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Fallbrook Farm Heritage Site
Update 31

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.

They were 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 Heritage status.

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

Wayne Gates,

Dec 9, 2009

A copy of the presentation has been logged in the council minutes which can be viewed at

Return to Fallbrook Farm Index Page


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