Sunday, 23 November 2014

The Hamilton House

For many years this beautiful old home sitting just outside of Collingwood on Highway #24 fascinated me.  As my grandparents Neil and Reba lived in Nottawa, we passed this house very frequently, and for many years it sat vacant shuttered in by trees and surrounded by farmland. It wasn't until the early 1990's that the home finally saw the love and attention it so deserved when it was purchased by a fine gentleman named Raymond Greer who saw it's potential and brought it back to life.

The home itself was constructed in 1912 by the descendants of one William Hamilton, a former "wharfinger" or warehouse worker for the Northern Railway. The Hamilton family once resided in a stately home at 227 Minnesota Street in town, but in 1882 ill health prompted the decision for him to quit his job and move his wife Annie and their eight children to a 170 acre farm outside of town. Mr. Hamilton passed away five years later, but the property remained in the hands of his wife and children. 

This splendid home is a great example of "Edwardian Architecture" (1890-1916) which followed the ornate romanticism of the Victorian period preceding it.  The Edwardian period is associated with the reign of King Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria who reigned between 1901 and 1910.  As the reign of Victoria wound down, so to did the ornate architecture that came to be associated with her. The Edwardian style was a precursor to the more simplified styles of the 20th century. Many Classical elements such as colonies and keystones are present, but in a much more simplified and understated presence.  The architects and designers of most Edwardian homes created beautiful designs with a rural coziness that is so lacking in 21st century houses.  The exteriors are rather unassuming and humble compared to the extravagant signs of the Victorian era.  The interiors are where all the elegant paintings, fine telework stained glass and ornament inspired by Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts can be found.

Edwardian homes such as this splendid example are characterized by a gable front, three or four bedrooms upstairs and a porch of generous proportions. Not only is there an ample sized porch with multiple white columns, but as an added bonus - this one comes with a dramatic sunporch above.  This style also featured a smooth brick surface cut with many windows with generous sills.  Capping it off was a gleaming slate roof - although this one has since been replaced with red tile.

I have sketched and photographed this home several times over the years, and was fortunate enough to spend time in it as well.  The pen and ink study above much like the home itself has been altered several times since it's creation. The love that gave both it and the home life has not diminished.

Thank you for looking and for sharing an interest!

Sandy .......

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