I’ve been asked frequently about the stone chimney and shack, located near the 17th green here at Victoria Park East. How old is it? Why is it still there? Is it authentic? Etc.
It certainly is a fine example of an old Ontario fieldstone chimney/hearth; and it is, indeed, authentic, not a recent reproduction.
As for it’s history, here’s what I know:
The site had a simple frame cottage attached to this chimney when the DeCorso family bought the property in 1971 from the Hales family. Alf Hales was the Member of Parliament for this area from 1957 until 1974, and “the Cottage” was used by the Hales’ as a getaway and, yes, a party place! I remember it had some pretty cool antiques in there: furniture, knick-knacks, and a hand-cranked Victrola gramaphone. In 1973, the cottage was separated from the chimney and moved to the current location of our Clubhouse, where it became the original Pro Shop and Snack bar for the golf course. When the Clubhouse was built in 1977, the cottage was moved sideways, and it became strictly the Pro Shop and Club Storage. In 1984 it was finally demolished when a permanent Pro Shop and Office addition was constructed.
Here’s a shot from 1977 of the Cottage as Pro Shop, Club Storage, and Cart Charging Station. The newly-built Clubhouse is in the background.
So, what’s the shack (top picture) that is now attached to the chimney? Ever since the cottage was moved, a simple wooden structure was built in its place for fertilizer storage. The one that is there now is the second such structure. We decided to keep the chimney in place because it is, indeed, an authentic historical piece. We hired a bricklayer in 2001 to apply mortar around the stones, since the old mortar was flaking off. Our research on its history went cold, but we were given the opinion that the chimney pre-dates the Hales cottage. Puslinch Township historical records indicate that the first recorded settlers on the property were the Stone family (as in Stone Rd.), but we can’t be certain that this chimney was built by them.
In the meantime, it certainly catches a lot of stray golf balls!