Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hidden Remains

Hiking is one of my favourite things to do but I also love visiting historical sites. Having either of these activities as part of my day uplifts my soul but having both happen at the same time is just fantastic!

A few weeks ago my family and I completed an 8 kilometre hike at Hardy Lake Provincial Park outside of Gravenhurst, Ontario. It's a gorgeous spot. Quintesenisally Canadian. Though we've hiked numerous provincial park trails we hadn't traversed this one. It's like a hidden gem, a beauty of a lake hidden behind a pretty unimpressive parking lot. Had I not already driven over an hour to get there I doubt I would have stopped to hike it.

I am so glad the internet pointed me there.

Halfway through our hike we stumbled upon a rickety shed and then the remains of a stone foundation complete with stairs to a cellar and central chimney. Previous explorers had compiled a collection of found objects, pieces of china, old glass and other bits of history. They displayed them along one ledge.

My kids wanted to add a discovered Pepsi can to the collection but I drew the line even though it looked to be a logo from the 1970s, I doubted it would fit with the other treasures.

I tried to determine if it was the remains of a cottage or residence. It seemed an odd spot to build a homestead with no roads. The lake as well was small, doesn't connect to other larger lakes in the area and wouldn't make going to town or coming home very easy. My guess was it was a cottage, a mighty fine one at that considering the considerable work that went into the foundation and property.

Am I the only one who imagines what it would have been like fully constructed, wood smoke rising from the chimney while sitting out on the porch listening to the loons on the lake. What a lovely pioneer image!