Written by Delia O'Byrne, Heritage Mount Pleasant, 2010
Since its beginnings in 1799, early pioneers and successive generations put down roots deep into the soil of Mount Pleasant. By the “work of their hands”, the small rural settlement, carved from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, became a thriving and prosperous village, its long main street sheltered by trees and lined with fine period houses, prominent churches, and bustling businesses.
The set of historical photos capture the village and its particular way of life early in the 20th century, just before the inevitable changes the modern age would usher in began to intrude. Compared to the recent photos of the same places, what stands out is the richness of 19th century architectural detail on various buildings – the lancet windows, the elaborate porches with decorative columns and trim, the carved bargeboard and finials hanging off the eaves, the old picket and wire fences with their sense of enclosure and intimacy.
This charming decoration, hitching posts in front of Devlin’s, horse and buggy rigs on the narrow unpaved roads, and the barn visible behind the Presbyterian Church, all evoke a genteel and seemingly idyllic time when life was lived on a human scale close to home, and where churches, school, and general store were the shared centres of community life.
Side View of Devlin's Country Bistro, 2010 Details