new chapter for 13 The Square
PHOTOS AND STORY BY MELODY FALCONER-POUNDER
Phyllis McTaggart wanted The Spa in Bayfield and the house it resided in, 13 The Square, to be a happy place. She painted it in the colors of Provence - blues, greens, yellows and terra cottas. The home that welcomed spa guests for nearly 20 years is now for sale.
The stately residence that stands at 13 The Square in Bayfield and current owner Phyllis McTaggart have had a twenty-year friendship. She remembers fondly when they were first really introduced.
“It was August 1998 and I was walking past the house with a friend on our way to the town hall for my daughter’s wedding reception. It was for sale. My friend said that house needs to be made happy again and she suggested that I was just the person to do it,” recalled McTaggart.
At that time McTaggart had just finished a renovation on the King’s Bakery building on Main Street (home to The Village Bookshop today) so the timing seemed right to start another project.
“I remember spending lots of late nights here, painting at 3 a.m. the “ghosts” were happy, they were alright, and well so was I,” she said.
McTaggart noted that the property the house is on was purchased by Dr. Richard Stanbury around 1864 and she believes that at one time he owned all the way back to the lake. Village histories state that the house was built in 1880. The cottage next to it at 12 The Square was also built by the doctor and records indicate it was constructed in 1878.
Stanbury was a practicing physician and also served as reeve of the village. According to the “Village of Bayfield – Huron Historical Notes” published in 2009, “The Stanbury family lived in the home until the early 1900s. Archie Galbraith was the next owner living alone for some years until he sold it to a Mr. and Mrs. William Stinson. In the 1950s the home was converted into a nursing home by a Mrs. Kelly. It was returned to a private dwelling when the Maloney family purchased it. Finally, Norman and Pat Cooper, of Mount Clement, MI, purchased the property.” It was Pat Cooper that sold the house to McTaggart.
In the Bayfield Heritage Conservation District Plan, the home has been described as a, “flamboyantly designed residence with soaring tower, bay windows, verandahs, different colored brick and roof trim.”
At the time of purchase McTaggart had been volunteering with the Wellspring Centres for cancer support in the Toronto area (and she still does today) and they suggested that she could open a similar place in this century old home. McTaggart found the thought daunting with the number of volunteers and supports that would be needed to make it work. However, a seed was planted – perhaps the home would make the perfect setting for a spa?
“Of course, I knew nothing about running a spa and I’ve been learning for 20 years,” she said.
The Spa in Bayfield opened in the summer of 1999. Over those two decades the services and programs offered within the walls of the old Stanbury residence have continued to evolve. In addition to the usual items on a spa menu like facials, manicures, pedicures and massage, Reiki, Yoga and meditation have been provided. There have also been services offered by a naturopath, a medium, a Doctor of Chinese Medicine and an art therapist just to name a few.
“My goal was to make this a happy place. I learned a lot and met a lot of terrific people. I did not want this spa to be a bright, white, sterile environment. I wanted people to feel comfortable here and happy when they left. And we were so fortunate that in all the years we were here we had very, very few people who made a negative comment about our services.”
But before the spa could open McTaggart, along with her husband, Gordon, worked tirelessly to create that happy place. They added on a sunroom just off the library where a door once went to nowhere. They put in a fireplace and removed layer upon layer of linoleum off the floors to expose the original floors where possible. They upgraded the electrical, did a stucco treatment on all walls and painted them the colors of Provence, blues, yellows, greens and terra cotta. They replaced some ceilings and refinished and repainted the woodwork. They put a pond in the backyard and some years later added a Labyrinth.
The couple reside in Port Credit, ON but Phyllis has been coming to Bayfield since she was 14 years-old, first with her future husband’s family as Gordon’s grandparents lived in Clinton. Then in 1985 the pair purchased property in Bayfield Highlands.
The next chapter for 13 The Square is yet to be written as the home to The Spa in Bayfield for the past 20 years is now for sale and an "auction" of contents will be held on Sept. 1.
People driving and walking by The Spa in Bayfield will have noticed that a “For Sale” sign is on the lawn. The business is now closed. McTaggart is selling off the contents of the house and all of the items that made it a functioning spa. She has enlisted, “Sell My Stuff” based out of London to help. They will be holding an “auction” on the property starting at 9 a.m. on Sept. 1. It will be a bitter sweet day both for the owner of the spa and the woman running the sale.
“She has been coming to the spa every October for the last 15 years with her girlfriends and when I contacted her to see if she’d run the event she said, ‘Oh no, where are we going to go now?’”
All who attend the sale will be given a number and they will be allowed into the house 20 at a time to browse. All items will be priced and people will have to purchase what they want on the spot – a sold sticker will then be placed on the item.
Once all the dust settles, perhaps someone walking by will, like McTaggart did all those years ago, think that they too can make the space happy again and then the next chapter in the tale of 13 The Square will be written.
Town hall family picnic set for this saturday evening
Mrs. Melanbacher prepared the chicken for the 2017 Sunset on Summer Family Picnic. This year the event will be held on Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Bayfield Town Hall. (Photo by Jack Pal)
The Bayfield Town Hall Heritage Society (BTHHS) is hosting its fifth annual “Sunset on Summer” family picnic on Saturday, Sept. 1 on the grounds of the Bayfield Town Hall (and in case of rain at the Bayfield Arena).
Music runs from 4-7 p.m. and food will be served from 4:30-7:30 p.m. This year roasted potatoes will be included with the traditional BBQ chicken, baked beans, coleslaw, a roll and dessert.
Bring your guests or you can enjoy take-out. Entertainment will be provided by “The Cosmic Cowboys”, from London, ON, 2017 Jack Richardson Music Awards nominee in the Folk/Roots category. Activities include a Kiddy Korner (with help from The Purple Peony) for the children. As always, there will be a cash bar for adults.
Once again, the event will include a silent auction with a variety of fun items. Also, the Bayfield Lions’ Club will be selling prints of the photos chosen for the 2019 Bayfield calendar. The sale will take place from 4:30-7 p.m. with net proceeds being shared between the Town Hall and the Bayfield Lions’ Club.
The adult ticket price is $20 and children 12 years and younger are $10. The proceeds from this event will go towards replenishing the reserve funds necessary to maintain and preserve the 135-year-old Bayfield Town Hall.
The organizers are hoping that people will purchase their tickets early to ensure that sufficient quantities of food are ordered. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Town Hall at 519 565-5788 as well as through Ticketscene.ca. If you call the Town Hall, just leave a message and someone will get back to you. The Town Hall Box Office will be open from 1:30-3 p.m. on Thursdays to buy or pick up your tickets. Tickets will also be available at the Bayfield Farmers’ Market during market hours on Friday, Aug. 31, and at Fitness Classes in the Bayfield Arena.
As was done last year, the Town Hall, as an active member of Bayfield’s Blue Community initiative, has purchased non-toxic, biodegradable, cups, plates, bowls, and cutlery. Sunset on Summer will leave a smaller footprint on our environment.
This is a community event and the committee is looking for volunteers to help with serving food, set up, clean up, handling tickets sales for the beer/wine tent and clearing tables. Anyone interested is asked to please email Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library Friends explain where the money goes
The Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) Book Sale was a huge success due to the generosity of members and the community.
What does FOBL do with the money raised from the Book Sale and the new Book Bag? Here are some of projects they have contributed to, or organized in the past few years:
• Coffee and conversation: Weekly coffee and treats accompanied by friendly, casual conversation (October thru April)
• Children’s programs: Bi-Annual fun things for children including the popular Gingerbread Cookie Decorating during "Christmas in Bayfield"
• Saturdays at the Library: Monthly Speakers Series (January thru May) on a wide variety of interesting subjects from art, travel, music and health.
• Read to Baby Bundle: Contribution to this literary program for babies
• Bayfield Library fifth birthday party: A celebration for the Bayfield Public Library including cake, lemonade, signing a memory quilt, and souvenir pics with “Bob the Book” for the kids.
• Purchased: blinds for the library's community room, tables for Home4Good, honorarium for Speakers Series, Selphy printer for printing kids' photos with Santa, advertisement materials, various supplies for children's programs.
For more information on FOBL and what they do, please visit their website at www.fobl.ca.
This Friday organizers welcome Master Sharpener Suzy Lankin back to the Bayfield Farmers' Market.
“Bring your dull blades and utensils down to Clan Gregor Square, and be prepared to wait. Customers kept Suzy and her husband very busy during her last visit!” said Mary Brown, Market coordinator.
Brown sends best wishes to Judy Roth as she will close the doors on JMR Collections this weekend.
“The Bayfield community is sad to say goodbye to this lovely store but the good news is that Judy will be rejoining us at the market beginning Sept. 7,” Brown said.
She added, “If you've yet to visit Corrine Everson Papercrafts' stall, you're missing out! Corrine offers an incredible variety of unique handmade greeting cards that can be personalized on the spot. Corrine is taking a well-deserved break this Friday, but she'll back at the Market on Sept. 7.”
The Market Coordinator would also like to offer a reminder to boaters that they are very welcome at the market. There is a great little wagon available that can be borrowed to transport purchases back to the marina.
Aug. 31 will feature the usual lineup of outstanding vendors, offering the best of locally produced veggies, fruit, meat, bread, granola, wine, cider, artisan crafts and so much more.
The Bayfield Farmers’ Market is held every Friday until Thanksgiving, 3-7 p.m. in Clan Gregor Square.
How many among us take notice of certain symbols that remind us of someone special who no longer walks the earth? Hearing the striking lilt of a birdcall, sighting a butterfly flitting by or spotting a feather on the ground are all fine examples of these signs.
In recognition of these the Huron Residential Hospice is holding an event in Pioneer Park on Sept. 9 that will allow community members to honor the memory of loved ones or beloved pets in a symbolic way at a Butterfly Release.
This second annual event will be held from 1:30-4 p.m. Those who attend should bring their own lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
Please go to www.eventbrite.ca to purchase your butterfly. The deadline to purchase has been extended to tomorrow, Aug. 30. Monarch butterflies are $25 each.
The Bayfield Mews residents are opening their doors to welcome people to visit this 55+ Adult Lifestyle Community on Sept. 2.
Now in its final phase of development, three townhomes in the community will be open for people to tour. Phase one which includes 39 residences have now been sold.
The Open House will be held from 1-4 p.m. at the community on Bayfield Mews lane, just south of the village. All are welcome to tour and indulge in a hot dog and beverage.
Taoist Tai Chi
People from all walks of life and across the world tell how the practice of Taoist Tai Chi® arts has relieved stress, provided deep relaxation, given their bodies balance and strength, helped with pain, lifted spirits and even changed their outlook on life.
Continuing Classes are being offered in the village at the Bayfield Town Hall on Tuesday mornings from 9:30-11:30 a.m. starting in September. All are welcome to attend these classes taught by an accredited, volunteer instructor.
An Open House and free class will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 4 from 9:30-11 a.m. at the town hall. For more information call Doug Brown at 519 565-5187.
The Lake House of Bayfield will be hosting gentle yoga sessions on Thursdays this fall.
Starting on Sept. 13, Chair Yoga will be held at 10 a.m. followed by Restorative Mat Yoga at 5:15 p.m.
Participants are invited to just drop in. The cost is $5 a class.
The Bayfield Lions' Club members would like to let the public know that tickets for the Joe Brandon Memorial Trout Derby are now available at the following places: Nip & Tuck and Brandons Hardware in Bayfield, Goderich Bait & Tackle and Angling Sports in London. The Derby will run from Oct 12 -14.
The FOBL will host their Annual General Meeting on Sept. 22 at 11 a.m. at the Bayfield Public Library. The program committee will share their reports for the year at this event.
FIRST AID COURSE
Bayfield Guiding is organizing a community First Aid weekend.
A Standard First Aid with CPR C and AED Course will be held at Trinity Anglican Church in Bayfield on Sept. 22-23.
Saturday will begin at 9 a.m. while Sunday will commence at 11 a.m. Cost is $129 plus HST
The cost of the course will decrease as attendance increases so please invite others to join. The course is open to people 12 years of age and up.
Please contact Melody Falconer-Pounder at 519 525-3830 or email@example.com to reserve a spot.
This is an invitation to attend the opening rehearsal of the Glee Sisters, on Friday, Sept. 7 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at St. Andrews United Church in Bayfield. Rehearsals are held at this time and location weekly until mid-May. There is a break in December for the holiday season.
This non-auditioned women’s choir has been performing throughout the community and in surrounding areas since 2006. The Glee Sisters will be carrying on the joy of singing established by our recently retired and talented founder, Leslie Bella, under the leadership of co-directors Lisa Stewart and Blanche Savage and accompanist Mary McGoldrick.
For further information please consult the Glee Sisters Facebook page or contact our Manager, Christy Lomax at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All are welcome to explore the world of mushrooms on a walk at Windmill Lake Wake and Eco Park on Sept. 23 along with members of the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA).
The mushroom walk is a level one hike and will start at the Windmill Lake parking lot on Bayfield River Road at 2 p.m. Parking is available. The trail is mostly on level ground but there may be some wet and muddy areas.
The hike will be led by mycologist Dr. Jen McDonald, who led the excellent Lambton Shores mushroom walk last year. The event will last approximately 1.5 hours. Hikers will likely see many common mushrooms and the focus will be on identification.
George Ebers, 519 482-7512; and Peter Jeffers will be the hike leaders.
Harvest Dinner and Dance
The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) will be holding their annual Fall Harvest Dinner and Dance on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Renegades Diner in Bayfield.
Tickets are $40 and the evening starts with a reception and Silent Auction at 6 p.m. with dinner to follow at 7 p.m. After dinner, dance to the live music of “The Cheap Shirts”.
All are welcome to come out for a wonderful evening and support the Bayfield trails. Tickets are available now for $40. Tables of eight or 12 can be reserved.
Tickets can be purchased by emailing email@example.com or by calling Roger Lewington at 519 565-2202 or Scott Robeson at 519 565-2827.
The BRVTA would like to thank the event sponsors: Virtual High School, TCC and Edward Fuels.