the round-barn in maple ridge7th entry – august 2014

Aug-13 106Derrick’s great-grandfather – Alexander Campbell – built this round barn on his property in Maple Ridge just north of the small town of Thessalon, Ontario on the north shore of Lake Huron. Derrick tells the story that Alexander Campbell, his maternal great-grandfather, designed and planned the barn during the winter of 1927 and built it the following year. This was a working barn used to house livestock and store crops until the late 1960’s. The above image is the roof of the barn with its main post and its octagonal rafters.

Aug-13 017The barn is one of three 12-sided barns in Canada. The oldest of the three was built in 1881 in Mystic, Quebec by Alexander Wallbridge. The second 12-sided barn was built in 1919 by Thomas Cordukes who was born and grew up near Mystic. He left Quebec and settled in the Huron Shores area in 1881, prior to the original barn being built, but returned often to visit family and would have been privy to the progress of the Wallbridge barn. The third barn, built in 1928 by local farmer Alexander Campbell, is located near Maple Ridge. Campbell, a neighbor of Thomas Cordukes, assisted with the building of his barn 9 years earlier.

The barn and the old farm-house next to it, have new owners. The round-barn is a wonderful gift shop with amazing prices. There were some furniture pieces that in any shop here in the US would cost 10 times more than the price listed in the round-barn gift shop. I bought a hand-made scarf for $9.00, Rose and Derrick bought hand-thrown espresso coffee cups for a ridiculously low price. I was thinking of doing my Christmas shopping there, but the owner said that by December the weather and the highway are not always friendly to travelers. (Highway 17 North, part of the trans-Canada system, follows the contours of the lakes in this past of Northern Ontario and where in the summer months the views over the lakes are amazing, with the beginning of November travel can be hazardous. The winds off of Lake Huron and Lake Superior can deposit snow-drifts that make the highway impassable.)