By Mary Spring
This week I took the time to drive through our old neighbourhood of 30 years, Lake Drive. I heard that a home was being demolished and I was anxious to watch what was happening. Sure enough, the “House of Stone” had vanished. From the road, all that I could see was the most stunning view of Fairy Lake.
My husband and I have always believed the Doug and Pat Stone had built their “House of Stone” on the most beautiful piece of property in Huntsville. The sunrises and the view of the moon were always spectacular.
I was saddened to see that the house was gone, but I am sure that the present owners will build a wonderful home on this lot and that their family will enjoy it for many years to come, just like our dear neighbours Doug and Pat Stone.
Our home was formerly owned by Agnes Eybers, and it was the original farmhouse in the area. Built in 1900, it was a beautiful stone structure with a large lot and gardens. In the early 1960s a subdivision was developed, thus creating the Lake Drive neighbourhood. We loved the area because we felt like we were out of town, but town was so accessible.
When we purchased our home on Lake Drive it included a small piece of property across the road, directly beside the “House of Stone”. The property had 60 feet of road frontage, was pie shaped, and it stopped 10 feet from Fairy Lake. We knew that we were not buying waterfront property when we purchased the home, but Doug Stone reminded us of that fact in his own gentle way. He was, after all, the former principal at Huntsville High School. Apparently Agnes Eybers had kindly allowed the neighbourhood children to swim in Fairy Lake for many years, even though her property was not actually on the water. Rumour has it that the small chunk of land was a popular spot as the children grew and became teenagers. Doug Stone was eager to share this piece of information with us and we were more than willing to respect his wishes. We ended up selling that small chunk of land and homes were built across the road.
Agnes Eybers (above left) was the former owner of the original farmhouse at 36 Lake Drive (right)
The “House of Stone”, as well as Doug and Pat, became friends to all of the neighbourhood children. There were always extra Halloween treats for the Lake Drive children as well as goodies at Christmas. Pat was a cat lover and she had colourful birds that talked. Our children were always excited to visit her kitchen. Her raspberry patch fed us all. Doug and Pat allowed the children to swim off of their dock each summer for years. He loved his garden and was always available to chat with everyone. He always waited at the bus stop with the children on the first day of school in September.
Doug canvassed for the Cancer Foundation each April until he was no longer able to do so. I took over his route and it was a wonderful opportunity for me to visit with the Lake Drive folks even after I had moved away. We miss Doug and Pat Stone, as they were wonderful neighbours, and we will miss the “House of Stone” as well.
Our small town is changing. We will hold onto the memories of the past as the years go on.
Photos courtesy of Mary Spring
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