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UER Forum > Canada: Ontario > Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House (Viewed 2289 times)
Ground State 


Location: Ontario, Canada
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 909 likes




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Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House
< on 9/9/2017 2:29 AM >
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Posted on Forum: UER Forum
On a very well-hidden dead-end street, the crumbling remains of one of the oldest and most historical houses in Niagara-on-the-Lake can still be found sitting on a massive parcel of overgrown land.


A Road Back in Time by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



"Secord Farm" by AA McLeod (frontview) - Oil on Canvas, 1931
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



2017 - Property Overview (rearview)
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


The original history of Paxton House can be traced all the way back to a Crown patent granted to Peter Secord in 1798, who was one of the earliest settlers in the area. Peter was an American Loyalist and uncle to James Secord, the husband of the war of 1812 heroine Laura Secord. This land was originally intended to be part of a 600-acre grant promised to Secord by General Powell at Fort Niagara in 1780. However, as a result of contested treaty rights, Secord did not receive the entire parcel. He cleared the land he did receive in 1780, and lived nearby with his wife and large family. He built a mill on the creek and prospered.

David Secord, his relation, was a Major in the local militia and the namesake of the current community of St. Davids. David purchased the land from Peter in 1799 and built the existing dwelling on the property. He lived there until his death in 1844.



When Everything Was Different
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Colours on Iron
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


The history of the house is rich. Oral tradition holds that Laura Secord rested here on her way to Beaverdams to warn General Fitzgibbon of the impending American attack in 1812. Generals De Rottenburg and Drummond may also have used the house as a headquarters. It is one of the only structures that managed to survive the incendiary American attack on the village in 1814.

As time went on, Riall and Elijah Secord inherited the land from David, and it was owned by Flotyes Secord in 1873. It was then sold to David Hanniwell. The Hanniwells owned the land until 1915, when they sold to Gardner S. Paxton and his wife Lucinda. Their descendants owned the house until 2008, when it finally became abandoned.



Summer Sealed
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Windowsill Adhesive
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


Key components of the home that have justified its heritage designation are:

• Early hand-hewn wooden beams in the basement, which still have bark on them. Documents indicate these pre-date the War of 1812.

• Fieldstone masonry, harled surface rendered in limestone

• All window opening locations and sizes are as originally built

• Location on a large naturally vegetated lot with the front façade facing Four Mile Creek

• 1.5 storey original, simple Georgian form of the building with 5 bay facade

• A rare, narrow Georgian door at the main entrance



Wall Ghost
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Stalled Development
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


Disgustingly, in 2013 a development plan came before St. Davids city council that proposed turning the land into a 44-unit townhouse condominium subdivision. A massive archaeological survey was promptly mounted, with rectangular excavation cuts in the ground that can still be seen from topographical satellite images. Significant finds on the property from thousands of years ago luckily changed its future. The archaeological assessment revealed an aboriginal settlement, with extensive evidence of toolmaking. Because of these finds and and current marketing trends, the company changed their development plan. However, their newer proposal scored a tie-vote with city council, meaning that it was defeated.



Archaeological Survey
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


The ball unfortunately still lies in the court of the developers, who can now appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board, or reapply with further, newer changes to the plan. They own the house on the property and as part of the current deal, they have plans to restore the exterior to its pre-War-of-1812 look.



Fieldwork
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Foliage Through Glass
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



A More Modern Life
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Final Year of Occupancy
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Poorly Boarded
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Workshop in B&W
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Laid to Rust
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Failed Intentions
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Backroom Sink
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



December Dusting
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Cardinal Among Juncos
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Attic Ascent
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Past To-Do List
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Tools & Decay
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



End of August
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Just Yesterday
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



900 Seasons
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr


The Paxton family have indicated they would like to see a passive park on the land instead of a development. Given its possible history as a stop for Laura Secord on her heroic 32-kilometre trek 200 years ago, there has been a proposal to turn the house into a museum for some of the artifacts found in the area and to explain the significant history of St. Davids. However, local residents have expressed disdain for this plan as well, citing concerns over increases in traffic on their quiet street that would result from turning the house into a tourist attraction.

As is often the case with such situations, there is no single way to appease the masses. Instead the house sits in limbo, weathering away with each passing season.



Final Look
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Creek Farm St Davids - HM Newton - 1910 - Watercolour
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr






[last edit 9/9/2017 2:47 AM by Ground State - edited 4 times]

If you're seeing this here on UER, please let me 'Follow' your work on Flickr: https://www.flickr...otos/91808861@N04/
inviolate_light 


Location: toronto
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 31 likes




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Re: Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House
< Reply # 1 on 9/9/2017 5:09 AM >
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Amazing post. Thanks for this write up.




Freaktography 


Location: Burlington Ontario
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 1777 likes


Freaktography

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Re: Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House
< Reply # 2 on 9/9/2017 11:23 AM >
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Excellent find, as usual great work om the research amd on another great post like only you could do!!




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Ground State 


Location: Ontario, Canada
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 909 likes




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Re: Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House
< Reply # 3 on 9/23/2017 10:27 PM >
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Thanks to the both of you for the interest.
I realized when I attached the files of the paintings that I never even took an actual shot of the front of the house. I returned this week to do so, and also discovered that the land surrounding the house has now been razed. Looks like days might be numbered!



Another Visit - 01
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Another Visit - 02
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr



Another Visit - 05
by Ground State Photos, on Flickr




If you're seeing this here on UER, please let me 'Follow' your work on Flickr: https://www.flickr...otos/91808861@N04/
blackhawk 

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Location: Mission Control
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UER newbie

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Re: Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House
< Reply # 4 on 9/23/2017 11:08 PM >
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Sweet write up and images
This is one of the coolest houses ever posted here...
and I generally don't like houses.




Just when I thought I was out... they pulled me back in.
cboy295 


Location: London
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 25 likes


Witness me

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Re: Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House
< Reply # 5 on 9/25/2017 6:28 PM >
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Failed intentions is just overly ironic and amazing. I can imagine you could hear the former owners "fuckin piece of shit" reverberating from the walls through time




Is this reality or my memory getting mileage? Am I staring at the sun or blood vessels in my eyelids
GORE 


Location: Niagara region
Gender: Male
Total Likes: 3 likes




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Re: Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House
< Reply # 6 on 10/16/2017 2:27 AM >
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Posted on Forum: UER Forum
Give me a shout next time you are in the area. I'd love to do some shooting with you.



[last edit 10/16/2017 2:34 AM by GORE - edited 3 times]

UER Forum > Canada: Ontario > Alternating Seasons in the Battle Over Historic c.1799 Paxton House (Viewed 2289 times)


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