Thursday, July 29, 2010
While I was away and driving back and forth from the cottage to do shopping or visit the hospital where my aunt was recovering from a bout of breathlessness, I kept passing this beautiful forest bounded on the road side by a large stone fence. In the middle of the fence or low wall (it was about three to four feet high of carefully put together stones as in the pillars in this picture) was a small iron gate. It was closed.
Steps covered in vines and nearly invisible from the road went from the gate up into the deep woods. A bit further on, I found these gates with their eight foot tall pillars shutting out the remains of a lane or driveway. I wondered what lovely place had been constructed, lived in and abandoned at the end of the lane and the top of the steps.
One day I finally stopped and took this picture. I made out the name on the pillars in the picture - Bertram on one and Lodge on the other. Aha! I could google this or find out in the Midland archives. Were the Bertrams one of Midland's founding families? Was it the mayor's palatial home? Was it a lodge for wayward girls (that not likely since it was far too grand)? Who had lived there? What had it been like? (I'm also a history buff as well as loving critters and the outdoors.)
But so far, no luck. I will have to write to or call the Simcoe County archives I guess. Even my aunt who has been coming to this area for at least 40 years, had no idea of what was behind the gates or who owned the property. She told me she wondered too.
I love mystery stories - now I have my own.
Perhaps next time I visit the cottage I'll have the courage to not only stop the car and take a picture, but open the gates and walk up the steps. My cousin told me the remains of an old house were in there when he was a teen.
Maybe one day I'll write a story based on the mystery of Bertram Lodge.