A Step Back in Time: A Look at rare’s Historic Buildings
It is the year 1862 and large snowflakes are gently dancing in the sky. Behind the curtain of snowflakes you can see a stone farmhouse with a stoic stone barn in the background. A stagecoach passes by on the road leaving tracks in the snow, as it makes its way to the Inn further down the street for the night. The Inn acts as a refuge for many weary travelers passing through the town of Blair.
Fast forward to present day and these historic buildings that reside on rare property can still be seen as you drive down Blair Rd, and are landmarks for Galt, Blair and Cambridge as a whole. All of these buildings have a story and a rich history that goes along with them.
The old stone farmhouse, which is now known as Resource House at rare’s Every Child Outdoors (ECO) Centre, was originally owned by William and Mary Young who arrived from Scotland before the 1840s. They also built the iconic stone barn that can still be seen today. Built from limestone quarried in the area, the barn was built as a combination of the German slit barn and Scottish bay barn styles, with its original purpose for threshing grain. Today, the 170 year old barn still stands strong with history and is used as a hub for rare’s ECO program and community events.
Just down the street you will find Lamb’s Inn, a building with many stories hidden in its walls. Built in 1837, Lamb’s Inn started out as one of the first Inns for the stage coach routes in Upper Canada, a place for weary travelers to stay the night and drink a beverage. John Lamb was the original owner of the Inn, but through the years that ownership got passed on to many others The building went through many changes from operating as an Inn, to a fine dining establishment, and eventually a popular but rowdy neighborhood watering hole infamously known as Nicholson’s Tavern. Today bits of this history can still be found in its walls as it operates as rare’s main administrative office.
Galt is a stunning place full of historical buildings that have the ability to take you back in time. Winter is an especially beautiful time to view these buildings, between the hustle bustle and good cheer of the holidays. Make sure to take some time during this busy holiday season to come by, take a look, and let your imagination guide you through the history behind the area.
-Emily Leslie, rare’s Gill Ratcliffe Educator