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Information must be treated carefully, for we're all aware of what can happen to properties that become too well known.
Beginning in the 18th century Scottish land owners who had been using their land for crop farming began to switch to the more profitable sheep farming. As a result the workers who'd lived on the land and tended to the crops were no longer needed.
The workers were evicted off the land in a process that became known as the 'Highland Clearances'.
John Banks was born in the town of Annan, located in southwest Scotland. He married Mary Irvine, also a resident of Annan. The couple had been crop workers up until they were also forced to vacate the land that they were living on. In 1855 the Banks fled to Canada along with their five children. Their journey to Canada took nine weeks and was financed by money that Mary had inherited.
The family settled in Ontario where they built a log house and John was able to find work as a blacksmith. His travel to work required him to walk almost twenty miles each way daily.
The Bank's oldest child Robert, left home in 1887 and purchased his own land. Richard married Maggie Blair and the couple had six children. One of the boys born to the couple was Richard, born in 1888.
In the early 1900's, Maggie required medical services and was treated by a nurse named Mary Turner. Through fate, the couple's son Richard ended up marrying Mary - the nurse who'd attended to his mother.
Richard and Mary married in the 1930's. Their home didn't have an indoor bathroom or telephone service. They had a daughter named Cora who was born in the mid 1930's.
Cora would grow up and marry a man named Howard.
Cora and Howard
Cora belonged to a woman's club that worked to developer better communities. The women baked food which was packaged with clothing and sent overseas to soldiers fighting the war. The women also sponsored dental and immunization clinics for children, and to provide electricity to their church.
The women's club lasted well into the 20th century. It's sad to see small town community groups like this disbanding.
Howard was also active in volunteer work and giving back to the community. He was involved for over 40 years with his church. Howard belonged to a group that opposed alcohol use and whose members used secret rituals and handshakes. Howard was involved in the local farmer's community through animal vaccination programs and reforesting.
The couple had a daughter named Alice who was born in the late 1930's.
Howard passed away in the 1950's, exactly 25 years after he married Cora. Cora lived up until the 1980's - and it was at this time that the Time Capsule House appears to have been abandoned.
Shortly after Howard passed away, the land that Howard had previously farmed was rented out to a local farmer. This brought in income for Cora, now a widow. The farmer also raised pigs in one of the barns on the property.
It's believed that Alice continued to live in the Time Capsule House for a few years following Cora's death in the 1980's.
The reason for the house being left full of possessions and untouched remains unclear. My research had determined that Cora willed the house to the church - which her and her husband were dedicated to. It could be that a legal battle followed in which Alice believed the house should have been hers, it could be that the church had no immediate use for the house. Some of these questions would be answered in the end.
The small but cozy kitchen. Note the pans hanging from the wall. The cupboards are filled with plates and china. Commemorative plates are hung above the cupboards, just out of view in the photo.
The power to the stove stopped at 8:10 yet other parts of the house are still powered. It's not uncommon to explore a house in which some rooms have working electricity and other rooms don't. Who pays the hydro bill?
Beautiful silverware still in the box and sitting on a beautiful hutch.
An antique record player - powered by cranking a lever. An assortment of acetate records sat on top of the record player. The record that you see was placed here for photographic purposes by myself.
Look at this photo and tell me that it isn't reminiscent of visiting your grandmother when you were a child. The table is ready for visitors and the cups ready for tea. Before you complain about the lack of dust and the appearance of a plant, pay close attention to the water damage on the wallpaper and the snow on the floor. The floor is just beginning to rot as there are basketball sized holes in the floor. Walking in the dining room requires care. For now the beams are holding up the floor but that won't last forever.
Books are everywhere in this room. It was a cozy little den that also served as a bedroom. Notice the large piles of raccoon feces on the filing cabinet. The smell in this room was disgusting. Unfortunately the hole that allowed these animals inside is still there.
A view of the main bedroom which is found as you reach the top of the stairs from the main level. The book den is found approximately 50 degrees from the angle this photo was taken.
Another bedroom you access through a door in the main bedroom upstairs. Everything here is packed away neatly. Not a single husband and wife picker team has been here, rummaging through items which they can easily sell at yard sales.
The plant isn't real my cynical followers. That's Alice that you see in the photos.
This is the bathroom, it was dark in here so a flash was used.
Several months later and the racoon poop continues to grow. It's summer now and it's quite humid upstairs. Certainly this can't be healthy to breath.
Upon discovering the state of this house and the inevitable collapse of the kitchen into the basement, I contacted Alice the daughter. It took some detective work to learn where she lived, as there's no phone listing for her. I'd expected that we'd be able to have a long conversation about the history of the house. That wasn't to be. Alice sounded quite upset to be discussing the house. While my intentions were good, there's always the possibility of upsetting people when you bring up their past memories.
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