I suspect most kids who grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, like myself, took a school trip to John R. Park Homestead in nearby Essex. The homestead serves as an opportunity to experience aspects of domestic Canadian life as it was lived in the 1850s. I remember churning butter, the smell of the smoke house, and the blood I found on one of the needlepoint (pillows?) in the main house. I also distinctly remember a childhood friend relay the story of how she ran screaming out of one of the upstairs bedrooms, down the stairs and out into the safety of the yard because she was convinced there were ghosts present in the home. Rumors of ghosts at John R. Park Homestead persist; I’ve heard many a story, and if I remember correctly, some of them came from the homestead’s workers.
The house and farm buildings of the local tourist attraction originally belonged to the late John and Amelia Park. The Classical Revival home was built in 1842. The house provided many photo opportunities, however, I chose to focus this series on the surrounding farm buildings and land. There was something incredibly peaceful and lush about the grounds that day. This was something I wanted to capture and share.
John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area Address:
915 County Rd 50
Esssex, ON N0R 1GO
Tel: (519) 738-2029
I photographed another local staple and tourist destination, Colasanti’s Tropical Gardens in nearby Kingsville, Ontario. The series is entitled Goats + Deer. I feel it compliments this one nicely.