the Bradley-Craig farmhouse and barn. The restoration work will help ensure that the heritage buildings will be a part of our community for years to come.” Stittsville residents will agree.
Working in collaboration with the City’s heritage staff, who reviewed the Richcraft restoration plan, the following permits have been issued for the restoration work required at the Bradley-Craig farmstead:
- Repair and replacement of portions of the barn’s existing sill beam;
- Installation of timber planks on north exterior elevation of barn to match planks removed due to deteriorated condition;
- Replacement of deteriorated barn steel window lintels with matching lintels on stone portion north elevation;
- Reinstatement of large barn doors on north elevation;
- Removal of two wooden outbuildings located at the northwest and southwest corners of the barn;
- Removal of rear addition to existing farmhouse – the summer kitchen and garage;
- Removal of porch enclosure, retention of existing porch posts;
- Re-pointing of exterior bricks and stone foundation, brick and stones to be replaced where significantly deteriorated. Partial excavation around perimeter of home required to re-point portions of foundation; and
- Repair and partial reconstruction of existing chimney using existing bricks.
The farmhouse and barn are one of the last reminders of the rural heritage character that once was found along Hazeldean Road – of all the farms, the Bradley-Craig farm, with its red barn, was a visible landmark for all travelling the road. The barn is being restored to be modified for a new use, yet to be determined. Stittsville residents are pleased to see that Richcraft is taking an active role in preserving Stittsville’s beloved piece of history.
SUPPORT LOCAL STITTSVILLE