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November 20, 2013

Boyd House: A look inside (Part 4)

Boyd House and farm, Winter 1987.
Do you know anything about this house or the Boyd family who lived there? Send us a note at feedback@ottawastart.com, or follow along on Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #173huntmar.

Over the past three days I've posted a lot of exterior photos of the old stone farmhouse on Huntmar Drive, but I bet most of you want really want to see what's inside.  I've obtained a few photos that give some idea of what the house looks like.  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 the 1870s, 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 Boyd's recall a pump organ in the front parlor of the house.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that the stone was quarried from a site off Hazeldean Road to the west. Today I learned that 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.

Here's a look inside.

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.

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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 four stone houses still standing within the same general area in Stittsville. (UPDATE: Read more about these nearby houses in Part 5.)  Boyd House was the last with original barns still standing. They were both demolished in recent weeks, which is a huge 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 earlier this fall.  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.


The beams in the small barn are scorched in spots. It's believed the wood was reclaimed from a log house on the property that burned down in the Great Fire in 1870.

Photo courtesy of Don Francis.
There was a third barn on the site, used as 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.

Every day this week turns up a new story about the house or a new lead to explore.  In the next part of this series, I pull together some of the mysteries, loose ends and random tidbits of information I've encountered. Thanks for following along so far!


Do you know anything about this house or the Boyd family who lived there? Send us a note at feedback@ottawastart.com, or follow along on Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #173huntmar.

Sources used to research this story include:
See also: Ottawa History Guide
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1 comment:

  1. Such a shame. I've wanted to photograph that home for years now, but was too afraid to trespass. Thanks for these stories Glen.

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