In the Halton Hills regular
Council Meeting in Georgetown, on Monday 07 December 2009, Council
approved the recommendation of its Heritage Committee to designate
as a Heritage Site the entire Fallbrook Farm (McLure/McKay Site) ,
located on Lot 28 Con 09
of the former Esquesing Twsp, Halton County.
The consideration of
designation has taken over 2 years since the Log Cabin and Farmhouse
barely survived an application for historical demolition by the
owner the Credit Valley Conservation Authority
in Dec 2007.
In the end the whole site was
declared to be of Heritage status, including the log cabin; a
single- arched stone bridge; and the foundation of the water wheel
for what had been a functioning grist mill in the late 1850's, also
built by McClure.
The councillors, after
sometimes spirited comment, voted to designate the whole site as
historical by a margin of seven to four.
The campaign to save the log cabin
(built by a McClure in 1855, according to an excellent report by
the consultant Mr Tom Murison) and the farm house built around
it by the McKay family has been led over the last two years by a
group called the Friends of Fallbrook.
represented by Anne MacIntyre (nee Shortill) of Acton and
Rev. Jim Kirkwood, originally from Ballinafad, who supported the
designation but argued that the farmhouse should also be
mentioned. In fact nothing on the site is excluded from the
Kirkwood and two other cousins,
Bill McKay and Sandy McKay, also `Friends', are all descendants of
the pioneer farmer Donald McKay who took over the farm from McClure
and built the farm house around it which has preserved the log cabin
within the Farmhouse leaving the entire cabin in very good condition
for restoration. McKay also probably built the stone bridge.
The families who resided at the house
had often business and attraction to the village and township of
Erin as well as Ballinafad. Kirkwood's uncle, Donald Kirkwood, owned
the Erin grist mill at one time, and that family is still prominent
in Erin village.
Families that lived in the
McClure/McKay house between 1943 and 1971 include the Jeffries,Gates,
Hansen, and Keirs while the Vaughans owned the property, with the
Beecham's being one of the residents after it was purchased
by Credit Valley Conservation Authority. The Peel/Dufferin Catholic
School board runs an interpretive centre there at present for their
school children, on lease from CVC.
The Friends of Fallbrook have also just
produced an Oral History of Ballinafad with interview of 27 local
elders including Don and Helen Brown and Alan Kirkwood of Erin. The
editor, Joan Kadoke of Caledon, is using the interviews as a basis
for a book on Ballinafad history.
The tapes are lodged in the
archive/library of the co-sponsors, the School of Scottish studies
in the University of Guelph