Frank Ritchie House

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Frank Ritchie House

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Frank Ritchie House

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Frank Ritchie House

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Davis Stoddart / Frank Ritchie farm house

"Farm home owned by Frank and Mima Ritchie. This picture was taken during the 1930's by their son-in-law, Reginald Coker. The farm was owned by the Ritchie family and was worked and operated as a dairy farm first by father Frank Ritchie, and then by his son Milton Ritchie. The farm consisited of 188 acres of land and during the Ritchie era was worked mainly with horses. In 1954, the farm was sold by Milton Ritchie to Elmer Stong. The house was built by Davis Stoddart in 1879. Off the main hall there was an oak circular staircase with an oak banister, which was fun to slide down on in the morning for us kids. There were approximately twenty-five rooms in the home with twelve foot ceilings. It was heated with wood and at time coal, but needless to say, in the real winter of yester year, one always wore sweaters indoors. Window shutters kept it cool in the hot summer months. Inside plumbing was not part of the home during the Ritchie era. The floors of the home were maple. The parlour hosted many events from Saturday night dances to weddings, wakes and funerals. Located off the main upstairs hall, stained glass double doors opened to a balcony overlooking the flower gardens adorning the front exposure. Many garden parties were held in the gardens during June, July and August. Sadly, the buildings fell into disarray after Mr. Stong sold the farmland to developers in 1971. The dairy barn built by Frank Ritchie in 1918 burned in the early 1980's and the house was allowed to deteriorate until it became only the shadow of what it had once been, which is now portrayed in some paintings. Mercifully, it was finally put to rest a few short years ago and another chapter of Bradford West Gwillimbury history became a distant memory." Written by their grandson, Alan Ritchie.

Reginald Coker