Farm Life Local

Barn Builders


Everything seems shrouded in mystery at Arlington Gardens, these days. Claire has decided to try to nail down the construction date and the builder of our big red barn, where we’ve already begun to welcome visitors to our Hayloft Adventures rustic accommodations. All it took was a casual comment from a local architect (“…this barn seems to have been built in keeping with the architectural principles of the masonic Golden rule…”) to send her off on her quest, searching for clues in the records of our local historical society and delving into regional freemasonry lore. Indeed, Stanbridge East is home to not one, but two, masonic lodges, one in each official language…so far supporting her thesis that our barn-builder may indeed have been a local freemason and true master of his craft.  While she has yet to conclude her due diligence, her investigation has taken her on many tangents. For instance, we’ve learned that the entire Township of Stanbridge was the property of one James McGill (of university fame) in the early 1800s, that the first family to live on the farm (it so happens that there may have been only three, ourselves included) were the Beattys — whose only male heir was secretary of the Montreal Chamber of Commerce for over a quarter century after World War I (eventually becoming its first general manager), and that in the 1950s an Italian Contessa, Giannalisa Feltrinelli (reportedly at one point the wealthiest widow of all of Italy), made Stanbridge East her Canadian home — that is, when she was not in Rome, Geneva or Milan…It seems Stanbridge East was a pretty happening place. Who would’ve thought?