Gar­dens worth pre­serv­ing

Two prop­er­ties bear the mark of fa­mous land­scape ar­chi­tect

Grand Magazine - - FEATURE - By Nancy Sil­cox Nick Iwanyshyn

STUNNING SCENERY, world-class ac­com­mo­da­tions and an abun­dance of recre­ation make the com­mu­ni­ties that ring Lake Sim­coe popular des­ti­na­tions for vis­i­tors.

The lakeshore towns of Roches Point, Jack­son’s Point, Or­chard Beech and Baldwin are well steeped in his­tory too, at­tract­ing those who search out On­tario her­itage. Five Na­tional His­toric Sites ring the lake — churches, for­mer pri­vate res­i­dences, a his­toric bridge and even a First Na­tion fish weir that was con­structed to trap fish.

Among the most vis­ually spec­tac­u­lar are the gar­dens of the Na­tional His­toric Sites Beechcroft and Lake­hurst in Roches Point. The prop­er­ties are pri­vately owned with limited public ac­cess.

No less sig­nif­i­cant is the his­tory be­hind the sites — his­tory that mixes wealth, ge­nius, power and lost for­tunes.

The prop­er­ties are the work of three in­flu­en­tial Vic­to­rian men. An­son Dodge and Capt. Isaac May were the ones with the money. The revered dean of land­scape ar­chi­tects, Amer­i­can Fred­er­ick Olm­sted, was the man with the vi­sion. >>

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