My passion for old and derelict buildings is, by now, no secret! For those of you following on Twitter or Facebook, you will be aware of the fact that I saw a place on one of my drives that really caught my imagination. The kicker was, I had decided against bringing the camera due to the fact that it had been raining most of the morning. Of course, once I hit the road, it never rained, in fact, the sun came out.
I had the good fortune to get another semi-overcast day on Wednesday to get a few shots. I am only including one I like but will not paint. Some people (Patrick!) pay too close attention!
It seems that every so often, a place grabs a hold on me and I am driven to learn more about a property or just the times. This place made it easy to imagine. I ended up on another research binge and learned that the “Orange” Celebrations always happened on July 12 in one of either Huntsville, Bracebridge or Gravenhurst and that this was immediately followed by the harvesting of the hay on the 13th if it didn’t rain. This house was surrounded by huge fields and I could almost hear the men coming in from them.
I am a strong believer in synchronicity and that sometimes, the right things come at the right time. I am a big fan of the rural explorers; people who, with great reverence, explore old farms and other buildings that are long abandoned. They tell a story through photographs of places that would otherwise, simply disappear. I am a believer that permission should be asked if it is possible and many of the greatest images come back when generous family members or farmers allow photographs to be taken. I am hoping that I will get the tour of one of my favourite places very soon.
It was on one of the exploration sites I found mention of a book called “A Life Consumed” by Diane Sims on a thread discussing the Gravenhurst Sanatorium. It was the first tuberculosis sanatorium in Canada. The book is a true account life there in the 1920’s, from the letters of Lilly Samson.
I don’t know why this house and the book insist on connecting somehow in my mind and to the series of events that have followed my visit and my research, but there is a story here. I plan to follow my instincts….