November 17, 2013

Boyd House: The old stone house at 173 Huntmar Drive (Part 1)

Boyd House at 173 Huntmar Drive in Stittsville.
The old stone house pictured above is at 173 Huntmar Drive. It's not even 500 meters from my house, located between Palladium and Maple Grove and just a stone's throw from Canadian Tire Centre.  I drive by the property every day. I knew there was a house back there but had no idea what it was or that nobody lived there anymore.

Last week, the Ottawa Citizen published a story about a request from the current property owner to demolish the home. The house and property are up for sale for $7 million. Thankfully, the owner has agreed to work with the City of Ottawa to preserve the building.  That could mean restoring it at the current site, or moving it somewhere else. That's a good thing. buildings like this one add a lot of character to our city.  And this one is full of great stories.

Do you know anything about this house?  Send us a note at feedback@ottawastart.com, or follow along on Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #173huntmar.


This morning I took the dog for a walk near the property.  I returned home with mud caked all over my old sneakers and some photos. Can you spot the house in this one?


It's way back there behind the trees. You can't see it during the spring or summer, only when the leaves have fallen. Let's zoom in a bit...


Access to the house is down a long path, about 100 meters, lined on both sides with tall trees, and marked by a rusty old mailbox.


A fallen tree blocked the path, and at the end of the path you can see a collapsed barn. This barn was raised circa 1901, and was still standing as recently as a couple of months ago.


(Here's a view of the collapsed barn from the south side.)




I didn't actually walk on the property, just around the perimeter.  Bushes and trees have taken over the property.



Here's the view from the south, along a construction access path. Some day the path will become a north-south arterial road connecting Palladium Drive to Fernbank Road.  And just to the south of this path, right behind where I was standing when I took this photo, is a suburban housing development called Fairwinds.


Zoom in...



The house looks to be in pretty good shape from this vantage point. Is the trim along the roofline original?



It's hard to get an idea of how big the house is, but trust me, it's big.  Here's an aerial shot from Bing maps, probably taken around 2011. It looks like the house has three "wings", perhaps constructed at different times.



 Here's what the house looked like, circa 1900.


I wonder if that's Jane Boyd standing on the front porch?  Jane (nee Bradley) and her husband James built the house in 1887 and raised seven children there.  Read Part 2: All about Jane and James Boyd.

Sources used to research this story include:
Do you know anything about this house or the Boyd family who lived there?  Send us a note at feedback@ottawastart.com, or follow along on Twitter and Instagram using hashtag #173huntmar.

More in this series:

See also: Ottawa History Guide
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4 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:29 PM

    Wonder if family is related to Ross Bradley or his Dad Sid of Bradley's Insurance of Stittsville. Then again lots of Bradley's in the area. Could be related to Brent Bradley, an excellent fastball pitcher from the Carp/Stittsville area or his late father Red, also a very good fastball player in his day. Red played on the Stittsville team that won the Ontario Amateur Softball Association (OASA) Sr. Men's Championship in 1956. Hence the reason many Stittsville teams carrid the monikor 56ers for many years to honour that team.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:53 PM

    Such a beautiful building. Ah, the old Stittsville, where beautiful farm properties like this surrounded the village, rather than the village being completely surrounded by subdivisions. I would love to own this property and live there, I also wish I had $7 million.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous6:47 AM

    Thats a neat story. Interesting reading.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi
    Impressive house remodeling. The web site style is wonderful, the articles is really great.

    ReplyDelete

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