1083 Barkway Road
Lot 15, Concession 13
Pines and Maples Square
(This quilt square was created in 2018 to celebrate 150 years in Muskoka. The name was founded on the lines from O’Canada ‘Where pines and maples grow…)
Godfrey Speicher registered this land on August 12, 1898. He and his wife Elizabeth raised nine children. They owned both sides of Concession 13 at this site, thus the house on one side and the barn on the other. (It is now two separate owners.)
The bank barn 40 x 80 was built in approximately 1900 by Richard Rusk. The wooden structure was lifted and a new wall was built underneath by Godfrey Speicher, a stonemason and farmer. His Father and his brother Albert, likely completed it in 1909.
The Speicher family kept a herd of cows, sheep, a few pigs and hens. They made crocks of butter and later sold cream by shipping in cream cans. In the summer Mrs. Speicher made cheese for their own use and also sold some. The sheep were clipped every spring and the wool was taken to Bird’s Woollen Mills in Bracebridge and exchanged for cloth, blankets, yarn and some cash.
They, as did other settlers in the area, took logs to ‘Weismillers Mill’ in Germania and hemlock bark to the Tanneries in Bracebridge. They also took wood to Gravenhurst in winter for the price of $2.50, $3.00 or $4.00 per cord.
Mr. Speicher also doctored animals in the community as veterinarians were scarce at that time. In his spare time he built chimneys, cellar walls, fireplaces, some culverts and abutments for small bridges. The property was transferred to his son Charles Speicher on July 5, 1940, who also raised his family there. The original farm property included the farm house at 1063 Barkway Road. The Speicher family still reside in Ryde Township.
From 1975 to 2006 this barn and surroundings buildings were the home of South Meadow Farm Antiques. Today this property is a private residence with no access to the public.