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Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
Update 15


 

FALLBROOK  FARM  HISTORICAL  SITE,

14513- 27 SIDE ROAD,

HALTON HILLS, ONTARIO.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2008

M. Michael Chong,
Fallbrook in 1998
Federal Member of Parliament,
Wellington Constituency, Ontario.

Mr. Chong

You are naturally very busy but our community organisation, the Fallbrook Farm Historical Site (McClure McKay Home) Inc. (patent letters pending) would like to make sure that the future of this precious heritage jewel is on your agenda. We know you have discussed the future of Fallbrook with city councillors and last week with Mr. Wayne Gates, a founding member of our board. I am following up on your discussion with Wayne. I also sent you a detailed letter in December of 2007 when we were working frantically with Halton Hills City Council to stop the demolition of the site by the Credit Valley Conservation.

In a meeting on April 15, 2008 at the office of the Ministry of Culture in Toronto, a delegation of the Friends of Fallbrook met with the entire Heritage team of the Government of Ontario. We discussed the Ontario Heritage Act and were told that Fallbrook easily falls in the criteria for historical designation. The law is clear and does not affirm a condition that the community groups, most often on the frontline in the never ending battle to conserve our heritage architecture, must arrive with fortunes to ensure the life of the property. We must work over the long haul with private and public groups to ensure their preservation. An historical property is historical...or it is not. Fallbrook meets the 2 criteria of the Ontario Heritage Act, architectural heritage and historical significance. We shall come to Halton Hills Municipal Council as an incorporated, structured heritage group, with a solid business plan and pledges. As long as the Credit Valley Authority maintains its demolition permit on the front gate of the farm, we can only be expected to meet reasonable conditions. The C.V.C.A., in front of city council on December 10, 2007, estimated the cost of renovation at $100,000. We pledged to work to raise those funds (private and public).

      Three events have radically improved the prospects of preserving Fallbrook Farm Historical Site as a memorial to the pioneer families of Ballinafad. The first is the architectural and historic survey completed for our organisation by Mr. Tom Murison. You have been hand delivered an original copy to your Guelph office or you can download it at www.electricscotland.com . Search Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site.

      Mr. Murison has concluded that the cabin was preceded by both a saw mill and a grist mill. It is assumed that these were built by William McClure, who had settled the virgin pine forest in 1853. It has been proven that the logs for the original cabin were cut in the the winter of 1855, and presumably, to prepare the logs for use, McClure built a saw mill, and later a grist mill to serve the local farmers. His intention was not to farm but to conduct one of the first commercial ventures in the area. We suspect that he had already cleared a farm on the 10th line. Mr. McClure had a solid business plan. We are working intensely on our own, 150 years later.

       For a reason we do not know yet, he sold the land and the mill.  A fire? A family tragedy? His descendants still live in Georgetown and are helping us to answer that question. Fallbrook is also the home of a Woodlands native village confirmed by numerous digs.

      The second event is the unequivocal support of the Halton Hills Heritage Committee chaired by Mr. Mark Rowe who will present a motion to designate as an historical site to Halton Hills Municipal Council on November 10, 2008. Their resolution will encompass all the findings and recommendations of the Murison Report.                                                                 

      The third surprise comes from your own government. I refer to the consultation headed by Minister of Environment John Bairds parliamentary secretary Mark Warawa in an effort to develop Canada’s own National Heritage Trust. (Ref: Globe and Mail, August 18, p.3, Josh Wingrove) We applaud the effort of your government, Mr. Chong, to save this irreplaceable Canadian legacy. Just recently, the media is talking constantly of the necessity to save heritage to save our threatened environment. I have read of your own efforts to curb unfettered development in your county.

      Halton Hills has a rich historical and architectural legacy to preserve. Scotsdale Farm, Devereaux House, White Church,Glen Williams City Hall and many others. Thanks to the perseverance of local and passionate amateur historians, past and present, only Fallbrook is currently threatened with destruction.

       We ask you, Mr. Chong, to work with us to preserve Fallbrook Farm Historical Site (McClure McKay Home) and to create a National Heritage Trust .Small community groups all across Canada are working courageously and with meagre resources to preserve this legacy. Preserving cultural and architectural heritage is the best line of defence against rampant development. This patrimony and the history of these first pioneers escaping oppression cannot and will not be destroyed.

                                                          Thank-you,

                                                           Sandy McKay,Great grand-son of Donald McKay,

                                                           For the Founding Board of Directors,

                                                            Fallbrook Farm Historical Site

                                                            Contact-tel. 819-935-4564   e-mail- fallbrook@live.ca

                                                            Website-GOOGLE- Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site

c.c.  the Friends of Fallbrook

        Mayor Richard Bonnette and Honourable Councillors,Halton Hills Municipal Council.

        Heritage Hills Heritage Committee

        Minister of Culture Aileen Carroll, Government of Ontario

        Mr. Ted Arnett,M.P.P., Wellington.

        Media

 


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