Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Home Of The Timber Baron

Booth House is a few blocks down from Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa. It is designed in the Queen Anne Revival Style, and serves today as residence and classes for the Laurentian Leadership Centre, a satellite campus of Trinity Western University. The students spend a year here, taking some classes on site while doing internships with political offices or non-governmental agencies.


The house dates back to 1906, first owned by the tycoon J.R. Booth, who made his fortune in lumber and railways, and had a formidable financial empire of his own. Booth had the place built according to his own specifications, with the wood inside including each type his timber operations cut. He lived an exceedingly long life, from 1827-1925, leaving behind a huge legacy. That includes Algonquin Park, where he had timber rights. Visitors to the Park today can find traces of his own railroad, now a pathway for hikers. They can find his name on Booth Lake and on a glorious hiking trail named in homage for him.


Much of the interior details in the house today are as Booth would have seen them. The main floor has a series of rooms with an old fashioned sensibility to them. Classrooms are up on the second floor, while the residence is on the third floor, where the servants quarters used to be.


This stained glass window caught my eye.


As did this detail of woodcarving.


For a time the private Laurentian Club owned the house. The university came in later with their program.


A portait of the great man still hangs here in the house. Perhaps along with a ghost or two? 



41 comments:

  1. Beautiful wood panelling. Another J.R.... :-)

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  2. What a neat place! Thanks so much for sharing, William.

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  3. I love seeing old houses that have been restored like this one. They had so much more character than the modern houses do.

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  4. That looks quite a place - love it! And Booth sounds like he was quite I guy - I suppose he wood be...

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  5. Sorry, I meant 'quite a guy'. Early morning finger tremor.

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  6. Algonquin Park too! Wow, what a house, what a guy


    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= <3

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  7. The detail in the woodwork is amazing. This is an example of why I like old, rather than new. This is fantastic and as they say, they don't make 'em like that anymore.

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  8. I love all that wood. Just beautiful.

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  9. What an incredible home. Imagine living in such a place!

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  10. The fire extinguisher on the wall makes me wonder what kind of precautions people did take against fire back then.

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  11. That is quite a home with lots of interesting details.

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  12. enjoy the stain glass & that arch in the room. so different and fancy. ( :

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  13. That would be a wonderful house to live in....

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  14. @Ciel: and this one didn't get shot by members of his family.

    @Linda: you're welcome.

    @Elaine: they certainly did.

    @Mike: he was quite a character.

    @Cloudia: he certainly knew how to build a grand place.

    @Pat: they really don't!

    @Stuart: it's really well put together.

    @Tamera: the students who do are lucky.

    @Revrunner: these days it's a good idea.

    @Bieb: and yet it's not over the top.

    @Beth: thank you!

    @Norma: it certainly would.

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  15. Gorgeous old home! I've walked part of his railway in Algonquin.

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  16. This is so beautiful William. Amazing wood work.

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  17. fancy digs! love the little archway.

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  18. The interior is really something! I hardly would have guessed from the outside.

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  19. I really like fine wood works and these are excellent!

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  20. That is a very impressive old house.

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  21. What a great building, I specially love that big wooden arch.

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  22. @Furry Gnome: so have I. It's a great place to be on.

    @Luis: he really knew what he wanted in this place.

    @Tanya: fancy digs indeed, but it also feels like a home.

    @Halcyon: it really stands out nicely. It's good that the place has been preserved.

    @VP: I think so!

    @Sharon: it has character.

    @Jan: and so did I!

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  23. Quite a house. I love that he used different wood indoors--woods that he as a timber baron felled. MB

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  24. That is a magnificent home and you did a nice job of preserving some of it right here.

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  25. Beautiful interior. That's what I notice is that it is all very well cared for. I think it's nice to spend time there.

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  26. It's wonderful to see the interior of such a wonderful home!

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  27. That place is so elegant! It's nice to see what money can do if spent wisely. I suppose, though, that it the house caved in, we'd be expected to yell "Timber!" No?

    Well, I'm sorry that I forgot to link to your blog on my post this morning. That has been rectified! Thanks and have a great Friday and weekend!

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  28. Oh I love that round window!

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  29. @MB: it does suit everything I've heard about him.

    @Tex: I'm a sucker for a good archway!

    @Eve: thanks!

    @Mariusz: thank you!

    @RedPat: it's a pleasure to show it.

    @Lowell: in this case, the money's definitely been spent wisely.

    @Marleen: just one look invited taking a pic!

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  30. The stained glass window captures my eye

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  31. Thank goodness for Booth as I love Algonquin Provincial Parl!

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  32. This house is even more fabulous than the one a timber & shipping baron had built in Astoria, Oregon. It was built in the 1880's. The servants quarters were on the third floor. The entire place is a museum.

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  33. What great woodwork! And I like the stained glass too.

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  34. The inside arch is so unusual. Fantastic!

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  35. I would like to live here, please.

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  36. Lots and lots of character.

    Happy Weekend.

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  37. This is so beautiful! The woodwork in particular is gorgeous and it's interesting that it is a lighter color than much of the period woodworking I've seen. I'm sure it's due to the different wood species we have in the west.

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  38. I love all the wood in this house! Oh, to be a timber baron…

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  39. @Gerald: stained glass always draws me right in.

    @EG: Algonquin holds many great memories for me.

    @Mari: it's good that that place is preserved as such.

    @Judy: I think so.

    @Jose: the man loved his craftmanship.

    @Darcy: so would I!

    @Whisk: I think so!

    @Kay: there would be a lot of differences in the lumber.

    @Hilda: that would have been quite a life.

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