On the road that runs west from here, there is an old, abandoned house. The windows and doors are boarded over and the weight of years of neglect burden its features. Once, though, it must have been new. In its day, it would have been quite an attractive home.
The house is similar to a number of others in the region, build of straight coursed stone in a 1 1/2 story Georgian style. Georgian architecture was popular between about 1720 and 1840. After about 1840 Georgian conventions were slowly abandoned as a number of Revival styles, including Gothic revival, became fashionable. However, in Canada the United Empire Loyalists continued to employ Georgian architecture as a sign of their allegiance to Britain, and the Georgian style was popular for most of the first half of the 1800s.
Georgian architecture is characterized by its respect for proportion and balance. For example, simple ratios were used to establish the height of a window in relation to its width. The shape of a room might be envisioned as a double cube. This house demonstrates the symmetry typical of a Georgian design, with the centrally-placed door framed by a window on each side. The chimneys, placed on both ends of the roof, are also characteristic.
The side of the house displays a similar respect for symmetry, with the two smaller windows of the upper level placed above the two larger openings on the first floor.
The Stones of Edwarsburgh, by Sandra H. Robertson and published by the Grenville County Historical Society, is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the history of buildings in the area. She notes that finding stone to build a house in Edwardsburgh county was not a problem, but locating a skilled stonemason might have been more difficult. The influx of emigrants from Scotland and Ireland between 1851 and 1861 might have resulted in a greater availability of skilled craftsmen, which might, in turn, account for an increase in the number of stone homes constructed during that period.
The 1861 census records William Marlatt, his wife Elizabeth, and their seven children as living in this particular home. Robertson notes that the house appears small for such a large family by current standards, but it was probably a vast improvement over their previous home.
The house is in pretty rough shape, but it is amazing just what skilled restorers can achieve. I came across this example of a home a bit farther north, clearly of similar design, that had been gutted by fire and was restored by Hubbard and Co. Amazing!