This rural house is located near Silver Water, on the west end of Manitoulin Island.
Local history info identifies this as the Lindsay Johnston home, built in 1930 to replace a crude log home. For this very rural area, it must have been one of the most attractive homes of the area. This a true single - family home, as the original couple that built it lived in it until they moved away to a retirement home in the late 1970's. In 1987, the Lindsay and Kitty celebrated a remarkable 76th anniversary.
Unfortunately for the house, nobody ever lived in it again (at least not regularly) since they moved away. Decades of neglect and lack of heat have caught up to the house, the foundation has heaved badly enough the place is a write off. A dormer roof above the kitchen has caved in with
water damage, creating a dangerous situation in the floor that precludes safe entry.
On a dark cloudy morning in November of 2012, I walked up to Father Time and distracted him with a cold Rickard's Red draught. While Father Time was busy sipping away on his beverage I spun back the hour hand on his clock and took a trip back to life during the 1970's.
Lindsay James Johnston was born on April 23, 1888 in Keppel Township. As a young man he worked the lumber mills of Blind River. Around 1910 Lindsay moved to Meldrum Bay on Manitoulin Island where he continued to work in the lumber industry. It was on the island that he met his wife-to-be Katherine Mae Kemp who resided in nearby Silver Water. The couple were married on April 5, 1911 and moved into a log home in Silver Water.
The couple built a new home in 1930 to replace their old log home. As Father Time's clock counted down the years to senior age, the couple continued residing in their Silver Water house. Surrounded by lush forests and freshwater lakes Lindsay enjoyed spending his free time hunting and fishing.
By the late 1970's the hands of time were moving a little more slowly. The Johnston's were no longer able to continue living independently and moved to Gore Bay. After Katherine passed away in November 1987 at the age of 96, Lindsay moved into the Manitoulin Lodge Long Term Facility.
Lindsay celebrated his 100th birthday on April 23, 1988. He passed away on July 1, 1990 at the age of 102.
Today you'll find the house that Johnstons lived in, pretty much as it was left during the 1970's. The house is situated along a small road about 400 metres long that used to branch off and reconnect to the main road. As one end of the small road is now barricaded, there is no through traffic and the house is virtually unnoticeable to passing motorists.
Upon entering the house one will notice bank statements dated from 1967 resting on a window sill. As you make your way along the hallway into the kitchen, you'll pass a jacket waiting patiently on a rusting hanger for the day that Mr. Johnston will return to go fishing.
The kitchen has given way to the elements over time and the floor has collapsed. The cupboards still hold the dishes and silverware that the couple ate with.
Should you backtrack to the entrance and make your way upstairs, tread carefully for the staircase is slowly weakening. Time has stopped ticking up here as evident by the original beds, clothing in the closets and birthday cards sent to the family decades ago.
Update: As of 2016, the property owner has demolished the house and nothing remains.