Just how high are the hills of Hastings County?

Hastings County website photo

Reader Mark was suspicious about whether this photo, which appears on Hastings County’s website, was actually taken in Hastings County. Were his suspicions justified? Read on…

It’s time to tie up a loose end, people.

A few months ago, reader Mark, who has been kind enough to post comments from time to time, had a question, and it was about the image at the top of this post. You’ll probably see that image if you click on the hyperlink I often insert – like, here – when I make reference to Hastings County in my posts; the link takes you to the official website of the county – which, I would like to add, is quite a nice-looking and elegantly done site. Its attractiveness is enhanced by the three photos that scroll on the home page, one showing a woman working at a laptop while sitting on a dock on a pretty lake, one showing the same woman on that laptop while sitting on a rock beside a lake, and the third, the image above, of a woman on her mobile phone, laptop open in front of her, with a lake and – here’s the key thing – some high hills (some would say mountains) in the background.

Those hills are what aroused Mark’s suspicions: “I didn´t know there were mountains in Hastings Co.,” he wrote. And as a followup: “They look to me as if they’re snow-capped mtns … and the lake looks like it’s from western Canada or something. Since it looks like summer weather when her pic was taken, it is highly unlikely it is anywhere in Ontario.”

Donning my Nancy Drew perky blonde wig and jumping into my roadster, I promised Mark that I would get to the bottom of things. And I have – but it’s taken a while, and I’ve learned something about the hills of Hastings County in the interim.

I made some inquiries of the tourism and economic-development folks at the county, and learned eventually (it took a while, and a bit of persistence on my part, for them to get back to me) that the photos were “purchased from a photo site,” which pretty much means they could have been taken anywhere (possibly even Hastings County, I suppose – but probably not). The county people – who were very nice and quite forthcoming when I did get them to reply – said that they and the site’s developer and designer felt that the photos fit well into the theme of the site, “The Best of Both Worlds” – in their words, “showing that you can still do all your work and be connected, while enjoying the rural life.” They also said that they felt the images were “consistent with typical images found in Hastings County.”

Now, on the issue of being connected (through your mobile phone and the internet) while enjoying the rural life, I have to say that some people in Queensborough (and, I expect, other parts of rural Hastings County) would probably take issue with the county’s assertion about having that connectivity – and you can read my posts here and here for more on internet issues, and this one here about having to retreat to a far bedroom at the Manse in order to actually have a conversation with someone on my iPhone.

Revival Store

A few miles east of the village of L’Amable on Detlor Road, you will find Revival Store, where proprietors Moxie and Suzy have all kinds of wonderful vintage stuff for sale. Raymond and I visited while exploring the hills of northern Hastings. It is my kind of place!

But as for the photo showing the hills, or mountains – well, despite Mark’s skepticism, I have learned that in the northern reaches of Hastings County there really are some pretty high hills.

This past Thanksgiving weekend, for instance, Raymond and I took a trip along Detlor Road just south of Bancroft (and east of L’Amable) to visit the funky and wonderful Revival Store. (And yes, purchases of vintage stuff were made – including a second midcentury hassock for the Manse!)

As we drove east on Detlor Road I was quite stunned to see how high the hills off in the northern distance were. I took some photos, though unfortunately they don’t do the hills justice. But if you look at the background in this one, maybe you’ll get a bit of a sense of it:

hills in northern Hastings County

Looking north from Detlor Road in the L’Amable/Bancroft area of northern Hastings County. My photo doesn’t show it very well, but those hills in the distance are – well, they’re serious hills.

Anyway, I suspect that if there’s a pristine lake up in them thar hills – and I’d be shocked if there weren’t – you probably could get a photo very similar to the one on the Hastings County website.

Ah, but here’s my question (based on my previous remarks on connectivity issues in rural Hastings): would the woman on the phone, with the laptop open in front of her, be saying anything other than, “Can you hear me now?”

10 thoughts on “Just how high are the hills of Hastings County?

  1. Well, that’s all very interesting! I love the retro shop, and the gals look like they have a lot of fun collecting and displaying their goods. Now, as far as the high hills go, have you been back to the Eagle’s Nest, just north of Bancroft? It’s worth a trip, and the view is amazing. Here is a link (and there is a link to photos on the page):

    http://www.bancroftontario.com/index.cfm?vNavID=1&vSubNavID=3&vSub2NavID=10

    We were on a school bus trip back to the area one time, and we visited the Eagle’s Nest. The next day, in Accounting class, someone mentioned it, and Mrs. O’Riordan asked, “and did the eagle get you?”

    • Wow, thanks for that link to the Eagle’s Nest, Sash! I have never visited it, though not long ago (maybe in a comment that you posted?) I heard about it for the first time. The photos are spectacular – I will be sure to go see it in person as soon as the weather turns nice. So yeah, so much for Hastings County not having high hills!

      • You’re welcome. Gosh, am I repeating myself? LOL If you go back to Bancroft, another place that’s fun to visit is the Princess Sodalite mine. We visited that on that same school bus trip. Here is a link about the mine.

        Another nice place to visit in the area is Coe Hill. It’s a very pretty drive, in a peaceful, small place.

      • Thank you yet again, Sash! I have passed signs for the Princess Sodalite mine hundreds of times, but have never gone to see it. Now I will! It really is cool that the Bancroft area – and central and northern Hastings County generally – are so rich in so many different minerals. As for Coe Hill, I totally agree – a very pleasant little village with some interesting shops, galleries and restaurants – and a venerable (and very popular) fall fair!

  2. Mount Moriah at 1,034 feet is one of the highest points in Southern Ontario, and it’s just north of Queensborough, Lingham Lake Road, just outside of Cooper. There’s no lake there, but the view looks to be worth the effort. I found out about this nearby mount while working on a video project, and viewing “The Land Between”, Ontario Visual Heritage project, a fascinating docmentary about this special eco-tone that we are in, the area that overlaps the juncture of The Shield and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. Check it out at http://tlb.visualheritage.ca/ (no I don’t get a commission!)

    • Pauline, you’re not the first person to tell me I have to check our Mount Moriah, and really I guess I must. (Especially since it’s so close by.) And yes, thanks to a recommendation from our Madoc friend Brenda, I bought a copy of The Land Between a while back and have enjoyed watching it very much. It is exciting to learn about all the things that make this area we live in so special!

  3. I fear that I must comment with regards to the photo. Being neither a stranger to the concept of purchasing photos for advertising purposes nor to the landscape of Hastings County, I find it very disappointing that people who are strangers to the area are given this representation.
    After visiting the Hastings County website, I found that it was felt by the developer that only two pictures were required with which to catch the viewers attention. These two photos are really the furthest from the truth!
    A visitor to the site is missing out as to what it really means to visit and/or live in Hastings County. It is a heck of a lot more than sitting near some water. It is sad that someone didn’t feel the need to represent their county home to the best of their ability. To hire a photographer with decent ability does not cost an arm and a leg, heck they could easily insert a link to your blog and there you have it!
    My challenge for them would be to create a contest for local students to submit their photos of “their county”, to then be used on the homepage to showcase not just what the county looks like but the communities which make up the county.
    Another challenge would perhaps be to assess whether sticking with the trends of the rest of the world (where you always have to be “connected” and you can have the best of both worlds) is the right fit for this area. For once, I would like to see someone stand up and say it is okay to be different and be truthful. Hold on to what makes you unique and be proud of it. Don’t settle for being a sheep.

    • Very well said, Christina! Hear hear!

      I sometimes feel that the southernmost quadrant of Hastings County (i.e. the north shore of the Bay of Quinte) gets more than its share of the attention. There’s a heck of a lot of this county north of Belleville, and you are absolutely right: no photographer would have any difficulty finding beautiful places to photograph in that vast area. Your idea of a contest for schoolchildren is absolutely delightful, and if I am talking with the county economic-development/tourism folks again I will most definitely suggest it!

  4. I somehow missed this post! I love it! I love that you and your husband find the best little treasures. It was so lovely meeting you both last fall. Your truly a breath of fresh mountain air!
    Hastings County has plenty of gems…and not just the mineral kind. Check out Egans Falls next time your up. Stop in the shop and we can tell ya how to get there.

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