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House Page 4

Great Canadian Houses

Ontario Farm, near Brantford - 1875

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

A fabulous view of an Ontario farm - by a famous Canadian artist - before the machine age, just starting to pay back years of hard labour that have been put into it.

A bridge of logs has tamed a creek, and rail fences section off patches of ground that have been wrested from the wilderness.

Stumps of trees have been left to rot, where, only short years before, the primeval forest reigned supreme. But an elm, so identified with Ontario farm country, has been left.

Two men gather in the grain. The first, using a grain cradle, popular between 1830-1860, will cut and lay down the stalks. The other follows behind, with a rake to gather them up and tie them into bundles, stand them up - or shock them - so they can dry out for another two weeks, to prepare them for threshing.

But this too will be done by hand; the bundles placed on a threshing floor, and the grain beaten out of the stalks with wooden flails. In the cabin, the women of the household are stoking the fire to prepare supper for their weary men.


The Grain Harvest, Ontario Farm c 1875 - John Claude Whale
Orig. oil on canvas - Size - 19" x 30"
Found - Bowmanville, ON
Signed, JC Whale
Many Ontario farm houses had a "summer kitchen" addition added to the back, where the cooking was done. These, sometimes, as farms got larger, had a bell on top to "ring in" the hands from the fields.
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