Parfitt Farm

Site 38:
Parfitt Farm
Location:
1800 Four Mile Lake Road
Date Originally Built:
1885
Present Use:
Operating Farm and Private Residence
Evaluation Score:
Priority Two

This still-operating farm, situated in what used to be Widdifield Township, is a wonderful example of turn of the century craftsmanship working alongside modern technology. The original farm was 160 acres in 1885 with an additional 160 acres purchased in 1910. The current farm is 142 acres, including a 70 acre old growth forest that until recently functioned as a sugar bush.

The Parfitt family acquired the farm as part of the Soldier Settlement Act following the First World War, the goal of which was to re-introduce veterans to everyday life and help them get back on their feet after the war. As a result, Christopher Parfitt received the farm in 1919 after the Soldier Settlement Board revised their mandate to state that “idle” land on native reserves could be acquired for soldier re-settlement.

The original structure of the homestead was constructed around 1885 of hewn, interlocking logs, and now serves as the kitchen. A two-story addition was added before the Parfitt family acquired the farm, likely around 1910. The original house was framed with 135 year old cedar, and the original hardwood floors and windows are found throughout. An aluminum roof was added in 1952 and aluminum siding in 1955. The building has an original wooden exterior door with egg and dart details. The wood stoves that still serve to heat the home are now powered via geo-thermal energy, and the farming practices have evolved over the years, as 88 year old William is now helped by his son to run the farm.

The last notable part of the farm was created by William, a World War Two veteran, several years ago. Named the “International Peace Park”, the former Lancaster bomber pilot has created an educational site with photos and resources aimed at fostering goodwill amongst humans. It showcases photos that depict the horrors of war in an effort to illustrate to us the necessity of mutual peace and understanding.