3555 Stardale Road West
A magnificent and spacious home in the countryside. Choose your favourite thing: the beautiful original woodwork? The beautiful furnishings, like this hand-crafted dining table, or all this space with a cozy wood-burning kitchen range in the heart of the house!
Thanks to the Vankleek Hill and District Historical Society for the house history below!
House History ~ Construction 1914
The first grant issued for this property was in 1802 when Angus McDonell received 200 acres. He never intended to farm here. Instead, the property was quickly divided and sold to a number of people.
Alexander Ferguson Hunter purchased this farm in 1899. The Hunter’s always had an interest in large breed horse such as Belgians. In 1948, Barton Hunter introduced the first horse-pull competition at the Vankleek Hill Agricultural Fair which continues today.
Alexander died suddenly on May 4th, 1947. He was helping on the nearby farm of his son Ernest Hunter and died of injuries received in a dynamite blast. As every farmer knows so well, farming is a hazardous occupation.
The Hunter Family favoured Holstein and Ayrshire dairy. In the 1930s, they shipped their milk to Montreal by train from the nearby Stardale Station. By 1965, there were refrigerated holding tanks on the farm, and hauling to Montreal using refrigerated tanker trucks began.
This large brick home was constructed in 1914. It replaced a long standing two-storey log home.
No doubt, for the Hunter family, building this home was an occasion for joy as indicated by the 1914 they had permanently marked on the home. Local brickyards outfitted the exterior, and local sawmills provided lumber, the millwork for doors, sashes, mouldings and the house finishings such as the hefty brackets along the roof line. New construction in later years added the third storey.
WWI began in July, 1914 and was expected to be short-lived. Today, we know it did not end until 1918 at a devastating cost of life. The Hunter’s may well have sent some of their horses to the War Horse Auctions held in Vankleek Hill where the Canadian Army purchased horses and shipped them the same day in waiting livestock cars at the rail station.
Small community life experienced changes in the aftermath of WWI. By 1920, house architecture shifted and Vankleek Hill no longer had a millwork producer to furnish local homes. And the days of relying on brick came to an end with cheaper, less labour-intensive building materials.
The “1914” marking on this house is in one moment both celebratory and, a poignant reminder of how quickly the world can change.