Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Trip Back Home

The images in my last post were taken around the area where I grew up in Western New York on Lake Ontario near the Canadian border. It's mostly farmland but there are also some lovely villages with old homes that are to die for.
This is Main Street in the town where I grew up on the Erie Canal. As you can see by all the hustle and bustle, there's no end to the fun!
About an hour west is Lewiston, New York, just north of Niagara Falls on the border of Canada. My family moved here when I was a teenager so I lived here through my college years. This is the Niagara River and the monument in the background is in Queenston, Ontario, Canada.
It's a quaint historic town where much of the historical feel has been maintained.
This is the park at the center of town.
The town was burned to the ground by the English during the war of 1812 so many of the houses were built in the early to mid 1800s. As you can imagine, there is where my love of old houses first started.
Even though we lived in a simple split-level ranch, the town has many enormous mansions overlooking the Niagara River gorge. This mansion is one my favorites and it actually started one of my OCDs. It's now several (gorgeous) apartments and if you live here, you can't touch the curtains--white cotton panels with white ball fringe--pulled back just so to ensure a consistent look. I had never thought about that idea but, to this day, all of my curtains have to appear white from the outside. Is that crazy or just good sense?
How's this for a front porch?
This 1837 colonial was for sale. Mom thought they should weed the stairs but I thought it was quite charming.
We're just passing through for lunch so it's time to move on...
...just to the north to Fort Niagara on Lake Ontario. This fort, built in 1729 by the French at the mouth of the Niagara River and was integral to trade between America and Europe. It was captured by the British and later by the American colonists.
But we're headed a little more to the east into the country where old farmhouses such as this one dot the landscape between corn and cabbage fields and apple and peach orchards along the coast of Lake Ontario. Notice how simple and spare everything is. No landscaping, no flower gardens. All the time is dedicated to the farm.
Here is a lighthouse on the edge of Lake Ontario just about a mile from my mom's and sister's house.
A few houses overlooking the lake.
And the little marina.
And finally to my mom's house. This antique tractor was on the property and she kept it there as a lawn ornament.
Mom collects (a lot of) teapots...
...and she's got some lovely antique pieces.
There are some great antique barns nearby that we were sure to hit.
They had lots of McCoy.
This dealer had everything organized by color which made a nice presentation.
And here's where I found the vintage light from an old schoolhouse in Niagara Falls. It was $40. I love when I find something for the house when I'm away on the trip. This light will always hold a memory of that trip home to visit my family.


  1. Wow! It looks like such a lovely place - how lucky you were to live there. When you live in such a quiet, beautiful and historic place, I think it does affect your appreciation for it all. To have countryside, lighthouses and historic mansions all in one place would be heaven to me.
    I love the vintage light you found and only $40...
    Thanks for sharing all of this - it will definately go on my list of places I want to visit.

  2. I love the vintage light. You have inspired me to rent a car - and get out of the city. I really need to discover the small towns that dot the Empire State. (And I think going to Brooklyn is a journey!)

  3. You come from a beautiful place. I love all the old houses. My mum always had a thing for the all the drapes being white from the street too. The antiques places look great. You scored a great deal on the light fixture. Very nice.
    I love your mum's teapots too. That fort is very similar to the French forts around here. They must have used the same blueprints for all. ;)

  4. What a beautiful area. Reminds me of NE, but also of some towns I've been to in TX. Love, love your mom's chair! What's the diameter of that light globe. It's really going to look great in your kitchen. You couldn't beat the price either.

  5. hi steve,

    love all the pics of the towns and mansions. it's all so pretty and quaint. you were lucky to grow up in such a sweet place. love the bustling downtown area. i really wanted a pic of you and your mom. i bet she loves that you came to visit and took pics of her teapots. mothers and sons are so interesting, to me at least.


  6. Love this post (and the last all in b&w). I have felt such a pull toward the east coast for my entire life living here on the west coast. Don't know if it's my MA and Nova Scotia roots or just my personality that wants to be surrounded by 200-yr-old architecture and trees that aren't palms. Thanks for the tour (so jealous of your lighting find, btw) and thanks for stopping by my seafood shacks today. Have a fantastic weekend!