Background

Overlooking the historic Rideau Canal, Heritage Stables is located less than a 40 minute drive from Ottawa. Located only 3km from Merrickville, a village that has been dubbed “Canada’s Most Beautiful Village” by Communities in Bloom. With more designated heritage buildings than any other Ontario community of like size, Merrickville is a unique and vibrant Victorian village to visit after your stopover at Heritage Stables.

History

Ownership

The Crown sold the land to David Buchan on August 13th 1853. There were many owners over the next few years. The property was owned by the Chester’s, Tallman’s, Bigham’s and Watts and even by the well known merchant, Sam Jakes.  On the 3rd of May 1881 he sold the farm for $2,000 to Phoebe Chestir. They owned the parcel of land until the 27th of August 1895 when they sold it to Augustus Derrick for $1,883.32. On March 4th 1912 Augustus Derrick sold this parcel of land to L.H Newman for $2,000. In 1977 Lenore Newman purchased all the properties from her Father for $50,000. Mrs. Newman owned the farm until it was sold to Jake & Katy Drummond in 2008.

Farm

The Original Farm house and old barns were built in the late 1800’s but it wasn’t until L.H Newman purchased the farm in 1912 that the farm as we know it today started to take shape. In 1915 with his passion for agriculture and new technology Mr. Neman set out to build a state of the art barn that would house his purebred Holstein herd, and would be known as Elmhurst Farm. The barn which is 103’ 7” x 36’ took a few months to complete with material costs of $2,720.97, labor $1,368.69 for a total cost of $4,089.66.

Construction on the River House started not long after the completion of the barn with total construction costs of $5,175.42. For the first few years it was used as their summer cottage but in 1926 the main farm house burnt and they moved into the cottage. At that time they dug out the hill under the house and poured cement walls to create a basement that they used for storage and their summer kitchen.

L.H. Newman

Leonard H. Newman was Agricultural Canada’s Dominion Cerealist from 1923 to 1948 and was named to the Canadian Agricultural Hall of Fame on Nov. 13th 1977. Dr. Newman had a long career in agriculture, being associated with cereal research for more than 40 years. As one of the founders and secretary of the Canadian Seed Growers Association from 1905 to 1923, he pioneered the principles of registered seed production and played a leading role in forming the basic policies and programs of the association. He is honorary life president of the association. During his 25 year regime, new rust-resistant varieties of wheat, oats, and flax were developed, resulting in tremendous economic benefits to Canada.

Dr. Newman was born in 1881 near Merrickville, Ontario, and graduated from the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph in 1903. After his retirement in 1948 he settled down on the farm where he developed a small but high class herd of purebred Holsteins. He had a 40 year record as a Holstein breeder. He was the oldest living graduate of the college until his death in 1977 at the age of 97.

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