Saturday, November 14, 2009

Mission accomplished - it wasn't easy

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(click on photo to enlarge)


The four hour return trip was bearable. The uncertainty of what to expect when we got their was difficult. The early signs were good, buildings still standing but when we got to the gate it was closed with a new sign "Strictly Private Property, sorry no visitors". I said I would do whatever it took to put my flowers on his grave. The first problem was finding a place to park - the main gate area was too small. We pulled into the south entrance where we parked in the driveway of an abandoned house on the property. We waited a few minutes and when no one came out we decided we would see how far we could get, after all on my first trip here when it was a working farm, I never saw a human for over an hour and now the place looked deserted. We walked slowly at first up the long tree lined laneway but the farther we got, the faster we walked. We were almost to the arena and still not a person to be seen. We took one last look back at the car, it was barely visible and no tow truck in sight. A few of the buildings were in rough shape but the place still looked amazing and so serene. We went directly to the graves. I would take my pictures on the way out. We put our single red rose and gerby substitute for a black-eyed susan on his headstone. Mission accomplished. I started snapping photos as we slowly walked away. A person drove up in a car but went right on by without a wave or a comment. We were really taking our time now. It was Linda's first time to see the farm in person, it's too bad she couldn't see it busy with mares and weanlings and yearlings but you could still feel the majesty of the place. As we got to the laneway to take us out to the car we heard a tractor over on the main driveway, he turned toward us ... busted. We told him we were on our way out and just wanted to put some flowers on the grave. He apologized and said he was just doing his job. We had a Windfields police (tractor) escort out of the farm. The thirty minutes we were on the farm seemed like five but we did get to say goodbye and this video contains most of my shots. Goodbye Windfields, rest in peace my little hero.

8 comments:

  1. How wonderful that you made this pilgrimage. We are sure that EP Taylor (the man who had the vision and dreamed that dream) would have shown you a massive welcome.

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  2. Thank you for the kind words. I hope the next time we go the site is in good shape and being cared for properly. Sorry, I don't check often enough for comments.

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  3. Yes that site is sad a legendary horse you would think they would make it a landmark. Soon to be highway 407 going right through the farm property. Hope they dont desturb Northern Dancer!

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  4. http://www.durhamregion.com/community/education/article/1605547--oshawa-barn-to-rise-again#.UXX2cnBWWPw.facebook
    Check out this link above a barn there going to move from the farm.

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    Replies
    1. sorry link didnt work copy and pasted it. Below.

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  5. Oshawa barn to rise again

    Windfields Farm's barn to benefit kids in need







    Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland













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    I'm not a wealthy man by any means but you know what? There's a lot more to wealth than having money in the bank. Brett Maynard, owner of Bored Barns
    DURHAM -- An Ajax resident has chosen to give new life to a beautiful Oshawa barn with a rich history by donating it to an organization that helps kids in need.

    Brett Maynard was saddened when he watched TV coverage of a burning barn in Bradford, which was being leased by Perfectly Stable Farms, a horse riding program for underprivileged and developmentally delayed kids.

    Fortunately no one, including the horses, was hurt, but the children are now without a place to ride.

    Mr. Maynard, owner of Bored Barn, which preserves and salvages vintage lumber and barn boards, immediately sprang into action.

    "I grabbed my laptop and sent an e-mail," he said.

    He contacted Julie Parsons, who runs Perfectly Stable Farms, to let her know he had a replacement: a 40-by-80 square-foot barn located at Windfields Farm in Oshawa, the birthplace of Northern Dancer, one of Canada's most illustrious thoroughbreds and a winner of the Kentucky Derby.

    "She was overwhelmed," said Mr. Maynard. "She was really quite happy about it."

    The University of Ontario Institute of Technology had purchased a large tract of Windfields Farm land in 2009, and recently deemed the barn as surplus. Mr. Maynard had won the contract to remove the barn before the Perfectly Stable Farms fire happened.

    "Sustainability is what UOIT is all about," said Mr. Maynard. "They wanted to see everything retained and repurposed."

    There had been some concern from the equine community regarding the future of the historic barn.

    "We thought we were doing a good job just making sure it didn't go to landfill," said Murray Lapp, UOIT's vice-president of human resources and services. "He's transformed that so the barn will have a new life and it will be in the service of children with different needs who can enjoy the program."

    Mr. Maynard had received some interest from farms in the United States for the barn, valued at $60,000. But he's pleased with his decision to donate.

    "My friends often joke that I'm the penniless philanthropist," he laughed. "I'm not a wealthy man by any means but you know what? There's a lot more to wealth than having money in the bank."

    The barn will be taken down piece by piece and transported to a new location, granted Ms. Parsons can overcome some financial challenges.

    "I was always a barn rat and to have someone offer me a part of Windfields is a dream come true," said Ms. Parsons. "But we just haven't raised enough money to get new land."

    Ms. Parsons has asked land development corporations if she can purchase 25 acres below market value, but with no luck, so there's now an Indiegogo campaign to raise $20,000 in donations. As of April 14, $6,552 had been raised, and the campaign was 22 days away from ending.

    Visit perfectlystablefarms.ca to donate.

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  6. Found another site for you guys Ive sent last 2 messages thought I would share!
    http://www.uerev.com/index.php?pid=windfields

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