Saturday was Ontario's Doors Open Day. While it is theoretically a province-wide event, I have only been aware of it since we moved here to Eastern Ontario. It's pretty well what it sounds like; historically interesting places are encouraged open their doors to the public. Today, we enjoyed and appreciated being admitted to a number of private residences.
We spent several very enjoyable hours in and near Almonte (pronounced Almont, with a silent e). While we were able to pass through several fascinating open doors, the one which I will describe here is of almost universal interest because it is the childhood home of the Canadian man who invented the game of basketball. However, I don't know if we are fortunate or unfortunate that he devised the game while living in the USA. While we lose the main bragging rights, basketball would likely have fizzled had it truly been brainwaved in little, old Almonte, and then there would have been nothing to brag about at all.
This (above) is the historical plaque that we found at the front of the property which you will see in the following photo. Apparently Naismith was born in this house (see below), but his parents sold it to his uncle and moved elsewhere. However, they died of typhoid shortly thereafter, so James and his two siblings moved back under the care of their uncle. Naismith continued to live here until he left for University of McGill at the age of twenty-three.
This view of the house and front yard is what we see now, 153 years after it was built, but it's authentic. Even the verandah, which had been lost to the ravages of time, was recently and faithfully restored from old photographs. While there has been an addition out back, from the front the house now looks almost exactly like it did all those years ago.
Autumn is moving in on us very quickly now. This last photo is a view from the back of the house. The hay has been mowed and the trees beyond are turning colour.
(The sketchy outline of the rest of the story is on the plaque shown in the first photo, but, in brief, Naismith moved to Massachusetts after graduating, and it was there that he developed a game which could be played indoors in winter with very little equipment.)