A Trip Into Yesterday

Did you notice, the weather has turned for the better these last two days? If you live anywhere in North America, I’m sure you know! Deciding not to spend the beautiful spring day indoors, we hopped into the car. After a long and miserable winter, what could be better than a day out without having to worry about snow tires, slush, or skidding on icy roads? In other words, the perfect time to indulge in Victorian!

So off we went – the husband (my very willing partner-in-crime in these jollies) and I. Picking out a nearby town, we figured we’d head to a heritage building. We settled on Devereaux House in Georgetown, Ontario – the name itself holding our attention.

Side door entrance

 

History

Standing on the steps of the red-brick farmhouse built in the 1800s, I was transfixed. What a darling house!  Warm blue doors, off-white decorative trims, classic structure evident, the house sits on the original 100 acre farmland. A few huge trees looming over the grassy acres cast shadows of their arms all over the house in a friendly embrace.

Built in the late 1800s, the farmhouse remained a home to the Devereaux family for three generations. It’s typically 19th century Victorian Ontario in style. What this means is that there’s a lot of features added to the house purely for aesthetic purposes. Classical and gothic elements mingled liberally. Decorative wood trim only added frill to the house. The porch is simple, but the restored house looks pretty fabulous, I thought. The land was part of a working farm from 1829 to the 1970’s. Think of what the house has seen over the years!

With Ann Lawlor

Insider stories

We’re shown inside by the manager, Ann Lawlor, who briefed us on the interiors. The house is now under the special care of Friends of Devereaux House, a non-profit organization who wish to “maintain the Devereaux farmhouse as a public rural heritage property for the use, education and enjoyment of Halton Hills residents”

A very charming parlour is the centerpiece of the house when you walk in. In the old days, a parlour was where tea was laid out ‘when company came calling’. All the best china (and these were rarely used) ended up being displayed in the touch-me-not china cupboard. We saw an organ, a super comfortable rocking chair, and side tables. Framed prints speak of long-ago days. Lace doilies and oil lamps sit on the antique furniture. Faded carpets cover the original pinewood floors. All this screams Victorian elegance!

Come into my parlour

 

Ann Lawlor stressed how important it was to preserve the character of the house. “It’s not a museum, though. We want people to come in and touch and see the exhibits,” she said, pointing out the ‘Look inside’ stickers hanging on some of the furniture.

I opened a drawer in a dresser and found some gorgeous crocheted spreads. Proud hands had made that more than sixty years ago, I’m sure. There’s a Rumford fireplace, one of the special features of the house, designed to be functional and good-looking by reflecting heat back into the room.

 

Future of DH

The house is available to be used for receptions and events. There is a working kitchen, and washroom in the house itself. I saw a recipe for the handmade soap made and used by the family. Available on an hourly basis, the charming Victorian Devereaux House sees laughter and good times when people come to visit. Perhaps, just like old times.

 

 

 

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